Effective Practices for Faculty Mentors, Program Directors, and MA Advisees

See below for our suggestions for MA students and their faculty advisors.

  1. Introduce advisees into the professional practices of the discipline (e.g., the nature of original research, networking with organizations, publishing, conference attendance)
  2. Encourage and guide student participation in professional conferences
  3. Suggest pertinent bibliographical sources and approaches for students’ research, and advise on accepted citation practices
  4. Provide editing advice on grammar, style and structure, and success of the overall argument
  5. Read and return written work to advisee promptly and with useful comments
  6. Communicate with faculty and staff regularly and as appropriate regarding students’ progress and specific matters as they arise
  7. Provide timely and thoughtful letters of recommendation
  8. Meet with advisees individually to discuss applying to PhD programs or preparing for the job market
  9. Provide support to advisees beyond graduation
  1. Initiate a timetable of regular meetings with the advisor and attend meetings at the agreed-upon time
  2. Define coursework and research goals with advisor
  3. Make an agenda and use a calendar to organize time and effort to meet deadlines
  4. If appropriate, submit drafts of written work with questions for advisor as needed
  5. Give ample time to faculty to read and comment on drafts of written work
  6. Respond fully to advisor’s comments and critiques, including incorporating agreed-upon changes and revisions
  7. Proofread and edit so that the final version of papers and thesis is as finished as possible
  8. When requesting a letter of recommendation, offer advisor and other faculty an updated CV or résumé, a copy of the proposal, statement of purpose or cover letter, and a memo or outline on the state of work in progress; if applicable, also a list of courses taken with the faculty member, as well as titles of papers and topics of presentations made in class; allow ample time (at least three weeks) for faculty to write a letter of recommendation
  9. Consult advisor on significant academic and professional decisions
  10. Keep advisor informed of academic and professional development after graduation

Responsibilities include:

  • Creating an intellectual community where students, faculty, and staff can thrive in pursuit of academic excellence
  • Creating and maintaining an environment where faculty, students, and staff feel welcomed, supported, included, respected, valued, and safe
  • Introducing new graduate students to the policies, practices, and resources of the department through an orientation or advising session and follow up as needed to ensure students’ understanding
  • Providing students with documentation of departmental policies, degree requirements, and timelines
  • Designating one or more members of the faculty as resources to help graduate students and faculty resolve conflicts: the department chair, the MA program director, or a designated departmental resource person
  • Resolving problems locally and quickly if possible; consult with organizations listed among the additional resources as needed