The NJASA SARP is highly individualized and personalized by design, based on three interrelated components: mentor support, New Superintendents' Academy (NSA), and networks of professional support. While the interrelatedness among these three components cannot be over-emphasized, the mentor is the keystone of this program, supporting the other components and driving the fidelity to the framework and design.
Daresh (2004) reports limitations of unsuccessful programs have included superficial mentor training and haphazard mentor selection, often based merely on seniority. Focus groups conducted by DOE revealed the value of matching the resident with a strong mentor. Specifically, recommendations were made to ensure the mentor is current on New Jersey policies and practice.
Leader residents have cited a lack of available time to meet as a frequent challenge in a study of mentoring programs (Alsbury & Donaldson, 2006; NJASA survey results). Therefore, the NJASA SARP will stress geographic considerations and careful use of time to ensure monthly face-to-face interactions.
Once notified of a resident’s need for a mentor, NJASA will review the entire pool of mentors to identify logical matches based on geography, district type, district size, district factor group, background, training, and areas of strength. Every attempt will be made to ensure a pool of racial and gender diversity.
A minimum of three names with relevant information and contact information will be forwarded to the resident with guidelines for the resident to consider when interviewing and selecting the mentor.
Please note: Residents may only consider mentors referred by NJASA. If a resident asks a mentor to serve, mentors are respectfully requested to refer the resident to NJASA with an explanation of NJASA mentor selection protocols. Mentors who do not adhere to NJASA mentor selection protocol may be disqualified.
Work of the Mentor
The work of the mentor generally falls into three categories: