Date of Award

7-30-2013

Exit Requirement

Professional Project

Degree Name

Master of Arts in Interpreting Studies

Department

Special Education

Committee Chair

Amanda R. Smith

Committee Member

Dr. Elisa Maroney

Committee Member

Pamela Cancel

Abstract

The purpose of this professional project was to identify what current practicum students of Interpreter Training Programs know and understand about the Mentorship process. This study aimed to collect information regarding their current knowledge of the terms Mentorship, Mentor, and Mentee, and what their experiences with mentorship were like. The larger and overarching question that led to this research study was, Would a training session on Mentorship be beneficial for our students prior to beginning a mentored relationship? An online survey was sent to two ITPs and had a total of 21 participants.

The findings show that students receive little to no training about the mentorship process, and the majority of participants do believe that prior training would have been helpful. The findings also show that mentorship is viewed as a relationship between the mentor (experienced interpreter) and the mentee (less experienced interpreter, student). Embedded in the data are a variety of factors that promote and hinder the success of the mentorship.

This research was then used to develop a training seminar designed specifically for interpreting students about to enter their practicum or internship courses. Mentorship is a way to bridge the gap between student and professional status, and ease the transition into the interpreting field (RID, 2007). The goal of this training is that with a full understanding of what and how the relationship between mentor and mentee is developed and fostered, both the student and the professional interpreter are able to engage in the mentorship process effectively.

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