Your CDIP mentor can help you at every stage of your doctoral studies and also as you begin your professional career as a candidate for faculty positions. The Collaborative Plan of Support you develop with your mentor serves as the road map for the activities you will engage in together to prepare you in the three facets of a professor's responsibilities: teaching, research and service.
While your dissertation chair guides your scholarly development, your CDIP mentor focuses on building a strong record of professional experiences and accomplishments that will make you a desirable candidate for faculty positions in your field. Your CDIP mentor will ensure that you are able to articulate your particular fit with the mission of the CSU and your commitment to its diverse student body.
Finally, your CDIP mentor can remain a collaborator and colleague as you advance in your journey as a CSU professor. Continue the tradition by becoming a CDIP mentor yourself!
If You Are a CSU Student: Typically, your CDIP mentor is a faculty member who is familiar with your academic achievements and wants to support your continued studies in your shared field. You may have met the faculty member through classes you had together or work that you have done together in a laboratory or in the field. Or perhaps you worked as a teaching or research assistant for a professor.
Before asking a faculty member to be your CDIP mentor, make sure you can describe your goals in pursuing a doctorate and eventually seeking a faculty position. The mentoring relationship will last for years, so trust and communication are essential. If You Are a CSU Lecturer: Your CDIP mentor will typically be your department chair or a colleague in the department who is familiar with your teaching and other professional activities. You may have team-taught with this colleague or had them observe or evaluate your classroom teaching. You may also have served on committees together, or you may share research interests.
Before asking a colleague to be your CDIP mentor, make sure you can describe your goals in pursuing a doctorate and a tenure-track position in the CSU. The mentoring relationship will last for years, so trust and communication are essential.
If You Aren't a CSU Student or Lecturer: If you don't have a connection to the CSU, but are interested in becoming a CSU professor, there are several ways to connect with a prospective CDIP mentor. First, you can reach out to current CSU professors whose research you are interested in.
Alternatively, each of the 23 CSU campuses has a designated CDIP coordinator. You can contact the coordinator of the campus you're interested in to request assistance in connecting with a CDIP mentor.
Finally, the CDIP Faculty Director at the CSU Office of the Chancellor can help facilitate a mentor-mentee connection based on your field of study.