Faculty’s experience of a formal mentoring programme: the perfect fit
Background: The aging academic cohort in the faculty of health sciences necessitates transfer of knowledge and skills as a crucial component of sustainability. Formal mentoring programmes at higher education institutions aim to create a platform where experienced faculty can mentor newly appointed faculty to adjust to the context and gain knowledge and exposure. The formal mentoring programmes’ structure and outcomes can create challenges and prevent the perfect fit between the mentor and mentee.
Purpose: The aim is to provide a description of the experiences of mentors and mentees of a formal mentoring programme in a higher education institution. This pilot study strives to provide recommendations to enhance mentorship experiences that facilitate adjustment and knowledge and skill transfer through the perfect fit.
Methods: A qualitative, descriptive case study was conducted as a pilot study. The case used was the formal mentoring programme. The unit of analysis was three purposefully selected faculty and researchers who were intimately involved in the mentoring process. Guided narrative reports were used and analysed by Tesch’s content analysis.
Results: Three themes emerged namely, knowledge and skills transfer, mentoring programme and mentoring process.
Conclusion: The formal mentoring programme contributed positively to professional development, but posed challenges related to structural components. It is recommended that the structured mentoring programme be merged with informal mentoring to make it more authentic.
Keywords: Formal mentoring programme, the perfect fit.