Research Article

Mentoring future engineers in higher education: a descriptive study using a developed conceptual framework

Agholor, Darlington; Nalda, Álvaro Lleó de; Bárcena, Nicolás Serrano

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Mentoring research is recent and multidisciplinary and is found in mostly English speaking cultural contexts. The purpose of this study is to describe a fifty-year old mentoring practice involving faculty-mentors and engineering student-mentees, at the school of engineering of a Spanish university, a non-English speaking context. Mentoring is part of the process of developing the career of the engineering students. For this description, we first developed a more complete conceptual framework of mentoring from literature, identifying the key elements or components. The description of each element in the mentoring practice at the study setting was obtained from archival documents, records, observations and interviews of faculty-mentors and student-mentees. The usefulness of the framework is thereby tested and areas for improvement of the mentoring practice are identified. In addition, this study extends mentoring research into the Spanish speaking European culture and highlights a mentoring experience that could be replicated in other universities. We provide a definition of mentoring that is based on the mentoring experience and practice at the institution given the lack of a generally accepted definition of mentoring.


Faculty-mentor, Engineering student-mentee, University. Spain.


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