On Being a Mentor

A Guide for Higher Education Faculty

By W. Brad Johnson, W. Brad Johnson

© 2006 – Psychology Press

260 pages

Purchasing Options:
Paperback: 9780805848977
pub: 2006-08-07
US Dollars$48.95
Hardback: 9780805848960
pub: 2006-08-07
US Dollars$140.00

e–Inspection Copy

About the Book

On Being a Mentor is the definitive guide for faculty in higher education who wish to mentor both students and junior faculty. It features strategies, guidelines, best practices, and recommendations for professors who wish to excel in this area. Written in a pithy style, this no-nonsense guide offers straightforward advice about managing problem mentorships and measuring mentorship outcomes. Practical cases studies, vignettes, and step-by-step guidelines illuminate the process of mentoring throughout.

Other outstanding features include:

  • research-based advice on the rules of engagement for mentoring, mentor functions, qualities of good mentors, and methods for forming and managing student-faculty relationships;
  • summaries of the common mentoring relationship phases and guidance for adhering to ethical principles when serving as a mentor;
  • guidance about mentoring specific populations, including undergraduate and graduate students, faculty, and protégés who differ from the mentor in terms of sex and race; and
  • recommendations for department chairs and deans on how to foster an academic culture of mentoring.

On Being a Mentor is intended for professors, department chairs, and deans in a variety of educational settings, including colleges, universities, and medical and law schools and is suitable for professors in all fields of study including the sciences, humanities, psychology, education, and management.


"This book has multiple audiences and numerous potential uses. It can be used in graduate courses focused on student and faculty development and with cohorts and other groups where acclimation to the academy and relational learning are critical….the teachings of this book could serve faculty and administrators at all levels of experience. A final audience is mentoring scholars and researchers for whom this contemporary compendium of ideas and practices can further inform professions."

Education Review

"…Such a guide is an absolute necessity for any faculty member who cares about learning the art of mentoring and self-evaluation in the process…I got drawn in from beginning to end."

Carol A. Mullen

University of South Florida

"…The book will make mentoring a more practical process and provide a framework on how to do it…this book could become the authoritative guide for faculty, across disciplines in American Higher Education."

James M. O'Neil

University of Connecticut

"The value of this book is that it offers an excellent and comprehensive coverage of the research with regard to mentoring…The author clearly states what the nature of the problems can be."

Toni Campbell

San Jose State University

"… Johnson's book offers bountiful suggestions for developing productive mentor-protege relationships and offers an honest picture of just how difficult it is to be an effective mentor… all of us can learn much about mentoring from reading Mentor…" - William Buskist & Christopher Howard, PsycCRITIQUES

Table of Contents

Contents: Preface. Part I: On Mentoring. Why Mentoring Matters. The Contours of Mentoring. Mentoring in Academe: A Glimpse Inside. Part II: On Being a Mentor. What Mentors Do: Mentoring Functions. Who Mentors Are: Mentorship-Facilitating Characteristics and Qualities. Designing a Mentorship. The Seasons of Mentorship: Common Relationship Phases. The Ethical Mentor: Doing No Harm. Part III: On Mentoring Specific Groups. Mentoring Undergraduates. Mentoring Graduate Students. Mentoring Junior Faculty. Mentoring Across Sex. Mentoring Across Race. Part IV: Managing Mentorships. Diagnosis and Treatment of Mentorship Dysfunction. Assessing Mentoring Outcomes. Recommendations for Department Chairs and Deans.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
EDUCATION / Guidance & Orientation