Staff Mentoring in Community Colleges

By Pearch, William J.; Craig, Barbara M. et al. | Community College Enterprise, Fall 2005 | Go to article overview

Staff Mentoring in Community Colleges


Pearch, William J., Craig, Barbara M., Willits, Eileen, Community College Enterprise


Over the next ten years, retirements will bring a leadership crisis in community colleges. One way to combat the impending crisis is to develop formal mentoring programs which nurture future leaders. One way to ensure the mentoring program achieves its objective is by using a framework to assess leadership strengths and weaknesses. Mentors who are strong in particular skills may be paired with the mentored who need to develop the skills.

Introduction

"Community colleges are facing an impending leadership crisis," reported Charles Schults in 2001. With about four-fifths of incumbent community college presidents planning to retire within 10 years (Weisman & Vaughan, 2002), leadership development is now an essential focus for community colleges. Successful colleges of the future will be the ones that today are cultivating new generations of leaders at all administrative levels (Amey & VanDerLinden, 2001). Amey and VanDerLinden's 2000 survey revealed that only 22% of presidents were promoted to the presidency from within their institution. Many respondents also indicated they have acted or currently act as mentors. When these leaders retire, colleges lose their knowledge, expertise, and mentoring, too. Organized and well-planned mentoring programs are crucial to the future of community colleges.

Several scholars have surveyed the state of current leadership training initiatives within the community college (Anderson, 1997; Duvall, 2003; Watts & Hammons, 2002) and have concluded that the skills new leaders require are much different from the traditional ones in the past. Senior leadership must concern itself with many issues that require solid business skills as well as skill working with legislators and foundations; lobbying; managing elections for bonds, tax rate, and tuition increases; handling collective bargaining; and litigation (Duvall, 2003). Twombly and Amey (1991) believe that current presidents are identifying their own agenda for the twenty-first century, by "creating institutional effectiveness and distinctiveness, establishing over-arching purpose, building communities on- and off-campus, working with and serving diversified populations, acting affirmatively, and many variations on organizational renewal and institutional leadership" (p. 395).

Developing peak performers

Recognizing the need to attract peak performers, Zeiss (2004) suggests that colleges ask themselves whether they have an effective supply chain of new employees. If they hope to maintain their relevance as community service providers, community colleges must learn how to increase the performance of their employees. The three keys to developing peak performers are training, motivating, and supporting. All three of these fundamental strategies can be combined efficiently in a mentoring program. Further, the most commonly cited reasons for leaving one's job at a community college include "little or no recognition" and the "perception of being undervalued" (Zeiss, 2004). Both of these reasons apply when talent is not recognized or fostered.

Professionals embark upon careers in the not-for-profit sector, not to acquire great wealth, but out of care and concern for fellow humans and because of a desire to make a difference. As a result it is important to make sure employees feel a sense of respect and recognition. A formalized mentoring program can help develop an environment of vision and stability. Staff members with leadership potential can inject energy and experience into meeting the challenges facing today's community college.

Mentoring

Mentoring embraces a philosophy about people and how important they are to educational institutions. Luna & Cullen (2000) believe "mentoring is useful and powerful in understanding and advancing organizational culture, providing access to informal and formal networks of communication, and offering professional stimulation" (p. 5). It is culturally significant that leaders of tribal colleges "believe it is their responsibility to actively encourage and train the next generation of educational leaders" (Stein & Eagleeye, 1993, p. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Staff Mentoring in Community Colleges
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.