The Career Mentoring Program, ACPAGROW, is intended to create a mentor/protégé relationship by providing suggestions to facilitate a conversation between mentors and their protégés regarding their initial and ongoing communication. ACPAGROW is about networking, growing, and developing ongoing mentoring relationships. The program is open to all levels of graduate students and professionals looking to connect and share their experiences as either a mentor, a protégé, or both. Additionally, the program hopes to clarify expectations of your role as either a mentor or as a protégé (mentee) in the ACPAGROW program.
Seeking more effective ways to foster mentoring relationships between Student Affairs professionals and graduate students seeking to enter the field, Ed Cabellon (who currently serves as the Director of the Campus Center at Bridgewater State University) began recruiting potential mentors through Twitter's #sachat and connecting them with potential protégés recruited using #sagrad, creating #ACPAGROW.
As #ACPAGROW grew in numbers, Ed enlisted the assistance of ACPA to expand the reach and effectiveness of the #ACPAGROW program. In February, 2012 #ACPAGROW further expanded to connect more experienced professionals with those newer to the field and officially became an ACPA sponsored program, connecting mentors and protégés through Twitter, Skype, e-mail, phone, and meet-ups.
Fill out the ACPAGROW Interest Form.
Participants elect of join one or more of three cohort periods of the program:
- October 1 - January 31
- February 1 - May 30
- June 1 - September 30
The cohort model exists to create the best possible connections for mentors and protégés. It allows time to develop a mentoring relationship, find support beyond the campus community, and meet the needs of mentors and protégés.
Once your cohort period has ended, you may elect to (1) continue your involvement in the mentoring pair with which you have been working, (2) continue your involvement with a new match between protégé and mentor, or (3) conclude your involvement. If you elect to continue in the program, you will continue receiving program information. As your cohort period nears its conclusion, the program coordinator will communicate with you to learn how you would like to proceed beyond the cohort period.
Experience has shown that enjoyable and helpful mentoring relationships develop when expectations about communication are clear and shared between the mentor and protégé. With that in mind, we suggest initial communication(s) between mentors and protégés involve:
- Choosing and/or creating topics of discussions past the initial meeting. Periodically, the organizers of ACPAGROW will share suggested topics of discussion between mentor and protégé. These topics will relate to recent topics of discussion in the profession of student affairs and/or topics that may be of timely interest to the protégé and/or mentor. These topics are designed to provide a springboard, guide or conversation starter between mentors and protégés;
- Discussion of the preferred frequency and medium of communication (such as e-mail, phone, Skype, twitter, Facebook, or Google) between mentor and protégé
- Ethical standards for mentoring relationships (DOC)
For more information on the program or cohort, please email ACPAGROW@acpa.nche.edu.