The Professional Development Mentor Program

The Professional Development Mentor Program is a unique program designed for employees who are passionate about their professional growth and development at COC. Mentoring acknowledges, encourages, and honors the uniqueness of each individual and brings something new and exciting to the relationship. It is a sharing relationship in which the mentor and mentee share their particular expertise and knowledge, listen actively, encourage creative thinking, and the discovery of new ideas and pathways to professional growth. The open nature and inclusivity of the program means that knowledge-sharing flourishes beyond department boundaries and learning connections can occur across silos and departments.

The purpose of this program is to:
  • Provide learning experiences to expand and enhance participants current skills and abilities;
  • Provide an opportunity for participants to learn about the operational procedures and daily responsibilities of another department on campus, develop a new skill set, or enhance current skills;
  • Enable those who want to further develop their leadership abilities to gain experience from a mentor, who, as an established leader on campus, helps to shape the daily momentum on campus and moves us forward;
  • Give participants an opportunity to develop a “big picture” appreciation for how the college works and learn how to get things done operationally;
  • Afford mentees a chance to make connections and network with their colleagues who are in various departments on campus.


Throughout the program, participants will:

  • Gain valuable knowledge, skills and experiences from another person (your mentor and others you will connect with in various departments)
  • Build or expand your network on campus
  • Know where to locate the college’s policies and procedures
  • Be exposed to and appreciate the various functions essential to how the college operates
  • Receive support and guidance that will help you achieve your career goals

Program Structure

Learning Contract
Those who are interested in participating as a mentor or mentee are invited to complete an application, available from the Professional Development Office by calling Ext. 3100. Modeled after the Association of California Community College Administrators (ACCCA) Mentor Program, participants will be paired with a mentor who is a fulltime member of the staff who will guide, advise, and inspire them to reach their professional development goal. Mentors will work with their mentee to develop a goal to work on during their semester together. This goal can be a personal growth goal or it can be a goal you are working on that is part of your department’s program plan. This goal will be identified on the Professional Growth Plan form, and mentors will help their mentee identify the steps they will need to take to achieve that goal.

Four Obligations

1.All mentors and mentees will attend an orientation session at the beginning of the semester.

2.Attend a mid-semester meeting where mentees can share their accomplishments and challenges, and identify the steps they will need to take during the remainder of the semester to achieve their stated goal. The mid-semester meeting will provide an opportunity for mentees to share their experiences and network with each other.

3.The semester will conclude with a celebration breakfast where mentees will have an opportunity to reflect on their goal and the progress they’ve made during the course of the semester to achieve that goal. Mentors will assist in identifying any “next steps” needed for their mentee to achieve their goal.

4.In addition to these are the formal program meetings, mentoring pairs will be responsible for arranging to meet outside of these structured activities, between classes and other meetings to work on priorities that will enhance the mentee’s ability to fulfill his/her primary job functions at COC and plan for his/her future development.


Program Requirements
Mentors and Mentees accepted into the program will be expected to fulfill the following program requirements:

  • Mentors and Mentees must attend an orientation session at the beginning of the semester, the mid-semester meeting, and the celebration breakfast at the end of the semester;
  • Mentors and mentees must meet at least once per month outside of the formal program meetings;
  • Mentees must complete a Professional Growth Plan form, stating the goal they want to work on during that semester. Mentors will work with their mentee to identify the steps the mentee needs to take to achieve that goal. The steps will be included on the Professional Growth Plan form;
  • The mentee will complete a written reflection piece that identifies their stated goal, a description of the research and work they’ve done with their mentor over the course of the semester, and a listing of the next steps they plan to take to achieve their goal;
  • Mentors and mentees must maintain confidentiality.


Program Outcomes
By the end of the program, mentees will have had an opportunity to:

  • Explore the roles, responsibilities, and daily duties of the mentor and the mentor’s department/division in an effort to understand the “big picture” perspective of how the college operates;
  • Engage in job shadowing to learn the inner workings of a specific campus department or initiative;
  • Develop relationships with other departments on campus as well as community members and organizations as appropriate;
  • Be exposed to opportunities on campus and in the community in which they can develop partnerships, participate on boards, or volunteer their time and services;
  • Develop a career goal and identified position that outlines the education, skills and experience needed to move into the mentee’s desired position.

How to Apply
To participate either as a mentor or mentee in the Professional Development Mentor Program, please complete an application and return it to the Professional Development Office.

Mentee Application

Mentor Application

For additional information, please contact Leslie Carr in the Professional Development office at or at campus extension 3100.


Mentor Program for New Online Faculty

The Mentor Program for New Online Faculty is designed to provide additional support to instructors during the first semester or two of online teaching. The program will pair new online instructors with instructors who are experienced with online teaching in order to provide feedback on course design and offer ongoing encouragement and advice.

Mentors will earn 8 hours of FLEX credit per semester, with a maximum of 16 hours per academic year.

New online instructors can request a mentor by contacting Jennifer Brezina at If you are an experienced online instructor and would like to become a mentor, please contact Jennifer Brezina at the same email address listed above.



New Fulltime Faculty Mentor Program

Newly hired fulltime faculty can have the benefit of having a “friend in the business” at COC; mentors can help newcomers work on professional projects, develop curriculum, or they can be simply a source of guidance and information, all in a non-evaluative manner.

To sign up to be a mentor, please contact Edel Alonso at . Eight hours of FLEX credit per semester will be given to mentors.



Mentor Program for Noncredit Faculty

The Mentor Program for Noncredit Faculty is designed to provide additional support to noncredit instructors who are interested in improving their teaching skills. The program will pair noncredit instructors with others who are experienced teachers in order to provide feedback on course design as well as ongoing encouragement and advice. Some participants may desire feedback and advice regarding general teaching strategies, while other participants may be interested in issues specific to noncredit teaching, such as managing multi-level classes, open entry/open exit classes, and off-campus teaching. The primary purposes of this program are to encourage reflection and discussion of noncredit pedagogy and to provide moral support for noncredit instructors.

Qualifications for Mentors
-Fulltime faculty members who have expertise in active learning, assessment techniques or working with nontraditional student populations
--Completion of the one-hour Noncredit Faculty Mentor Training session

FLEX credit
Mentors will earn 6 hours of FLEX credit per semester, with a maximum of 12 hours per academic year. The time requirements for mentors are as follows:

  • Attend a mentor training session prior to mentoring a noncredit instructor (1 hour)
  • Meet with the new instructor prior to the class being offered to provide feedback on course design (1 hour)
  • Meet with the new instructor (formally and informally) throughout the semester to provide ongoing support (4 hours)

As schedules are created, noncredit instructors can request a mentor by contacting Jose Martin via email at A list of these new instructors, including their disciplines, will be compiled. A list of potential mentors based on the qualifications listed above will be generated each semester with the assistance of the Community and Continuing Education office. These instructors will be contacted to ask the if they are interested in being a mentor. If possible, mentors will be matched with instructors from their discipline.


Adjunct Faculty Mentor Program

Adjunct faculty bring a wealth of experience to COC, often from other campuses and also from industry. Newly hired adjuncts can be "shown the ropes," including the resources that are available on campus, by a colleague who understands what it is like to work in different locations at odd hours.

Adjuncts who have completed the Associate's Program are eligible to be mentors. Those interested in participating as a mentor or mentee, please contact Ruth Rassool at