You and Your Mentor
The Mentor Selection Process
When you have been formally enrolled, the first step in your program will be the selection of a faculty mentor. There are two distinct routes to mentor selection. The first option is to select from among the mentors on our established faculty. The second option is to identify a qualified potential mentor who is not yet on our faculty. We welcome your full participation in these activities. After looking through our faculty listing online, choose a possible mentor. If the mentor you choose is available we will move forward in connecting you with that mentor. If the requested mentor is not available, we will assist you in identifying additional viable options for your selection.
Often, students choose to recruit their own mentor. Guidelines as to who can and cannot be your mentor appear below. You should advise the administration as early as possible that you wish to recommend a mentor of your own choosing. The University will contact that individual, providing all necessary materials to submit an application to our faculty.
The prospective mentor will be asked to furnish a resume and a brief biographical sketch so that the necessary academic credentials and professional background may be verified. He or she must sign an Adjunct Faculty Agreement. If your proposed mentor meets all of the requirements, and agrees to work within the IUPS system, a letter of acceptance will be issued, and the new mentor will become a member of the adjunct faculty.
When you or our Admissions Committee chooses a mentor from our faculty we will supply the potential mentor with key documents from your application file to help in making a decision to accept the mentorship. We also recommend that you set up a call or Zoom meeting with your potential mentor to make sure that you are a good fit together.
If the mentor agrees to accept you and you do likewise, the mentor-student relationship is considered formally established.
Presenting Yourself to Your Mentor
Your mentor needs to know as much as possible about you as a student in order to properly guide your studies. Your mentor should become very familiar with your particular areas of academic strength and weakness to assure your success in your degree program. We will furnish your mentor with all the background material which you provided when you applied for admission.
Your mentor will look through your file carefully and may ask for further details to help assist you in formulating your plan of study. He or she will be responsible for verifying that all degree requirements have been met and for recommending approval of your thesis or dissertation.
How Much Contact
In your initial discussions, you and your mentor will determine how much interaction is to be expected. It is better to spend the time at the beginning of a process to establish exactly what is being asked of you and to be certain that you know how to proceed. To that end, written communication via email often serves both parties as a strong support to regularly scheduled telephone calls. You can even explore the use of other methods of communication (audio and/or video recordings) with your mentor at the beginning of your studies.
Communication with Your Mentor
The most essential element of your program is your communication with your mentor and the University. Establish a regular schedule for communication with your mentor. This should include regularly scheduled telephone or Zoom discussions, as well as exchange of e-mail.
What if We Don't Get Along?
It is important to know that in unusual circumstances you can appeal to the University for re-assignment. This rarely happens since you are a part of the mentor selection process. We encourage you to consider seriously the disruption that would inevitably occur if you were to switch mentors mid-stream. All of our faculty have sought participation in this model of distance education and are eager to help you achieve your goals. Should you decide to change your mentor during the course of your program, we will be grateful for as much insight as you can provide us about the nature of your dissatisfaction with your mentor. We will use that information, along with your original application file, to initiate a second mentor search. (Please note that the standard University mentor change fee is $500.)
If a mentor withdraws because the student fails to cooperate, communicate, complete assignments, or comply with University requirements, the student will also be required to pay the mentor change fee to replace the mentor who withdrew. Mediation is available.