For guidance, networking and more, employees could soon connect easier

Looking for a little insight into the ins and outs of Case Western Reserve University? Interested in a professional development opportunity? Simply want to connect with others across campus? You’re not alone. To meet this need, a steering committee is developing the university’s first mentoring program for staff members, expected to begin this fall.

The pilot program will take the form of a mentoring circle, in which a mentor advises a small group of mentees for a month (including a monthly meeting and optional additional meetings), and then the group moves on together to a new mentor for the following month. Each mentor would have a different area of expertise and provide a new opportunity for relationship development to the mentees.

The mentoring circle format allows more staff members to be involved than a one-on-one format, and the groups are small enough that personal relationships and one-on-one mentoring opportunities can develop, explained Shirley Mosley, manager of organizational development and learning in the department of human resources.

“The goal of the program,” explained Erica Merritt, director of organizational development and learning in the department of human resources, “is to provide a unique development opportunity to members of the campus community. It’s an opportunity for them to grow and learn from the community and the mentors about topics that are important to them.”

Merritt, Mosley and their fellow steering committee members are still seeking input from staff members on who they would like to see as mentors and what topics interest them; this feedback will guide the development of the pilot program (take the survey here before July 15).

So far, feedback shows employees are interested in professional development, developing a better understanding of campus resources and, most of all, connecting to the university community.

“There’s so many people—older and younger—who feel so disconnected about what’s going on at the university, and they want to have someone that they can connect with to get some information and resources on how to do things,” Mosley said.

Members of the steering committee—Melissa Burrows, Kathleen Dowdell, Tenille Kaus Mitzi Vazquez-Long, Merritt and Mosley—will soon contact individuals about becoming mentors for the program; applications for mentees will be available in the fall. For more information, contact Merritt or Mosley.