Pathfinder Scholars Program

Pathfinder Scholars Program

The Pathfinder Scholars Program is a structured mentoring program for tenure-track faculty at Sam Houston State University (SHSU).  The goal of the program is to provide professional guidance and support for junior faculty to help them build satisfying careers at SHSU.  Pathfinder Scholars, who are tenure-track faculty working toward tenure, are paired with tenured colleagues who volunteer to serve as Mentors.  

Meetings during the academic year primarily focus on the three core aspects of faculty life: research, teaching, and service.  Discussion at these meetings allows for networking, generates community, and focuses on SHSU institutional culture as well as how to be successful as a faculty member.  One program highlight is a meeting with the Provost who discusses key issues like merit, faculty evaluation, as well as tenure and promotion.  Scholars also meet one-on-one with their Mentors to review their Individual Development Plans (IDPs) for research, teaching, and service.  These efforts help scholars get more acclimated with SHSU as they pursue academic excellence. 

FY'24 Schedule - Encouraged to attend, but not required

Date Time Topic
09/15 2:00 - 3:00pm Teaching
09/27 4:30 - 5:30pm Pathfinder Scholars, Mentors and ORSP at ORSP
10/13 2:00 - 3:00pm Service
02/02 12:00 - 1:00pm

Lunch with Provost

3/28 2:00 - 3:00pm


Sign Up Here

Below are the links to the applications, please select the link that applies to you.*

Scholar Application Mentor Application
Closed for FY24 Click Here

*Scholar applications closed on 8am Tuesday, September 5th. Mentors are encouraged to apply year-round.

Qualities of a Good Mentor

  • Accessibility – the mentor is encouraged make time to be available to the new faculty member. The mentor might keep in contact by dropping by, calling, sending e-mail, or extending a lunch invitation. It is very helpful for the mentor to make time to read /critique proposals and papers and to provide periodic reviews of progress.
  • Networking – the mentor should be able to help the new faculty member establish a professional network.
  • Independence – the new faculty member’s intellectual independence from the mentor must be carefully preserved and the mentor must avoid developing a competitive relationship with the new faculty member.

Benefits for the Mentor

  • Satisfaction in assisting in the development of a colleague
  • Ideas for and feedback about the mentor’s own teaching/scholarship
  • A network of colleagues who have passed through the program
  • Retention of excellent faculty colleagues
  • Enhancement of department and university quality