Author(s): Richard L Peterson, Mark L Berenson, Ram B Misra, David J Radosevich
The objective of our investigation was to design a formal mentoring program for novice professors who come from another culture and are recent graduates from a doctoral program. We studied a sample of eight international novice professors in the program to demonstrate its effectiveness. What distinguishes this program from others is that it offers mentoring to help professors both improve the quality of their instruction and adapt to the culture of the country and of the university. The methodology used was that of case study with a design of pre-test, intervention, post-test. The professors who participated in the mentoring program demonstrated an improvement of 0.95 points (on a scale of five points, p<0.01) in their student evaluations. The principal causes of deficient teaching performance in the novice international faculty were: the absence of pedagogical knowledge and the lack of teaching experience, as well as lack of familiarity with the country culture and the organizational culture of the university. Our study shows that a mentoring program can help improve low student evaluations of novice professors who come from another culture and are recent graduates of a doctoral program.