By Ari Kaufman, Assistant Director, Project and Compliance Management Student Systems Operations Team, Berklee College of Music/Boston Conservatory at Berklee
AACRAO members can often look to our state and regional associations for creative programming and ideas for the professional development of our staff. Coming out of New England and developed by Marcia Rosbury-Henne, NEACRAO’s Director of Membership, is the M.A.S.S. (Mentoring and Supporting Staff) Program. M.A.S.S. is a new professional development initiative designed for staff to advance their skills, build relationships, and identify paths for professional growth. Zoom and related technologies are instrumental for the M.A.S.S. program's success in enabling people from different institutions to connect and network with each other virtually.
How it Works
The inaugural class of the M.A.S.S. program consists of seven mentors and seven protégés. Each mentor/protégé pairing was very carefully selected based on the experience and personality of the applicants. The mentor and protégé meet once or twice a month, with the content of the meetings varying with each paired group. For example, one mentor has helped a protégé build and strengthen her LinkedIn profile. Additionally, the mentor utilized the CliftonStrengths Assessment to help the protégé identify her true professional strengths while comparing it to the mentor’s results on the same assessment, which provided a great discussion.
A couple of months into the program, the mentors and protégés gathered to hear an informative presentation by Dr. Doreen Larson, President of Edison State Community College. In “It Takes Two: The Value of Mentoring for Higher Education Professionals,” Dr. Larson introduced participants to mentorship best practices and the unique feedback and relationship that mentorship opportunities can provide.
Upon completing this year’s inaugural mentorship program, participants will be officially recognized at the NEACRAO’s annual conference - a special one this year as NEACRAO will be celebrating its 75th anniversary in Newport, RI. In addition, for each participant, a letter will be sent to their institution’s president on behalf of NEACRAO. Please visit NEACRAO's M.A.S.S. information page for more information about this program.