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Office of Institutional Diversity and Inclusion
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Peer Consulting and Mentoring Program


Introduction

The Peer Consulting/Mentoring Program offers faculty and continuing contract instructors at SIUE the opportunity for collaborative exploration of their teaching, research, and service.

The Peer Consulting/Mentoring Program is:

  • a confidential and voluntary service
  • an exploration of teaching, research, and service done in a collaborative, collegial manner
  • available to those faculty who would like to gather information from an independent, non-judgmental source about various aspects of their academic activities
  • a method of obtaining and using feedback in a positive, meaningful, and useful manner
  • an opportunity to meet colleagues who, like you, would like to increase the quality of all academic activities at SIUE.

Purpose

The Peer Consulting/Mentoring Program has been developed within SIUE, by our own teaching faculty, as a grass roots effort to promote the realization of the Teacher/Scholar philosophy. This philosophy "reflects a serious continuing commitment to teaching, scholarship, and service in the belief that scholarship complements and enriches excellence in teaching and service. As such, it values, elevates, and balances the teaching, scholarship, and service functions of the SIUE professoriate." Therefore, the Peer Consulting/Mentoring Program aims to help instructors assess the quality of their teaching-, research-, and service-related activities in a positive, supportive, and non-judgmental environment.

Even though new faculty has department- or school-specific colleagues with whom he/she can converse about the various aspects of academic responsibilities, the Peer Consulting/Mentoring Program can provide an additional source of support.

It is important to emphasize that the Peer Consulting/Mentoring Program is unequivocally confidential. Peer Consultants/Mentors do not

  • share personal information regarding consulting/mentoring requests or feedbacks with the members of the university community and
  • reveal the identity of the faculty who requested consulting/mentoring services.

Peer Consultant/Mentor

A Peer Consultant/Mentor is one of your academic colleagues, a peer who has special training and experience in the consultation process. He/she has an interest in increasing the quality of the academic activities and is willing to share information and lessons learned. Peer Consultants/Mentors respect your confidentiality.

A Peer Consultant/Mentor can act as:

  • an information conduit for responses from your students,
  • a sounding board for your concerns and ideas about any aspect of your academic activities, and
  • a source of suggestions for change and improvement.

Process

When requesting a consulting/mentoring service (see Request Form ), faculty should consider selecting a consultant/mentor from a discipline other than his/her own as the consulting/mentoring process does not evaluate faculty's academic activities pertaining to their specialty areas. Rather, faculty and the Consultant/Mentor will discuss the most productive and successful approaches to teaching, research, and service.

At the completion of the process, you will be asked to assess the effectiveness of the consultation ( Evaluation Form ). Your feedback is critical to the evolution and continued success of the Peer Consulting/Mentoring Program.

Types of Support

The Peer Consulting/Mentoring Program offers faculty a wide variety of options to receive additional support in teaching, research, and service. These include:

A. Teaching-Related Feedback:

Faculty may request two teaching-related feedback types from the Peer Consulting/Mentoring Program

  • GIFT GIFT is an acronym that stands for Group Instructional Feedback Technique, which implies talking to students in groups or as a whole in the absence of their instructor.

  • Class Observation Observation of class by a colleague can provide faculty valuable exchanges of ideas and approaches to a variety of teaching and learning situations. The class observation program is designed to help teachers improve instruction in the classrooms and laboratories to enhance student learning.

B. Consulting/Mentoring

In addition to GIFT and class observation, Peer Consultants/Mentors can work with you on a one-on-one basis to address your questions, challenges, or concerns in the areas of:

  • Teaching (assist faculty in the development and the manifestation of ideas in the areas of effective teaching)

  • Research (assist faculty in building and maintaining a productive research agenda)

  • Service (assist faculty in decisions to provide meaningful service at the department, school, and university level)

Disclaimer Notice

It is important for the faculty and anyone in need of consulting service to know that information or services obtained through this consulting is provided by members of the university community who are volunteers, and are non-professional counselors. Be it known, therefore, that no statement made, opinions expressed, actions taken, advice given, support provided - whether written or verbal, expressed, unexpressed, or transmitted in any form - electronic, or otherwise, shall be taken as necessarily representing the views, opinions, or policy of the university. Thus, the university, its affiliates, personnel as well as members of this consulting group are not liable for any errors stemming from services provided.

References

  1. Assessment, Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, http://www.siue.edu/innovation/assessment/
  2. Center for Teaching and Learning. The University of Texas in Austin, http://ctl.utexas.edu/
  3. Center for Teaching and Learning. University of Minnesota, http://www1.umn.edu/ohr/teachlearn/index.html
  4. Education Support Resources, University of Maine, Baylor University School of Medicine, http://www.bcm.edu/fac-ed/?PMID=6355
  5. Rolfe, A. "How to Design and Run Your Own Mentoring Program." www.mentoring-works.com
  6. Seldin, P. 1999. Changing Practices in Evaluating Teaching: A Practical Guide to Improved Faculty Performance and Promotion/Tenure Decisions. JB-Anker Series.
  7. University Board for Teaching and Learning, University of Reading, UK, http://www.reading.ac.uk/web/FILES/qualitysupport/peerreview.pdf
  8. University of Wisconsin-Madison Teaching Academy, https://tle.wisc.edu/teaching-academy/peer-review-teaching

Relevant SIUE Websites

  1. Blackboard: http://bb.siue.edu
  2. Office of Institutional Diversity and Inclusion: http://www.siue.edu/institutionaldiversityandinclusion