Three people sit at a table, talking while looking over documents by a computer. An overlay reads, "Elon University Center for Engaged Learning. Mentoring Matters. Defining Mentoring Relationships."

Defining Mentoring and/as Mentoring Relationships

If mentoring matters, what is meant by mentoring, and what does high-quality mentoring entail? Despite over four decades of research on mentoring, there is no universally accepted definition (Mullen and Klimaitis 2021). Ubiquitous use of the term has not only…

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Meaningful Undergraduate Experiences and How They Matter Now

The Center for Engaged Learning periodically conducts surveys on students’ experiences in higher education and their application to students’ post-graduation lives. Our latest iteration surveyed 956 U.S. residents who were 18-34 years old and graduates of two- or four-year higher…

Three students are talking around computers while a professor listens and smiles.

Cultivating Vulnerability in Mentoring Relationships

Recently, I co-facilitated an undergraduate workshop about intentionally building connections with supportive faculty, staff, and peer mentors. In alignment with principles from relational mentoring, we collectively acknowledged that embracing some personal vulnerability was crucial for building meaningful interpersonal connections (Johnson…

Two women sit together at a table, deep in conversation. Text overlay reads, “Deeper life interactions have a strong potential to positively influence students, and mentoring relationships are an opportunistic space to weave in these interactions.”

Mentoring Relationships That Go “Beneath the Surface”

Over the past few decades, numerous scholars have conducted research on mentoring relationships in college (Crisp and Cruz 2009; Jacobi 1991). Although much has been explored and written about mentoring undergraduates, Vandermaas-Peeler and Moore (2022) recently articulated a summative and…