DePaul University SNL > Student Resources > Graduate Resources > Mentor / Mentee Change

Mentor / Mentee Change

As each graduate student is admitted to graduate study, he/she is assigned an active faculty mentor within his/her respective graduate program. The role of the faculty mentor per program is described within each program’s guidebook. Each guidebook also explains that a student, if he/she wishes, may seek a different mentor assignment during his/her program of study.

The process for considering a mentor / mentee change in assignment is as follows:

1.    Recommended Starting Point: Student & current mentor engage in constructive dialogue.
Before seeking a new mentor due to a frustration, difference or conflict with your current mentor, we invite you—first—to view the situation as an opportunity for an honest, balanced and fair conversation with your current mentor. As such, this situation can afford you with the practice-space to apply key professional values and skills in expressing concerns, making requests and listening for responses and/or counter-requests.

If you’d like some coaching regarding how to have such a dialogue, the Graduate Programs Office can help and/or send a “facilitator” along to assist with the conversation between you and your current mentor. If candid and clear requests can be shared and agreed-upon, perhaps the desire for a new mentor might be replaced with a new chapter in the relationship between you and your current mentor.

2.    Complaint: Student seeks new mentor due to a complaint.
If you wish to file a complaint about your current mentor (with or without #1 above occurring), you are directed to contact SNL’s Senior Director for Mentoring and Student Services. (For contact information: call 312-362-8001 or email snl@depaul.edu.) Here, the process will consider your point of view (and evidence) alongside that sought, in response, from your mentor. The focus here is fairness to all sides. Certainly, in adult society, anyone “being accused of something” wants the accusation to be researched beyond mere opinion and wants the opportunity to respond. As this proceeds, we do suggest that the registered complaint NOT be the first time the current mentor is hearing about your concern. Through deliberations regarding your complaint, you will be guided in identifying a new mentor. (See Concerns / Complaints.)

3.    Learning Chemistry: Student seeks a new mentor due to learning chemistry.
Separate from bona fide complaints, students sometimes merely seek a “better fit” between themselves and their mentors. To proceed via “learning chemistry,” please email snlgrad@depaul.edu stating that you wish to interview other active program mentors (and have them interview you) to see if there might a “better fit.” Please also indicate in the email that you have informed your current mentor that you are considering this option.

4.    Options: The Graduate Programs Office sends a list of names of possible mentors.
The Graduate Programs Office will send you a list of names and contact information for all active faculty mentors qualified per program. You may also find it helpful to review faculty mentor bios.

5.    Exploration: Student interviews (and is interviewed by) possible mentor.
Once you identify a specific candidate, please reach out to him/her directly to initiate an exploratory conversation to discuss:
a.    The status of your graduate study;
b.    Your hopes/preferences for “learning chemistry” with a new mentor; and
c.    The possible new mentor’s expectations/requirements for his/her advisees.

6.    Decision/Official Action: Student and new mentor agree to work together.
Once you have identified a new Faculty Mentor and the Mentor has agreed to serve in this capacity, you are directed to inform the Graduate Programs Office and, as a professional courtesy, to inform your current/former mentor of your decision. The Office will, in turn, make the new arrangement official.

If you have questions regarding this process, please contact snlgrad@depaul.edu .