250.020 – Letter to Project Mentors

Revised: September 2015

Dear Project Mentor:

Thank you for agreeing to serve as a mentor for a student enrolled in our MFA program. Your efforts are invaluable to all of us at Maine Media College. We prefer to allow the relationship between mentor and student to develop with as little administrative imposition as is prudent. This approach has worked well. Historically speaking, the benefits to our students generally exceed those that could be expected were a rigid structure of guidance imposed without regard for the relational dynamics involved with mentored learning.

Students must present work to the MFA Committee for critique in order to receive graduate credit. The Committee votes on this matter at the end of each retreat.

Mentors may recommend that credit be granted or denied, and the Committee considers mentors’ evaluations in arriving at its decisions. In an effort to apprise you of the criteria that the Committee uses in evaluating student work, I am attaching a copy of our evaluation rubric to this letter. It may be helpful to you in working with the student and as you write midterm and final evaluations.

We observe federally accepted guidelines for credit hours. As you will note in the rubric, the time on task required to earn one credit is 45 hours. Given the length of our semesters, students should expect to spend at minimum fourteen hours per week on the typical 6-credit creative project. This includes the time spent in discussion with the mentor. As a general guideline I recommend that mentors plan to engage with students every two weeks. It is expected that project mentors confer with students at minimum ten hours over the course of the semester.

Lastly, as you will note, some of the evaluation criteria involve a perspective on students’ work as it has developed over time. It may behoove you and your student to discuss their previous work to acquire this perspective, if you have not worked with them in the past.

Again, thank you for your efforts. They are greatly appreciated. If you have any questions about the rubric, or believe you would like some further assistance in working with a student, please do not hesitate to contact the student’s advisor. If you prefer, you may certainly contact me directly.

Sincerely yours,

Howard Greenberg, Chair Maine Media College MFA