Updates to the 1-to-1 mentoring model

Dear colleagues, 

The Mentoring Program Subcommittee is excited to share with you an update to the 1-to-1 mentoring model. Effective January 1, 2022, the duration for 1-to-1 mentoring relationships will be for six months, as opposed to the current duration of one year. This change is due to two factors, each with the goal of better meeting participants’ needs and making a more administratively sustainable program.

  1. Mentoring relationships don’t have to last an entire year. When the Mentoring Program was first founded in 1994, matches originally required a commitment of two years(!). The program shortened matches to a one-year commitment sometime over the past several years but ultimately, each mentoring pair can establish its own timeline. Some pairs remain in touch for the rest of their careers and others have only short-term specific needs. Shortening the official 1-to-1 match duration to six months gives mentoring pairs the flexibility to gracefully part ways or informally continue their relationship. 
  2. We always need more mentors. The desire for mentorship is evergreen and has intensified over the pandemic but our “supply” of mentors has been strained. We all are experiencing burnout over this long pandemic. We hope that reducing the time commitment will encourage more people to mentor. We welcome mentors at any career stage and appreciate your generosity of time and expertise.

Practical details:

We will still maintain the same service for the 1-to-1 matching track but on a shortened timeline. Once we match you in our system, we will email both participants with a letter of introduction that shares some details on why you two were matched and some initial guidance on getting started with mentoring. We check in with participants after three months to make sure the mentoring relationship is going well and send an end-of-match acknowledgment at the end of six months. As a reminder, you are always welcome to informally continue your mentoring relationship, or feel free to submit another application to meet someone new.

What does this mean for current matches?

Matches active before January 1, 2022 will maintain the current duration of one year and will not experience any changes. We will check in with these participants at their six-month check-in and upon the conclusion of their match after one year. 

What does this mean for current applicants?

If you have already applied or plan to apply before mid-December then we will try our best to match you before January 1st. Otherwise, if you would prefer to wait until January to be part of the 6 month track then please let us know. We will also follow up with applicants in December to verify their preferences.

The Subcommittee is proud of our work maintaining this valuable service for SAA membership and we look forward to the positive impacts this tweak will have on the Mentoring Program. If you have feedback, please get in touch!

The SAA Mentoring Program Subcommittee

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