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 Senior 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 a “Senior Guide” who guides conversation and is the primary point of contact for the group.
About Affinity Groups
Affinity Groups FAQ
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 “Senior Guide.”
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.
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.
You can join an Affinity Group by contacting the ADVANCE Coordinator at email@example.com. At the beginning of each Fall semester, there will be an Orientation meeting for interested faculty and you can sign up there as well.
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.
Senior Guide FAQ
A senior guide is a tenured professor who meets with Affinity Group participants either in a group setting or one-on-one. The responsibilities of the senior guide vary depending on which type of guide you become:
Companion Guides are Senior Guides who meet regularly with an Affinity Group. Typically we have 1 companion guide per group. The Companion 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.
Support Guides are are Senior 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 Companion Guides and support guides will be available through the ADVANCE Resource Center. If you're interested in joining the Affinity Group program as a Senior Guide, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Companion Guides should expect a time commitment of 1-2 hours per month for group meetings with additional
time for discussion planning.
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.
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.
Support Guide Video Series
Join Dr. Will Cantrell, Associate Provost and Dean of the Graduate School at Michigan Tech as they share their experiences in leadership within a university setting.
Join Dr. Adrienne Minerick, Interim Dean of the Pavlis Honors College, President-Elect of the American Society for Engineering Education, and PI of the ADVANCE Adaptation grant at Michigan Techas they share their experiences in leadership within professional societies.
Join Dr. Shiyue Fang, Professor of Chemistry at Michigan Tech as they share their experiences in navigating the commercialization process for academic researchers.
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.
Senior Guide Affinity Group Meeting Topics
Meeting 1: Planning
- Resilience: How To Handle Obstacles/Rejections
- Organizing By Three's
- Balancing Research With Teaching and Service
- One Faculty Member's Journey To Stay Motivated, Engaged, and Successful
- How to Beat Mid-Career Malaise
- 45 Pieces of Career Advice That Will Get You To The Top
- 5 Steps For Developing A Mid Career Plan
- How To Write A Professional Development Plan (With Examples)
- How To Create Career Development Plan (Template)
- Making Mid-Career Meaningful
- How To Build A Meaningful Career
Meeting 2: Prioritization
- Hundreds of Academics Give Advice To Their Younger Selves
- Work Life Balance: A Guide For Professors
- The Benefits Of Developing A Master Writing Plan Over The Summer (Opinion)
- Resetting Your Research Agenda
- The Importance Of Aligning Your Career With Your Core Values
- The Mystery of Faculty Priorities
Meeting 3: Networking
- Conference Networking Tips
- Social Media for Academe
- Try Out Some Of Our Networking Tips
Meeting 1: COVID Statements
A Faculty COVID Statement is to be included in every faculty member’s Faculty Activity Report for the 2021-22 academic year. Discussion might address the reasons for these statements, what to include, and some how to write them.
- The ADVANCE website has a comprehensive introduction to the COVID Impact Statement that includes examples and sample language as well as a link to the Unscripted blog post by Dr. Rebecca Ong about her experiences with and suggestions about COVID impacts.
- There are explicit guidelines for how dossier reviewers, both internal and external, are to evaluate a COVID statement and these might be both reassuring and useful in writing such statements.
Meeting 2: Sabbaticals
Mid-career faculty are eligible for faculty sabbatical leaves. Discussion might address such issues as: how, when, and why to apply; what to say in the proposal; how to get the most from your time away; what to do with the kids; and final reports.
Michigan Tech Policies
- Michigan Tech’s sabbatical policy: https://www.mtu.edu/provost/faculty/sabbatical-leave/
- Sabbatical leave eligibility and compensation is governed by Board of Trustees Policy 6.7, Sabbatical Leave.
- Guidelines and application procedures are governed by Senate Procedure 706.1.1, Sabbatical Leave Procedures.
- Faculty Handbook: https://www.mtu.edu/faculty-handbook/faculty/chapter4/s4-1/
- Faculty Handbook information: Appendix E, Sabbatical Leave Procedures.
- Sabbatical Leave Instructions
- Effective Sabbatical Recommendations
- Five Steps to a Successful Sabbatical
- Goltz Sotirin Sabbatical Leave Research
- How to Sabbatical
- Top Ten Sabbatical Tips
Meeting 3: Open Topic
Groups may address any of the topics suggested on the ACM website. For example, it may be useful to return to your Planning materials to assess your plans and strategies. Or you may have opportunities for Networking during virtual conferences so that topic may be useful. Alternatively, there may be a topic that emerged in discussions for which ACM has provided materials --you will be informed about these topics and we encourage you to talk about them. Finally, you may want to invite a support guide to joining your meeting. See the Support Guide section below for information about the topics these guides can talk with you about and contact ACM to arrange a visit.
Meeting 4: Focus Group Feedback
This meeting will be a wrap-up meeting with visits from the ACM team for purposes of assessment and feedback.