Download the OWHE Mentorship Handbook!

What is the Mutual Mentoring Model?

The traditional model of the one-on-one, hierarchical mentoring relationship works for some, but can be challenging. To address this challenge, the OWHE mentorship program is structured around a network-based model of support called mutual mentoring. Mutual mentoring encourages professionals to cultivate a variety of mentor relationships to address specific areas of knowledge and expertise. For example, you may have one mentor that can help with the tenure process, and another who rocks at balancing her career in higher education and as a mom. Mutual mentoring also acknowledges the fact that we all have knowledge to share no matter if we’ve been in the field for 6 months or 20 years.

Mutual Mentoring is a hybrid of traditional mentoring and professional networking which encourages a focus on self-identified needs/goals rather than “one-size-fits-all.” It encourages professionals to create a network of multiple, diverse mentors. It is a proactive, empowering approach to mentoring, encouraging professionals to take initiative to seek out support rather than wait for it to show up. It also provides opportunities to be mentored and mentor others (Sorcinelli, 2016).

In short, mutual mentoring is self-driven, functional and flexible!

What can I expect from the program?

Women who sign up for the mentorship program each year can expect to connect with one to three mentorship partners at the OWHE Conference Mentorship Breakfast each January. Those who are unable to attend the conference will connect with their mentorship partner(s) via email or phone each January (facilitated by the Director of Professional Advancement post-conference). The first meeting in January sets the foundation for a year of engagement and professional growth.

Mentorship partners follow a structured Mentorship Handbook throughout the year. A monthly communication plan is established, individual goals are clarified, and monthly activities and newsletters are available to spur growth and conversation. A Google Group is also available for posting questions or sharing resources with the entire Mentorship Program group.

What is the Mentorship Breakfast?

Program participants who attend the conference will get to meet their partner(s) during a breakfast session. At the breakfast, participants are grouped up with folks based on their wants/needs/goals. There’s also a time for networking with other women outside of your group at the breakfast, so participants will get a chance to meet folks who could mentor them in a specific area and meet folks who they could mentor in another area. This process allows us to take control of our mentorship experience and add more colleagues to our current mentorship network, as many of us already have great mentorship relationships established outside of OWHE.

What topics are discussed?

Some topics of interest that will frame our process are:

  • New Professionals Career Resources/Development
  • Mid-level professionals – Expanding career experiences
  • Functional Area Support – Academic Advising, Teaching, Identity Development/Support, Student Life, etc.
  • Higher Education Abroad
  • Professional Growth, Support, Guidance
  • Goal setting and achievement
  • Career Moms
  • Navigating Career Barriers
  • Graduate School/Ph.D. Support
  • Leadership Skills in Higher Education
  • Deciding Career Pathways
  • Interview and Job Search Prep
  • Conflict Resolution and Communication
  • Self-Care, Balance, Well-being
  • Negotiating Strategies
  • Women of Color Experiences
  • Career Satisfaction/Success​

All levels of experience are welcome!

  • Graduate Students (Current and Recent Graduate Students) - Gain insight in thriving in graduate school, building your professional persona and network, and finding your ideal entry level position at the institution that is your best fit.
  • Early Career (1-5 years in the field) - Gain insight in making strides and creating change in your current position; cultivating experiences and skills to meet your long term goals in higher ed; and achieving success in your field.
  • Ph.D. Students (Current and Prospective) - Gain insight regarding earning your Ph.D. from the application process to the dissertation process.
  • Mid to Advanced Career (5+ years in the field, both Masters & Ph.D) - Gain insight of principles of successful leadership and discuss best practices for managing your career.

I missed the sign-up deadline for this year. How can I get involved?

Missed the deadline? No worries! There are still many ways to grow your mentorship network.

  • Download the OWHE Mentorship Handbook and follow along. From goal setting to monthly activities and questions, this handbook can be completed with a partner or group of colleagues on your campus.
  • Looking for a mentorship partner on your campus? Start with an Institutional Rep (list of reps coming soon!). OWHE Reps are available to connect with new members, offer resources, and connect you with other women on campus.
  • Connect with other OWHE members on Facebook or Twitter.
  • Check out the OWHE blog. You might find someone who’s experienced in an area you’re interested in. Writers’ emails are posted at the bottom of each blog post.
  • Reach out to the OWHE board! We’re happy to answer any questions you have.

Connect with Women Leaders

Networking with women leaders in the state of Oregon will enhance your professional experience. We look forward to creating opportunities for women to meet, connect and develop together.

Engage in Professional Development

Participate in opportunities for professional growth through educational programs that are provided by our campus contact network right on your campus, in your region or at a state wide gathering. The focus is on providing you with the leadership skills and mentoring necessary to lead.

Lead Change in Higher Education

Higher education in the state of Oregon provides a dynamic environment where women can impact change. Whether in the community college, 4-year institution, public, or private, we want you to be a part of shaping the future of higher education by empowering and affirming your leadership abilities.