What is ACM About?

ACM promotes mid-career faculty development, success, and retention through peer mentoring groups organized into three career tracks: Leadership/Administration, Research Intensive, and Research and Teaching Excellence. Full Professors serve as ACM Guides for the affinity groups and for campus activities offered to mid-career track faculty.

In Spring 2020, the Advanced Career Management program launched its inaugural affinity group program: small groups of mid-career faculty who share common career goals (Leadership/Administration, Research Intensive, or Research and Teaching Excellence). Each group is facilitated by an “ACM Guide” who guides conversation and is the primary point of contact for the group.

Affinity Groups FAQ

What are Affinity Groups?

Affinity Groups are peer-to-peer mentoring groups focused on career development for Associate Professors and divided amongst three career tracks: Research Intensive, Research and Teaching Excellence, and Leadership. These groups meet 3-4 times per semester and discuss topics related to their career track or to one of the provided prompts. Each group is facilitated by a Full Professor “ACM Guide.”

How can I get involved with an Affinity Group?

You can join an Affinity Group by contacting the ADVANCE Coordinator at At the beginning of each Fall semester, there will be an Orientation meeting for interested faculty and you can sign up there as well.

How often do Affinity Groups meet?

Affinity Groups are encouraged to hold at least 3 one-hour meetings each semester and more often if possible. Additional mentoring opportunities are provided periodically beyond the group meetings but these are completely voluntary.

What topics do Affinity Groups discuss?

Affinity groups can discuss a range of topics related to the shared career track aspirations of the group. Topic prompts along with relevant readings are provided to the Senior Guide each month. These include Career Planning, Prioritizing for Career Goals, Networking, Managing Your FARS, and Sabbaticals from Proposal to Completion. While these are offered to all groups, participants are encouraged to discuss topics that arise in their group discussions.

I'm an Assistant Professor, can I be involved?

Thanks for your interest! Unfortunately, ACM is for mid-career faculty. A mentoring program exists for Assistant Professors: the Early Career Management (ECM) program. Newly tenured Associate Professors are strongly encouraged to participate in ACM to clarify expectations and focus on career goals.


What is an ACM Guide?

An ACM Guide is a tenured professor who meets with Affinity Group participants either in a group setting or one-on-one. The responsibilities of the ACM Guide vary depending on which type of guide you become:

ACM Affinity Group Guides are ACM Guides who meet regularly with an Affinity Group. Typically we have one Guide per group. The Guide is responsible for scheduling Affinity Group meetings, conducting the meetings, facilitating group conversation, and responding to a set of brief feedback questions for ACM. The Guide is the point of contact for the Group and will receive prompts and announcements for Group meetings from ACM.

ACM Support Guides are are ACM Guides who provide mentoring and career-specific expertise at ACM events each semester and through the ACM video series on career topics. Most Guides participate in one event per semester.

Resources and training for both Affinity Group Guides and Support Guides will be available through the ADVANCE Resource Center. If you're interested in joining the Affinity Group program as an ACM Guide, please contact us at

What is the time commitment?

ACM Affinity Group Guides should expect a time commitment of 1-2 hours per month for group meetings with additional time for discussion planning.  

ACM Support Guides should expect a time commitment of 1-2 hours per semester depending on the events you sign up for. Additional time for planning may be necessary.

Where Can I Learn More About Being An ACM Guide?

If you are interested in becoming an ACM Guide, please contact ADVANCE at

What Activities Can An ACM Support Guide Participate In?

Create A Video: Using one of the topics highlighted by the ACM Team as an area of interest for participants, Support Guides can create a short video (approx. 5min) discussing their experiences and providing advice on the topic. The ADVANCE Resource Center can assist in recording, creating transcripts, and adding subtitles to these recordings and will publish them on their website and YouTube channel. 

Zoom Office Hours: At least once a year, ACM sponsors an “Office Hour” with Support Guides open to any interested Associate Professor. These are one hour meetings, either in person or on Zoom, focused on the Associate’s career questions. Sometimes the Office Hour will be themed—Check Your Vita or When Should I Apply for Promotion? ACM will coordinate this meeting.

ACM Support Guide Video Series

Leadership Within The University

Join  Dr. Will Cantrell, Associate Provost and Dean of the Graduate School at Michigan Tech as he shares his experiences in leadership within a university setting.

Leadership In Professional Societies

Join Dr. Adrienne Minerick, PI of the ADVANCE Adaptation grant at Michigan Tech as she shares her experiences in leadership within professional societies. 

Commercialization of Research

Join Dr. Shiyue Fang, Professor of Chemistry at Michigan Tech as they share their experiences in navigating the commercialization process for academic researchers.

Sabbatical Leave

Dr. Raymond Shaw reflects on the value of a sabbatical for developing your career, your collegial networks, and as a positive experience for family as well.

ACM Guide Affinity Group Meeting Topics

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