Peer Mentoring Program
Peer mentoring teams are interdisciplinary groups of 3-5 faculty all of whom are interested in learning/improving on some aspect of their scholarly activity. Members of the team commit to routinely meeting to share best practices, guidance, feedback, and advice with each other and are led by a faculty peer mentor with expertise related to the topic of the team.
What is the Purpose of a Peer Mentoring Team?
To learn/ improve skills, gain knowledge, and apply what is learned in a real-time scholarly activity (such as online or hybrid teaching, pursuit of a federal grant, development of an experiential learning focus in courses, administrative skills, management of a research team, coping with work-life balance stressors etc.). Peer Mentoring Teams are intended to help faculty to build relationships with colleagues across UTSA and to participate in learning communities outside of their immediate disciplines and departments.
What do Members of a Peer Mentoring Team do?
Members of a Peer Mentoring Team commit to participate in their assigned team for one semester/summer session (or an agreed period of time) and work with the Peer Mentor and the other team members to foster a positive learning community of mutual support; sharing of experience and knowledge; and providing peer feedback. Team members will commit to a regular meeting with the team and prepare questions, reports of progress for peer-to-peer feedback, and reviews of peers’ work as agreed within the team.
What does a Peer Mentor do?
Peer mentors are faculty volunteers who are selected by Faculty Success to lead a Peer Mentoring Team for one semester. Peer mentors have a record of experience and success in the topic of the Peer Mentoring Team to which they are assigned.
Each Peer Mentor agrees to serve as a facilitator for a team of 3-5 faculty during a regular semester or summer session. Mentors convene their assigned team of faculty on a regular basis (face-to-face or virtual) in order to provide their own best practice advice and guidance, promote a positive peer-to-peer supportive community in the team, and aid the team to problem-solve and provide feedback to each member. Peer mentors commit to the regular meeting time set by the team and promote mutual support among team members. They are not trainers nor are they expected to be on-call to team members. They provide their perspectives and knowledge along with other team members.
Peer mentors may set up a method for team members to crowd-source ideas/share resources/answer each other’s questions (such as a TEAMS site) between meetings. Peer Mentors are also asked to stay in touch with the Peer Mentoring Team Coordinator (in Faculty Success) regarding how the team is working and identify needs it may have (e.g., need for training referrals or other UTSA knowledge support).
What do Participants Say about the Peer Mentoring Program?
- “An excellent platform for collaboration across departments, conducive to experience sharing, learning, and profession networks.”
- “Excellent way to build community across disciplines. We ended up being a support group for much more than just online learning.”
- “It was very good to have peers to talk to. It helped to ask people from across the university if they were experiencing similar challenges and how they may have surmounted them.”
- “It is nice to form a small professional community of learning. Allows faculty members to support one another and exchange ideas, best practices . . .”
- “As a new faculty member, this was such a warm and enriching experience to introduce me to people on campus and teaching at UTSA..”
- “I especially appreciated that we were coming from different fields and departments, we were able to share and learn.”
- “I would strongly recommend the Peer Mentoring Program for all junior faculty. It is highly beneficial.”
- It's great. We get to share issues we are dealing with and our mentor keeps us informed about upcoming deadlines.
Peer Mentoring Team Topics
- Online Instruction
- NSF Early Career Award Preparation
- New Faculty
- New Department Chairs
- Experiential Learning Support (Internships, Service Learning, Undergraduate Research) (spring 2022)
- Managing a laboratory or research group (spring 2022)
- Working on Book Project (spring 2022)
- Collecting community/field data during pandemic (spring 2022)