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Critical incidents and critical requirements in mentoring

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Many traditional faculty now find themselves working with nontraditional students. New faculty models such as “mentoring” have emerged in response to the “new” student. The purpose of this study was to examine the mentoring role at Empire State College, State University of New York, on the basis of mentors' behavior responses to mentor-defined problems. The Critical Incident Technique was the method used to elicit reported and recalled incidents which either facilitated or impeded mentoring. Significant problems cited in the findings included “communications gap in mentor/student relationship” and the “student's incompletion of academic work.” Typical corresponding responses to such problems included “providing support,” “demythologizing the learning process,” “setting behavior limits,” and “assessing and reassessing student performance.” On the other hand, the critical requirements which were inductively derived from the critical incidents, as well as the practical implications which were gleaned from the study, revealed a definite extension of the traditional faculty role.

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Correspondence to Dr. Rudolph A. Cain Ed.D..

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The original document from which this article was adapted, including an extensive bibliography is on file with University of Microfilms International, Ann Arbor Michigan, 48108.

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Cain, R.A. Critical incidents and critical requirements in mentoring. Alternative Higher Education 6, 111–127 (1981). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF01079431

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  • Learning Process
  • Practical Implication
  • Significant Problem
  • Student Performance
  • Faculty Model