News & Press: ACSP News

New ACSP Mentoring Program -- Message from the Committee Chair

Tuesday, December 5, 2017  
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The primary purpose of the ACSP Faculty Mentoring Program is to provide assistant professors at ACSP-member planning schools with guidance and advice from respected senior planning faculty at other ACSP-member universities. The Committee also hopes to assist tenured faculty if there is an interest.

Mentoring is meant to:

  • help faculty members develop goals and strategies for their research;
  • provide guidance in searching for research funding;
  • help evaluate and enhance the quality of faculty research, including papers and research proposals;
  • provide guidance and suggestions in course development; to provide periodic progress reviews;
  • provide networking opportunities; and to offer advice on service activities, especially within the profession and the community.

Published research indicates that mentoring seems to perform best when the process provides a network of mentors, rather than relying upon a single mentor. The Committee’s efforts are meant to help build that network of mentors and to augment, rather than replace, the mentoring provided through a faculty member’s home university.

The value of a mentor provided through the ACSP Faculty Mentoring Committee is often found in experience and interests that the mentor and the mentee share. Planning programs are often small with only a single person in each substantive area of planning. As a result, faculty members in need of mentoring within their area of planning may be unable to connect with a mentor within their home university but may be able to find that mentor through ACSP. The characteristics of the mentor that may appeal to a faculty member in need of a mentor may be outside of an area of teaching or research expertise. Rather, the ideal mentor may possess other characteristics held in common such as dealing with raising multiple children while seeking tenure.

The ACSP Faculty Mentoring Committee is reaching out to the ACSP membership to both solicit interest in finding a mentor and to solicit interest in becoming a mentor. If you are interested in finding or becoming a mentor, you can contact Kirk McClure (, Chair, ACSP Faculty Mentoring Committee.

In addition, the ACSP Mentoring Committee is hoping to organize a session or sessions at the upcoming ACSP annual conference in Buffalo to connect those seeking mentors with prospective mentors and to provide short mentoring sessions for students to have conversations with faculty volunteers.


The Association of Collegiate Schools of Planning promotes education, research, service and outreach in the United States and throughout the world by seeking to:

  • recognize diverse needs and interests in planning;
  • improve and enhance the accreditation process, and;
  • strengthen the role of planning education in colleges and universities through publications, conferences, and community engagement;
  • extend planning beyond the classroom into the world of practice.


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