Future of Texas Archeology Handbook
The purpose of this program is to provide mentorship opportunities to members of the Texas Archeological Society (TAS) and Council of Texas Archeologists (CTA). Our goal is to increase accessibility, diversity, and inclusion of underrepresented groups in Texas archeology by providing a program open to all members of our community. Through this mentorship program, TAS hopes to make Texas archeology a welcoming and supportive space for archeologists from all walks of life as the discipline continues to diversify.
This handbook provides information on how to approach your participation in the Future of Texas Archeology (FTA) Informal Mentorship Program.The handbook was created to initiate the Mentorship Program. It is expected that it will evolve as the program evolves. Specifically, the handbook defines the roles of the mentor and mentee and guides each through different topics associated with the program structure. Following the guidance described in the handbook will help you build a successful mentoring relationship.
Mentorship relationships and the substances of them will differ based on the needs of the mentee and the expertise of the mentor. One size does not fit all when it comes to mentorships, so it is essential that both the mentor and mentee begin with clear goals and expectations, yet also flexibility to adapt to changes in needs along the way.
Mentoring relationships are intended to be:
Professional in nature.
Helpful in transitioning between academic or work environments.
Valuable in creating opportunities for professional development and networking through the open exchange of ideas among experienced professionals and the next generation of leaders.
The goals of the program are to connect people who can share institutional knowledge and experience with our newest members and building enriching relationships with professional and avocational archeologist
Retain highly qualified and experienced archeologists
Create a culture of learning, sharing, and networking
Guide mentees in achieving their goals
Develop mentees into future mentors
Mentorship: Relationship with the goal of professional and personal development.
Informal Mentorship Program: Loosely structured program, with little to no participant selection criteria.
Formal Mentorship Program: Structured program with formal participant selection criteria and focused pre and post evaluation methods.
Mentor: Experienced individual willing to share knowledge, advice, and insight. Mentors may be formally selected based on set criteria, or informally invited to fulfill a mentor role for the purposes of an activity, event or brief time period.
Mentee: Individual who agrees to be advised, trained, or counseled by a mentor. Mentees may be formally selected based on set criteria, or the term may loosely apply to a larger audience.
This mentoring program is designed to bring individuals actively working in archeology together with students and newer archeologists to support their growth and career development. While these can develop into more personal relationships, during the participation within the Mentorship Program, professionalism is essential. This handbook will provide you with tips for creating a successful and professional mentorship. All parties involved must agree to abide by the following:
Be an active member of the Texas Archeological Society or the Council of Texas Archeologists and abide by the code of ethics espoused by these organizations.
Be at least 18 years of age.
Engage in regular, open communication while being aware of different communication styles.
Maintain professionalism – be prepared, be organized, honor commitments, communicate and maintain appropriate boundaries.
Adopt an active approach – practice active listening, engage in the experience, ask questions, and offer productive feedback.
Support continuous program improvement – evaluate the mentorship program and your experiences as a mentor or mentee honestly. Share ideas for improving this program with the Executive Committee.
The following topics and questions may be helpful ice breakers during the initial meeting. These are only suggested questions, feel free use those that apply to you:
Get to know each other, discuss your backgrounds and future goals. Discuss the interests and skills of the mentee and what the mentee hopes to accomplish in the future. How can the mentor’s own experiences help the mentee set and achieve goals?
How did you become interested in archeology?
What is your professional/academic background?
What is your motivation for signing up for the mentoring program?
Have you had an official or informal mentorship relationship, or learned from other archeologists in the past?
Mentor: How did you prepare for working in archeology, and what can someone do to prepare for a future in archeology (education, certifications, experience)?
What do you enjoy most about your archeological experience?
What are your career goals?
What are your hobbies/interests outside of archeology?
Mentor: If you could go back in time and give yourself advice, what would that be?
A mentorship program needs to fulfill individual expectations and help promote career success and job satisfaction. This program has been developed based on the available literature and best evidence, but will remain flexible and responsive to feedback. Feedback on the program will be sought after each event attended.
An annual review of all mentorships will be done by the FTA Committee (timed with annual TAS meeting). Other, indirect outcome measures will include:
Growth of the program
Self-reported well being
Although the overarching principle remains that the mentor-mentee relationship is confidential, there may be times where a particular situation arises that places the wellness of either party at risk and requires leadership guidance and/or intervention. These situations are outside of professional boundaries. Potential situations may include:
Any unprofessional conduct.
Any observed or perceived ethical violations.
Any perception of harassment. Harassment includes the use of offensive language and offensive images.
Offensive language includes, but is not limited to,
(a) profanity or verbal abuse directed towards the Mentor/Mentee,
(b) sexually suggestive comments directed towards the Mentor/Mentee, and
(c) derogatory remarks directed towards any individual or group of individuals based on religion, race, color, ethnicity, country of origin, age, sex, sexual orientation, or sexual identity.
Offensive images include, but are not limited to,
(a) images that are sexually suggestive, lewd, or pornographic and
(b) images that include offensive language, as described above.
Any concern for personal safety of the mentor or mentee (such as mental health concerns).
Any other concern for safety.
The mentor or mentee should contact the FTA Committee Chairs, or a committee member if chairs are unavailable, directly if there are any concerns reaching this threshold. Having gathered all the necessary information, the FTA Committee would call a meeting with the TAS Executive Board to decide on next steps.