This Master of Leadership Development thesis project is a proposal for a formal staff mentor program at Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College. The mentor program is just one of multiple pieces that are being proposed to make improvements to the staff development opportunities offered at Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College. Two other pieces currently being suggested are a supervisor training program proposed by SMWC staff member, Marie Elliott, for her Master of Leadership Development thesis project, as well as a New Employee Orientation. This third proponent is being proposed by a newly developed committee solely responsible for organizing and coordinating a formal orientation for new employees. Each of these opportunities satisfies the Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College's Strategic Plan component 3.3.2, that specifically focuses on staff development improvements.
This thesis discusses Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College's historical past and current circumstances that provide support for a formal staff mentor program that could benefit the College. Currently, the College has an informal staff mentor committee which has given this formal staff mentor program proposal a solid foundation. The research goes into the great depth of the benefits received by mentors, mentees, and organizations when successful mentor programs are implemented. It also covers a variety of existing mentoring styles, reviews generational mentoring, provides supporting facts as to why mentor programs are so important within organizations, and specifies mentor and mentee responsibilities and ideal qualities. The importance of appropriate pairing and evaluation methods are also reviewed. Financial costs of each aspect of the proposed mentor program have been provided, followed by the guidelines of the formal mentor program plan. Lastly, the challenges and future work of the program are presented.