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Mentoring Undergraduates

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Mentoring Undergraduates

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“At a superficial level, everyone ‘knows' what mentoring is. But closer examination indicates [such wide variation . . .] that the concept is devalued, because everyone is using it loosely, without precision, and it may become a short-term fad” (p. 3). That observation was made in 1981, and although it's clear by now that mentoring is not a fad, loose thinking about what it is continues. In this well-referenced, well-organized, and thoughtful analysis of mentoring, Elizabeth McKinsey cites reviews of the literature on mentoring that offer as many as 50 different definitions. She opts for a simple description: “To mentor . . . is to provide wise advice and instruction” (p. 2).

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