Faculty in the program should discuss what would make best sense for a mentoring plan. Below are suggestions, as faculty may have some ideas that better match program requirements. In general, the mentoring plan should be one that is a good match for the student as well as the type of program. Recommendations include:
- The student should meet with a faculty member who is knowledgeable about all aspects of the program at the beginning of each semester during the first year. This meeting should include an overview of the semester in terms of classes, assignments, discussion of assignments/concepts that might be particularly complex etc., but most of all discussion of what is expected of the student in terms of time commitment, commitment to the mastery of the content, class participation, timely completion of assignments, etc.
- The faculty member should review the Scholastic Standards of the Graduate Bulletin with the student. This section presents information on grade requirements, probation, and dismissal.
- If the student works many hours outside of class and has a family or other time commitments, you may want to encourage him/her to take a lighter load the first semester.
- The student should meet with each faculty member who is teaching courses to discuss performance during the third week of classes and 2-3 other times throughout the semester as necessary. The student should be informed of their performance status. If there are problem issues, they should be discussed at that time.
- If problems are identified, specific solutions should be defined. A progress plan should be created with the student. They may include attending the writing center, meeting with the professor on a regular basis etc. A contract could be developed between the student and instructor. Deadlines should be included. Potential consequences should be discussed Whether or not a contract is created, the discussions, problems-if any, deadlines, and solutions should be documented in an email. The faculty member and student should stay in touch over any issues.
- When appropriate, faculty can promote student study groups in class.