Celebrating the halfway mark of the BCCIE mentorship program

On January 20, 2017, mentors and mentees of the BCCIE Mentorship Program gathered to celebrate new professional relationships at the program’s mid-year event.

The mid-year event in Vancouver gathered mentors and mentees from across British Columbia to celebrate the learning achieved in the BCCIE Mentorship Program so far. The evening provided opportunities for dialogue and networking among attendees and culminated in an interactive presentation by Sandra Schinnerl, Director, Global Engagement at Douglas College. Schinnerl highlighted the importance of personal connection as a key ingredient that differentiates mentoring from training or coaching.

The BCCIE Mentorship Program uniquely offers mentoring across the International Education sector in the province as opposed to within an organization. Through a formal application process, the program matches mentors and mentees based on their professional and personal goals. For this group of participants, the mentorship journey began in August 2016, resulting in five months of mentorship, collaboration and relationship building by the mid-year event.

“One of the great things about working in the BC higher education sector is the amount of collegiality among institutions,” says David McGuire, Executive Director at University of the Fraser Valley International. “Knowing more about other institutions in BC is always a positive because of the mobility that happens within BC.”

As exemplified by the mentors at the event, International Educators in the province are willing to share their knowledge of the sector with colleagues and new practitioners. For mentees who are new to the field or work in institutions where International Education is being developed, the knowledge acquired from their mentors is invaluable.

“My institution is building upon their International Education journey and I was looking to get some advice, as we grow, on how to support international students,” says Holly Hovland, Director, Student Development at Northwest Community College.

Participants of the BCCIE Mentorship Program will gather again in Kelowna, BC at Summer Conference 2017 to celebrate the completion of the program and their accomplishments.