While mentoring has been identified as a valuable resource in recruiting and retaining underrepresented minority (URM) faculty, little research has examined the difference in mentoring needs of early- and mid-career engineering URM faculty members. As these needs can change as they navigate academia and the tenure process, mentors can effectively provide guidance and support only when they have been identified. The purpose of this phenomenological study was to determine the mentoring needs and activities of early- and mid-career URM engineering faculty who participated in the IMPACT mentoring program and how their needs were met (Moustakas, 1994). The IMPACT program and the associated research were supported by a National Science Foundation Office for Broadening Participation in Engineering award (15-42728 and 15-42524). The Ideal Mentoring Model for URM Faculty served as the theoretical framework and the study included interviews with 11 early- to mid-career faculty who provided an in-depth understanding of the participants’ needs and activities. Findings indicate all faculty members seek career development support in navigating the engineering promotion and tenure process. However, mid-career faculty display greater interest in receiving sponsorship and coaching from their mentors, as well as an awareness of the importance of having a network of mentors.
Faculty, Mentoring, Underrepresentation, Engineering Professoriate, Phenomenology
This study is part of a larger project focused on the Increasing Minority Presence within Academia through Continuous Training (IMPACT) mentoring program that pairs emeriti and URM early- and mid-career engineering faculty for career mentorship. The IMPACT program and the associated research were supported by a National Science Foundation Office for Broadening Participation in Engineering award (15-42728 and 15-42524). Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations are only those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the NSF. An earlier version of this paper was presented at the 2018 American Association for Colleges and Universities Annual Meeting in Washington, DC. We are grateful for the comments and suggestions provided by the AAC&U and The Qualitative Report reviewers.
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Recommended APA Citation
Mendez, S., Tygret, J. A., Martin Conley, V., Haynes, C., & Gerhardt, R. (2020). Exploring the Mentoring Needs of Early- and Mid-Career URM Engineering Faculty: A Phenomenological Study. The Qualitative Report, 25(4), 891-908. https://doi.org/10.46743/2160-3715/2020.4159