Mentoring is fundamental to the professional development of research scientists in academic health centers (AHC). Qualified mentors can support the development of competencies considered most significant in training research scientists. Yet AHC faculty may have little preparation in and knowledge of how to mentor. Emerging AHC mentor academies provide educational environments whereby faculty can learn the art and practice of mentoring. However, little is known about their effectiveness. Using the Transtheoretical Change Model (TTM), this study explored how 23 mentors used newly learned information to change their communication styles and develop shared expectations with mentees. Based on an inductive analysis of 46 reflective writing assignments, the results showed that the mentor academy enabled progress through the stages of contemplation and preparation, however, mentors rarely implemented new knowledge to make changes in their approach to mentoring. The authors suggest instructional strategies that will promote actionable change and accountability for implementation.


Educational Effectiveness, Mentor Academy, Mentoring, Reflective Writing, Transtheoretical Change Model

Author Bio(s)

Linda S. Behar-Horenstien, PhD is Distinguished Teaching Scholar and Professor and Director, CTSI, Educational Development and Evaluation. Correspondence regarding this article can be addressed directly to: lsbhoren@ufl.edu.

Huibin Zhange is a doctoral student in School Psychology at the College of Education at the University of Florida. Correspondence regarding this article can also be addressed directly to: huibinzhang@ufl.edu.


Research reported in this publication was supported by the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences of the National Institutes of Health under University of Florida Clinical and Translational Science Awards TL1TR001428 and UL1TR001427. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health.

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