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Mentoring Matters at Penn State

A mentor tutoring two studentsA Tool Kit for Effectively Mentoring Graduate Students

Success in graduate school depends in large measure on the quality of mentoring the student receives as well as a close and effective working relationship with an advisor. Ideally, a student’s advisor plays a mentoring role, providing advice on a variety of topics including dissertation projects, responsible conduct of research, professional development, and career selection. A student’s mentor and advisor may be one and the same, they may be different people or the advisor may be one of several mentors. Ideally, thesis committee members will also be an important part of a student’s mentoring team. Indeed, the most effective mentoring strategy might well involve a team or community of individuals playing various roles shaping and guiding the experiences of students. Regardless of the number or structure of these relationships, they should all be characterized by the desire to promote the academic, personal and professional success of graduate students.

Mentoring relationships are the responsibility of all parties involved and are most effective when they are built on mutual trust and respect. Recognizing that student needs and the nature of relationships change over time is also a critical component of successful mentoring relationships and should be explored at various points in the relationship by mentors and students alike.

This Tool Kit for Effectively Mentoring Graduate Students contains information and resources useful to all parties interested in effective mentoring.  The assembled materials address best practices for effective mentoring that consider the dimensions of diversity among graduate students and faculty.

Please select one of the following two options to learn more about mentoring at Penn State.


For Mentors                                      For Students

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