INVESTIGATING THE BENEFITS OF MENTORING-BASED INDUCTION FOR ADJUNCT LECTURERS IN A DISTANCE LEARNING UNDERGRADUATE DEGREE PROGRAMME

M. Tan

Singapore Institute of Management (SINGAPORE)
Recognizing the importance of faculty support among newly joined adjunct lecturers, the Singapore Institute of Management Global Education (SIM GE) introduced a mentoring-based induction programme in 2011 as part of their adjunct faculty induction activity. This formalized faculty mentoring programme would focus on providing both socio-emotional and instructional support to adjunct lecturers in their first academic year of teaching the University of London International Programme (UOL IP). This study investigated the benefits of mentoring in terms of transition support and retention for new adjunct lecturers as well as the impact on teaching practices for both new and veteran lecturers. A mentoring guide was developed to address any gaps identified.

Face to face interviews were conducted for 8 mentors and 12 new adjunct lecturers (mentees). 7 mentor respondents are adjunct lecturers and one a full time faculty member. Interview questions were designed to identify the biggest challenges faced by mentees during their first year, job satisfaction, intention to continue teaching and how have their mentors supported them. Corroborative data was drawn from the mentors’ responses to examine benefits of mentorship on new lecturers.

Results indicated that mentoring contributed to positive transition and improved instructional practices especially among same-subject pairs. Mentoring benefits on retention was not apparent however mentees who have responded having intention to quit interacted less frequently with their mentors. The study also found that due to limited common grounds among the diverse adjunct faculty members, it is critical for the matching process to facilitate the development of shared interest between the mentor and mentee.