As a dynamic community of student affairs practitioners, committed to advancing international standards for student services and development of students in higher education, establishing a global mentoring program for early career professionals and new student affairs graduates was an important priority. IASAS launched its global eMentoring Program in January 2016, linking student affairs leaders internationally with proteges who were primarily new graduates of preparatory programs in student affairs, or practitioners with less than two years’ experience in roles ranging from international services and admissions, academic success, student advising and career services, to new student services directors.

Now commencing its fourth year, the program is far reaching and has participants from America, Australia, Cambodia, Canada, China, Egypt, England, Germany, Greece, Japan, Kuwait, Liberia, Lithuania, Nepal, New Zealand, Nigeria, Pakistan, the Philippines, Qatar and South Africa. IASAS Mentors are from a variety of top institutional leadership posts across the globe. Many mentors have over 20 years’ career experience and are either past or current serving vice-presidents for Student Affairs, deans of students, or student services directors. This provides an exceptional resource of professionals to link with, bringing rich experiences and perspectives to their mentoring partnerships.

IASAS global eMentoring uses online mentoring, video chat, social media, email, and/or telephone to link proteges with an experienced and collaborative network of peers who are interested in developing the skills, capability and confidence of emerging student services leaders. Individual partnerships are tailored to the diverse personal backgrounds of participants, locations, expectations, digital resources, and availability of both individuals in the mentoring partnership.

In 2018, mentees told us that they: received resources to further their understanding of international higher education and the organisation of student affairs portfolios in other countries; increased their awareness of Indigenous student experiences and matters; expanded their professional networks; considered their higher degree opportunities for professional development.

Hosted with the University of the Sunshine Coast in Australia, IASAS global eMentoring has now seen over 50 mentees participate in the program. It has provided a valuable opportunity enabling them to explore student affairs career advancement planning and ideas, learn more about contemporary practices, and increase their personal effectiveness.

Why is mentoring valuable?

  • Linking with an experienced and collaborative network of peers who are knowledgeable experts interested in developing the skills, capability and confidence of emerging student services leaders.
  • Increasing your personal effectiveness and success.
  • Exploring career advancement opportunities and ideas.
  • Accessing different perspectives around strategic issues based on the career experiences and professional insight of peers.
  • Guidance in specialised fields or technical disciplines.
  • Being challenged to develop or integrate new practice.

What does it involve?

  • Matching mentees with student affairs/services Professional Mentors.
  • A six to eight month mentoring partnership from the time you are matched.
  • Agreeing to the timing, frequency and duration of meetings.
  • Identifying partnership goals and mechanisms for achievement.
  • Ongoing program advice and feedback through IASAS.

If you have any questions, on being part of this program, please email Eva-Marie Seeto at mentoring@iasas.global

A Reflection on e-mentoring from professional mentor, Dr. Tom Ellett

1. How has participation in the e-mentoring program benefited you professionally?
Any time one gets the opportunity to learn from another colleague with a different cultural context, DO IT! I have learned language differences, the context of the educational systems, traditional activities, food related specialties, how higher ed is funded, and so much more. It has helped me better converse with international students who come from these different countries as they visit my institution. And finally it provides me a perspective that the way we do things in US is different, not necessarily better. I have been much more aware of this as I engage with international colleagues throughout my work. It helps me realize there is not ONE way to approach our work, but many!

2. What might someone expect to gain as an e-mentor?
Perspective, new ways to think through things and an international friend to visit when you go to their country! Or connect with at the next international conference. I value broadening my knowledge base and realize that we are all in the same line of work, building stronger communities and helping students achieve their dreams by getting a degree (and much more).

3. How has your perspective of student affairs around the world grown through the experience? 
Very much so. I have benefited from working at an institution with a dozen global sites, and have had the ability to visit the majority of them. I think more broadly on what student affairs does, and how we need to be cognizant of language and the activities we do to ensure that we don’t exclude people in what we do.