by Bill Shamhart, Ophelia Carrasco, Sarah McLemore
The SanFACC Mentor Program is in its second year. It was developed from a request from the Presidents of SanFACC to address current and future leadership needs. The San Gabriel Foothill Association of Community Colleges is composed of Glendale, Pasadena, Citrus, Chaffey, Mt. SAC and Rio Hondo. The goal of the SanFACC Mentor Program is to identify future community college leaders and pair them with a mentor whose background and expertise correspond to the mentees’ professional development needs, to help them prepare for administrative leadership positions. It is available to all faculty and staff. Selected mentees are paired with mentors from another SanFACC college. If you are interested in applying please return your completed packet to Staff Development by Friday, April 20, 2012.
Ophelia Carrasco, Garfield Campus, CalWORKs, reports on her experience with SanFACC:
The appeal of the SanFACC program to me was the opportunity to explore other career paths within the community college system. The program was an invaluable, enriching, and empowering experience for me at a time when I am at a crossroads in my career. The Mentee program motivated me to consider going back to school to further my education for the purpose of advancing my career within the community college system. I gained more overall knowledge of all student services and the resources available to advance my education and career.
My mentor facilitated me with reference books, resources, and workshops, and she opened up opportunities for me to participate and observe student services meetings, which all helped me to learn more about student service programs. Another invaluable experience I had was the opportunity to conduct information meetings with deans, directors, counselors and supervisors from various Student Services programs, which helped me explore and gain more knowledge, insight and understanding of these programs.
Workshops I attended, such as “Careers in Student Affairs,” “Careers in Counseling at a Community College,” and the “Strengths Finder” Workshop, all equipped me with information to further explore career opportunities within the community college system and helped me identify and gain insight and confidence in my leadership strengths and abilities.
Overall, I feel the SanFACC program was a positive experience, and is most valuable to any participant who goes into the program with the desire and commitment to really explore potential for advancement in the community college system. Also, participants will have a more rewarding experience if they're willing to initiate contact with their assigned mentor to meet the goals of their SanFACC mentee contract.
Sarah McLemore reports on her experience with SanFACC:
I really enjoyed participating in the San FACC program. What was great about the program was that it was flexible. Other than completing a basic application which asked applicants to clarify some provisional goals, much of what I did was to work individually at my own pace with my mentor. Rather than completing a lot of evaluations or things like that, the program was structured in a way to be more focused on the practice of being mentored rather than the process. I was able to meet my mentor fairly frequently for lunch, coffee, and chats by phone to check in about my current work and to get her perspective on how I might address the types of challenges I was encountering; and we’ve continued to keep in touch via email and by phone.
My mentor also encouraged me to attend meetings at her work and shadow her for a day. The experience of shadowing someone at an alternate community college was really illuminating for me. Sometimes I think we get so focused on how things are done at GCC, we forget that there might be other reasonable ways to approach different projects, plans, and goals.
I’d highly recommend this program to anyone and I’d be happy to share my experiences with anyone who may have questions about it.