One of the most valuable learning opportunities at Case Western Reserve is the mentoring relationships that students develop on campus. Graduate students in particular benefit immensely from the mentor-mentee relationships that develop during their training.
Graduate students also play a huge role in how these relationships are improved and defined. Students assisted in the development of the Mentoring Handbook for Faculty followed by a companion Mentee Handbook for Students. The handbooks contain valuable information about the importance of the mentor-mentee relationship with special focus on developing a rapport with diverse groups of graduate students.
The University Center for Innovation in Teaching and Education (UCITE) has also created a mentor fellowship program for faculty which is designed to promote and recognize good mentoring practices. Participation in the second Mentor Fellows program will occur during the Spring 2011 semester.
What do Graduate Students Need to be Successful?
Surveys have shown that graduate students have very different needs than their undergraduate counterparts. Many rely on their faculty mentor to assist them with writing and presentation skills, broadening their professional network of contacts and instilling a set of sound research ethics. Mentors have a real opportunity to underscore the value of research and scholarly inquiry, as well as the importance of communication, teamwork, leadership and character-building.
In the fall of 2010, the CWRU Faculty Senate unanimously endorsed the Mentoring Guidebook for Faculty helping graduate students grow into respected professionals and trusted colleagues. This proved to be a momentous achievement for the CWRU Graduate Student Senate (former Graduate Student Council). We encourage students and visitors alike to learn about the value of mentoring and why it is an integral part of graduate learning at Case.