USC Provost HR
Staff Mentoring & Development Program

Program Overview

Starting in 2020, Provost HR is launching the Staff Mentoring and Development Program that pairs experienced leaders with individual contributors who are interested in developing their career and leadership skills. The program is structured to provide support, networking opportunities, and professional development training to help staff members develop their careers and to build capabilities required for current and future roles within USC.

The program is a twelve month commitment and consists of one-on-one mentoring, development workshops, leadership forums and concludes with a certificate of completion.

The program runs in calendar year cycles, typically beginning in January and concluding in December. Currently, cohorts are limited to 15 mentoring pairs, as such participation in the program is selective. During the initial launch, the program will be open only to Finance and IT mentees. Mentors may be leaders across the entire university.

One-on-one mentoring

Through one-on-one meetings, mentors and mentees may discuss and explore areas including professional strengths, career development and USC organizational culture. Mentors and mentees are expected to meet once a month for the program duration (January – December), for ten meetings.  All meetings are generally one hour in length, however timing may be adjusted based on the participant needs.  Participants are provided each month with optional mentoring questions to explore, recommended structure and activities to experience.

Leadership Forums

Included in the program are two Leadership Forums that will be focusing on providing participants with insights to career achievements, challenges, the journey taken and more by panels of accomplished experts in the USC and Los Angeles community.


All professional development workshops and events in the program are designed to promote the strengths and career potential of the mentees.  During the program, workshops will be available for mentees to participate in around skill development, building a marketing brand and creating a personal development plan.

Certificate of completion

At the end of the program cohort, mentors and mentees that complete the program requirements receive a certificate of completion. Additionally, a notification of the program completion is provided to the participant’s supervisor. To complete the program, mentees [and mentors] must meet every month and complete check-ins and evaluations as part of the program cycle.

Participants will receive periodic information and reminders to help move the program forward.  Additional resources will also be available for participants on the page labeled “Program Resources”

Ideal Candidates

Due to limited space, participation in the program is selective. Interested staff are required to apply and pending application review, staff may be accepted into the program. Ideal candidates for the program display the characteristics listed below:

NOTE: Participation in this program does not in any way guarantee advancement, promotion or salary increases. The program is meant to inspire and support a rewarding and evolving career at USC. The program is designed to help provide excelling staff members with support and resources to help grow their career.

The program committee is responsible for conducting and overseeing the matches between mentees and mentors.  Mentees will be matched with a mentor who is not from the same unit as the mentee and is not in any type of supervisory or evaluative position over the mentee.

All mentors and mentees in the program are asked to provide information on their professional experience, strengths, areas of interest and program expectations. Based on the information provided, the committee will try to match mentees with mentors who have experience in an area that the mentee would like to learn more about.

The mentoring process is intended to be a rewarding and enriching experience for both mentors and mentees, and that both parties are comfortable with the match that has been provided. If after the first meeting the mentor or the mentee are not satisfied with their match, the mentoring program manager will make another attempt to find a match.  At this time, participants are not allowed any rematches during the program cycle.

The program should inspire career growth and development, while not interfering or imposing upon an employee’s responsibility to their position, particularly with regards to release time.  Both mentors and mentees in the program can expect to devote approximately two to three hours a month towards the program (approx. 23.00 hours over the twelve month period).

Mentees and mentors will need to discuss and make arrangements with their respective supervisors about using work time to participate in this program.

Program Activities for Mentors and Mentees Estimated time commitment
Program orientation 1.50 Hours
First mentoring session 1.00 Hour
Mentoring sessions: 10 months at 60 minutes per session plus preparation time 15.00 Hours
Professional development programming and events (2 leadership events and 2 workshops) 5.00 Hours
Program evaluation and feedback (online) 0.50 Hour
Total anticipated time commitment 23.00 Hours