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Peer Mentoring: offering transitional support to Level 1 students Learning Development Service.

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1 Peer Mentoring: offering transitional support to Level 1 students Learning Development Service

2 A mentor is a more experienced person who forms a relationship with a less experienced person in order to provide that person with advice, support and encouragement. Megginson and Clutterbuck, 1995.

3 Undergraduate mentoring in QUB School of English 2008/2009 Four Peer Mentors

4 2011/2012, 97 QUB Mentors 45 male, 52 female Accounting, Anthropology, Archaeology, Computer Science, English, History, Mathematics, Physics, Sociology

5 Wider research Peer Mentoring Works! How Peer Mentoring Enhances Student Success in Higher Education Jane Andrews and Robin Clark Published by Aston University, Birmingham, November 2011 ‘What Works? Student Retention and Success Programme’ Funded by HEFCE and Paul Hamlyn Foundation

6 Mentoring schemes Aston University Bangor University London Metropolitan Liverpool Hope university Sheffield University Oslo and Arkeshus University College

7 Findings 75% concerned about making friends and settling in 70% confident that they had the ability to succeed academically 75% agreed that peer mentoring helped them adapt to university life 75% agreed that peer mentoring helped them make the most of academic opportunities and support services

8 Peer mentoring is a mechanism for addressing the issue of retention as it provides the “means by which students can make friends, acclimatise to university life, and come to terms with their new student identity”.

9 Recommendations “Transition + - the ideal mentoring programme” offers transitional support that evolves into academic and social support

10 Essential Elements of Transition + Time to develop the scheme Start small Clear aims Student ‘ownership’ Embedded within the School (assigned academic) Tailored Careful selection of mentors Lead mentor Comprehensive training Assigned space within the School Promotion Opt-out – otherwise seen by students as a deficit model of support Formal recognition for mentors (Degree Plus)

11 Within the UK Higher Education context, peer mentoring relates to the concept of reciprocal peer support and learning whereby a peer mentor helps to enhance and promote the overall university experience of either an individual student, or a group of fellow students. Peer mentors are generally slightly more advanced in their studies than peer mentees. By using their own experiences and insights, peer mentors help newer students settle into, and succeed at, university; building relationships that often last throughout the first year – and in many cases beyond. Andrews and Clark, 2011

12 Peer mentoring offers an approach whereby students help students discover the new world of university life through the formation of safe and supportive peer relationships Andrews and Clark, 2011

13 Ryan Glass, Lead Mentor, School of Mathematics

14 School of Mathematics My experience as a QUB Level 1 student of Mathematics – Daunted by the size of my year group – Lonely – Felt like a job – Not what I expected – Problems weren’t resolved until Level 2 – Passion for Mathematics kept me there

15 School of Mathematics How the mentoring scheme developed – Gillian Mark – LDS – Academic support – Finance – Recruitment – Promotion – Training

16 Mathematics Mentors 2010/11

17 Mentoring in School of Mathematics Encouraged by LDS to develop our own model – Opt in / opt out – Pairing up – Academic aspects – Social aspects – Weekly mentoring meetings

18 Mentoring in School of Mathematics Academic aspects – Weekly homework sessions – Revision sessions

19 Mentoring in School of Mathematics Social aspects – Weekly social hours – Group social nights – Monthly social events

20 Mentoring in School of Mathematics Continued development – Recruitment – Promotion – Homework sessions

21 Mentoring in School of Mathematics “Good chance to settle in quicker and make that transition between school life and university easier. First opportunity to make friends in your class. It’s nice having someone there who can give you advice on how to answer mathematically and gives you that reassurance to keep you hanging in there when it all seems a bit too much. And the events were definitely good banter!”

22 Mentoring in School of Mathematics “Couldn’t have survived first year without it. Great way to make friends. First year is a big shock and having older students help/guide you was just what you needed to get through and have fun!” “I thought it was brilliant. Eased the transition from school to university a lot! I probably wouldn’t have lasted the year without it!”

23 Mentoring in School of Mathematics Training Teacher Confidence in speaking Time management Responsibilities Relationships with lecturers Friendships

24 Saoirse McGrath, Peer Mentoring Advisor, Learning Development Service

25 Benefits for the mentor Former QUB mentor - Why I became a mentor - Background

26 Benefits for the mentor Personal Development – Passion – Meeting new people – Growing in confidence – Rewarding

27 Benefits for the mentor Employment skills -Organisational -Opportunities -Continued study -Public speaking -Communication -Facilitation -Attendance at conferences -Training

28 The role of the Learning Development Service Provides advice and guidance for Schools in the development and implementation of mentoring schemes Attends information sessions in Schools Provides mentor training Meets regularly with lead mentors Supports individual mentors on a one-to-one basis Ensures mentors meet the requirements for Degree Plus

29 Professor John Thompson

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