In light of strengthening SUA’s capacity, mentoring is identified as a crucial component in promoting academic and professional excellence for both students and members of staff. iAGRI is supporting SUA’s Gender Policy Implementation Committee (GPIC) to create a mentoring program which supports junior members of academic staff by matching them with experienced professors to acquire skills, information, and advice that will help them advance in their careers.
Current Status – Active
The first round of the new mentoring began in September 2013, and the model used was based on the AWARD mentoring program. Junior members of academic staff applied to participate in the program. Over the course of the next year, mentors and mentees were provided various forms of support, including a launch event, a program orientation, sponsorship in professional organizations, and training on professional skills. Currently an evaluation exercise of the first round of mentoring is about to be completed. In the spirit of piloting innovative ideas on formal and informal interface at SUA, lessons from this evaluation will be incorporated into planning for a second round of mentoring and help transform working formal structures addressing women and staff development issues.
Key Actors at SUA
The office of the Deputy Vice Chancellor – Academic.
Mentoring Coordinator and
Dr Carolyne Nombo
There were 23 pairs of mentoring which concluded their relationship in December 2014.
Stage 1 – Conversations That Matter
iAGRI and SUA’s GPIC discussed the possibility of running a mentoring program for junior members of SUA academic staff. They agreed to work with AWARD and adapt their successful mentoring model to SUA’s context.
Stage 2 – Ways That Work
Working with iAGRI and AWARD, GPIC drafted mentoring guidelines for SUA (not yet approved). These guidelines were implemented (with minor adaptation to meet needs identified during implementation) with a first round of mentoring that was launched in 2013. Twenty-three mentoring pairs participated in the one-year program.
An evaluation of the first round of mentoring is about to be concluded. Lessons learned will be drawn from the report and incorporated into a revised SUA mentoring model. iAGRI will support the testing of this revised model with a second round of mentoring, which will be initiated in 2015.