Advancing Inclusive Mentoring (AIM)

A Mentor Training Program Tailored for Faculty Members of Undergraduate Researchers

Course Description

The AIM program, is a mentor training program developed at California State University Long Beach (CSULB) as part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Building Infrastructure Leading to Diversity (BUILD) Initiative. The overarching goals of AIM are to provide a variety of engaging faculty training resources to promote student success through positive and inclusive mentoring, particularly for mentors of undergraduate research students. Because student involvement in high impact practices such as research, scholarly, and creative activities boost student success – particularly when associated with strong mentorship, learning the best practices for mentoring is a critical component of facilitating student success.

CSULB BUILD's innovative mentor training program, tailored for mentors of undergraduate students, builds off of NRMN/CIMER programs, and is now available to all members here on MyNRMN.

Course Structure 

The AIM Program consists of 35 videos across six learning modules that ideally are accompanied by six synchronous discussions to build a community of practice around mentoring on your campus. AIM provides videos featuring faculty and staff members from around the CSULB campus who share tips and ideas on best practices in mentoring, along with re-enactments of student/professor scenarios that are based on real mentoring stories collected from the CSULB campus community. The AIM modules are structured to meet key learning outcomes and include: Communicating with your Mentee; Inclusive Mentoring; Cultivating Mentee Growth & Development; Facilitating Mentee Health & Wellbeing; Mentee-Centered Mentoring; and a Mentoring Toolbox. These modules not only cover critical topics such as social justice mentoring and issues of equity, combating discrimination and culturally aware mentoring, they also help to define the broad role(s) of an undergraduate mentor. In addition to the videos, AIM ‘Top Tips’ handouts for each of the 35 episodes are provided to participants, along with additional outside resources. Optional podcasts on additional topics provide additional learning opportunities. Following completion of the self-paced six module quizzes that follow the video episodes, as well as completion of the end-of-course evaluation, members earn a certificate of completion. Please note that the online modules must be completed in sequential order. 

Setting up an AIM discussion Group

AIM works best when the online portion of the course is complemented by group discussion- one hour per each of the six modules works well. One of the goals in creating AIM was to create a mentoring community on each campus that adopted the program and the discussion sessions bring together mentors to not only discuss the topics addressed in the AIM module of the week, but also to talk about and brainstorm solutions to mentoring issues brought up in the discussion sessions. If you are interested in leading an AIM session on your campus, consider using the reflection questions at the end of each module as your starting point for your discussions, along with asking participants to reflect on any of the mentor-mentee vignettes shown in the modules:

  • Did any of the stories from students or professors resonate with members of your group?
  • Does anyone have experience with one of these issues as a  mentor or mentee?
  • Do mentors have any tips to share related to how to navigate challenges addressed in the module? 

Please see references below for further information about how AIM sessions can work, and feel free to contact Kelly Young for more information.

  • Young, K. A., Finney, M. A., Marayong, P., & Vu, K. L. (2021). Advancing inclusive mentoring through an online mentor training program and coordinated discussion group. Proceedings of Human Interface and the Management of Information, 12766, 177-194.
  • Young, K.A., Marayong, P., & Vu, K-P.L. (2022). Faculty Mentor Training at a Diverse R2 University Changes Mentoring Practices and Increases Mentoring Skill Confidence. Journal on Excellence in College Teaching, 33(4), 105-132.

Course Modules

Module 1: Communicating with your Mentees

  • 1.1  Non-verbal communication
  • 1.2  Favoritism
  • 1.3  Constructive criticism
  • 1.4  Professional communication limits
  • 1.5  Virtual mentoring
  • 1.6  Power differential
  • 1.7  Communicating across differences
  • 1.8  Active listening
  • 1.9  Communication personalities

Module 2: Inclusive Mentoring

  • 2.1 Why equity and inclusion matter
  • 2.2 Understanding privilege
  • 2.3 Unconscious bias
  • 2.4 Managing microaggressions
  • 2.5 Confronting discrimination
  • 2.6 Culturally aware mentoring

Module 3: Cultivating Mentee Growth & Development

  • 3.1 Supporting professional development
  • 3.2 Establishing a professional identity in your mentees
  • 3.3 Promoting effective mentee time management
  • 3.4 Mentoring professional communication
  • 3.5 Balancing mentee independence with guidance

Module 4: Facilitating Mentee Health & Wellbeing

  • 4.1 Establishing trust and building confidence in your mentees
  • 4.2 Surviving challenging conversations with your mentees
  • 4.3 Modeling and promoting work life balance
  • 4.4 Recognizing signs of depression and anxiety in your mentees
  • 4.5 Ethical mentoring

Module 5: Mentee-Centered Mentoring

  • 5.1 Expectation management
  • 5.2 Social justice mentoring
  • 5.3 Comprehension check-ins
  • 5.4 Avoiding mentoring meltdowns
  • 5.5 Transitions in mentoring

Module 6: Mentoring Toolbox

  • 6.1 Mentoring Frames
  • 6.2 Documenting your mentoring
  • 6.3 Assessing your mentees and your own mentoring
  • 6.4 Mentoring myths
  • 6.5 Sustaining your Mentoring

Course Director 

Kelly Young, PhD, Co-Director, Research Enrichment Core, Professor of Biological Sciences

Dr. Kelly A. Young is a Professor in the Department of Biological Sciences at CSULB. As a reproductive biologist she and her undergraduate research students examine the regulation of seasonal gonadal transition. Winner of the 2024 CSU Wang Family Excellence Award, Kelly has created multiple faculty development programs and works with AIM mentoring programs across the California State University system. As the Co-Director of Research Enhancement for the CSULB NIH BUILD Initiative, Kelly, together with BUILD PIs Dr. Kim Vu, Professor of Psychology, and Dr. Panadda Marayong, Professor of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, led the team creating AIM with the goal of increasing success and personal growth for both students and mentors.

Instrumental Persons

We would also like to recognize the contributions of the following people who shared in the implementation of this course on MyNRMN:

  • Jamboor K. Vishwanatha, PhD, National Research Mentoring Network-Resource Center
  • Toufeeq Ahmed, PhD, National Research Mentoring Network-Resource Center
  • Damaris Javier, MA, National Research Mentoring Network-Resource Center
  • Aidan Hoyal, MSIS, MA, National Research Mentoring Network-Resource Center 
  • Katie Stinson, MLIS, National Research Mentoring Network-Resource Center 
  • Alexis Short, BA, National Research Mentoring Network-Resource Center

This course licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Non Commercial-No Derivatives 3.0 Unported License:

Course materials licensed via Creative Commons: 
Attribution-NonCommercial--NoDerivs 3.0 Unported
(CC BY-NC-ND 3.0)