Mentor Expectations and Opportunities
The Multifaith Scholars program provides an excellent opportunity for Elon faculty to mentor bright and dedicated students for two years and to receive the professional development support necessary to build their skills and that relationship. Mentors will oversee the 4-credit hour research projects that students develop with their guidance and work with the MFS program director to ensure that students are fulfilling program responsibilities. Each Multifaith Scholar will register for a total of four credits of IRS 498 distributed across two years in discussion with the director of the program. Unless the student is studying abroad or there are other factors that would demand a different arrangement, one credit hour of IRS 498 should be taken in each of four terms during the student’s junior and senior years. Many scholars also elect to complete summer research during the SURE Program.
The mentor or co-mentors (1) provides guidance as the applicant develops their project and begins their research in the first semester of the program, (2) provides direction and support as the recipient engages in the proposed program of study, (3) consults weekly with the recipient about their ongoing work.
Successful mentorship of a Multifaith Scholar involves both academic oversight of the student’s project and support for the student’s personal growth. Specifically, mentors are expected to:
- Hold regular weekly meetings with their student during the regular academic year. Meetings should be substantive, involving preparation on the parts of both student and mentor. Mentors should review the student’s progress, address current areas of concern, and provide guidance for subsequent academic activities.
- Provide feedback that is developmental, extensive, constructive, clear, and prompt.
- Comply with Multifaith Scholarship expectations, policies, and deadlines, and communicate effectively and in a timely manner with the Multifaith Scholars director.
Professional Development and Mentor Support: In addition to the compensation provided to faculty mentoring students in 498 research hours, mentors may apply for funding for professional development related to their role. This program aims to support faculty members fully as they develop the skills and resources required for mentoring high-quality undergraduate research. The director of the program will have funds available to support the professional development of faculty in their roles as mentors. Mentors can access funds by advance application to the director, Dr. Amy Allocco. These funds are available as reimbursement for costs incurred to enhance the faculty member’s ability to mentor their Multifaith Scholar effectively. Examples include:
- travel to conferences where the primary role of the faculty member is mentor to their Multifaith Scholar;
- participation in workshops designed to develop mentoring skills;
- organizing a discussion series with other mentors to develop and share best practices;
- books, equipment, or other materials that will enhance the faculty’s ability to mentor their Multifaith Scholar; and
- other costs directly related to developing expertise and knowledge associated with mentoring your Multifaith Scholar.
Mentors of Multifaith Scholars may be eligible to apply for additional funds available from the Undergraduate Research Program to support professional development for mentors. These funds are competitive and offered on a rolling basis, and mentors of Multifaith Scholars may not apply for them until their own funding has been fully utilized.