CSUCI’s network approach to mentoring recognizes that one person alone cannot fulfill all of our professional needs and that everyone–including younger or newer colleagues–can be a source of information, influence, and social credentials.  We all, regardless of our stage, can be a resource for others. Whether it’s finding our way around campus, support with developing a healthy writing practice, engaging in new high-impact teaching practices, offering a kind ear, recommending us for opportunities, or status we gain by association, we all have things to share in supporting each other.

A network approach is also empowering.  You are not dependent on one person–who may or may not have time for you or with whom you may or may not ‘click.’ 

Professional development experts have identified several areas of need that most new faculty have:

  • emotional support
  • an intellectual community
  • a safe space
  • role models
  • accountability for what really matters
  • sponsorship
  • access to opportunities
  • substantive feedback. 

To start building your mentoring network, take some time to reflect. What are your short and long-term goals? What you are struggling with? What kind of impact would you like to have at CSUCI, in your field, or in the community? Who might best serve to meet your various needs?

Keeping your needs and goals in mind, think about who you know–and who they know, and who those people know–who can help you reach those goals and get your needs met. A mentoring network is fluid and dynamic and will and should change as our goals and needs change from year-to-year and across our academic careers. 

You can start exploring CSUCI’s faculty here and in our Faculty Mentoring Network Canvas Community to begin building out your network.  

Want to read more about network models of mentoring? Check out the Resources about Mentoring page.