The Trickle-Down Effect of Academic Mentoring



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The mentoring literature has not sufficiently explored the potential trickle-down effects of mentoring, and there has yet to be an examination of how and why amount of mentoring received might lead a person to mentor a greater number of protégés. This study seeks to address these gaps in the literature by examining the role of faculty support systems in promoting greater numbers of mentored students. To accomplish this, I examine career sponsorship as a means to increase number of student protégés through heightened faculty commitment to the mentoring process. The study was conducted using a sample of 255 tenured and tenure-track faculty members across 25 public universities in the United States. The results support the proposed hypotheses and indicate that career sponsorship of faculty has a positive indirect effect on number of undergraduate and graduate protégés via increased faculty mentoring commitment.