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Margaret Masson Glasgow Caledonian University BMAF Annual Conference 2009 Workplace mentoring for student support and employer engagement.

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Presentation on theme: "Margaret Masson Glasgow Caledonian University BMAF Annual Conference 2009 Workplace mentoring for student support and employer engagement."— Presentation transcript:

1 Margaret Masson Glasgow Caledonian University BMAF Annual Conference 2009 Workplace mentoring for student support and employer engagement

2 Student feedback re key enablers Student feedback re limitations of workplace support/ engagement Workplace Mentoring Scheme (WMS) Student feedback re WMS Challenges/ questions

3 Student feedback Key enablers: Tutor support Family support Manager/ employer/ workplace support Main inhibitors: Lack of management understanding, guidance and support Lack of family understanding & support

4 Manager/ employer support providing time-off for studies flexible working opportunities discussions regarding student progress and learning opportunity to learn from the managers experience

5 Manager feedback sometimes unaware of specific activities undertaken at university wanted more time to review in detail the programme content & students progress would like a more structured approach to such discussions

6 Anecdotal evidence A significant numbers of students have said that; managers and employers show no interest in, or knowledge of, their studies they make no allowances for the fact that students were undertaking an arduous programme of study they may be sympathetic but dont provide practical assistance there tends to be a change of manager during their time on MSc programme managers are resistant to them being on the programme opportunities for transfer or learning are limited, leading to de- motivation and employers not reaping full benefits of students enhanced knowledge & skills

7 I-Pass (Integrated Pastoral & Academic Support System) Enhanced recruitment & selection process Realistic programme preview Enhanced pre-entry information Pre-entry academic skills sessions Academic writing skills diagnostic Information for family & friends Information for managers & colleagues Online information re academic skills, pastoral support, University regs etc Workplace mentoring system

8 Workplace Mentoring System Aims to provide; An identifiable & consistent source of emotional & practical support for the student, in the form of his/her manager or some other experienced colleague A regularity to, & framework for, discussions regarding students development & experience on the MSc programme The opportunity for students to discuss their learning with someone who knows their own organisations culture, function, structure, politics, challenges & issues More effective transfer of learning from University to workplace & a forum for identifying learning opportunities within the workplace An aid to student reflection to allow greater insights into students organisations, their studies & themselves Awareness within the department/ organisation of the students developing skills & knowledge to allow maximum utilisation of those within the workplace Awareness within the department/ organisation of the demands of the programme

9 Workplace Mentoring System Voluntary Mentor/ student ownership Unique mentoring relationships Guidelines but not prescriptive Flexible re time/ timing, issues, outcomes Choice of mentoring model (1-1, mentoring circles, peer learning alliances, distance/ online mentoring) Mentor support Development workshops Guide to mentoring Mentor network Mentoring diagnostics Access to WMS Coordinator

10 Student feedback 16/21 said it would be very/ useful, 2 already have mentors and rest couldnt identify potential mentors 12 selected colleagues as mentor, 4 chose line manager, 2 opted for sr mngr & 2 chose others Choice based on HR knowledge, experience of programme, available time, supportive & honest, good relationship already, opp to sell skills developed at Uni

11 Student feedback Mentoring will allow them to: bounce ideas off their mentor; discuss assignments with someone who understands their organisation : discuss things learned on course and how it impacts on working life; develop trust; discuss unfamiliar subjects; sound off to a named individual on any concerns they have about the course; learn from another; gain a totally different perspective;; get help with WLB issues Mentors; can give pointers & reassure them; will be more aware of the prog & be more empathetic; would be up-to- date with students current activities; could help turn learning points into workplace examples for clarification purposes; give additional support & create a supportive environment; help translate theory to practice.

12 Student feedback Looking for the following in a mentor; good communication skills; listening ability; ability to give constructive feedback; empathy; Knowledge of HR issues & organisation; flexibility; patience; support skills; ability to encourage & give constructive feedback; well organised; committed to mentoring; honest, open & fair; motivational skills

13 Student feedback Looking for support in the form of; listening & talking through issues; assurance that they are doing things correctly; motivation; proof reading; exchange of ideas; discussing workplace topics that would be relevant to Uni topics; chance to run through thoughts & ideas; advice; time; understanding & genuine interest; honest feedback Would like to discuss: their learning and development; difficulties with studies; transfer of learning from university to workplace; mentor experiences of programme topics; workplace support; workload and time issues.

14 Student feedback Problems highlighted as; Mentors lack of time Availability of mentor Keeping mentor interested in progress Lack of willingness to commit Lack of confidentiality Other priorities One/ both leaving orgn Students becoming too dependent upon mentors Lack of understanding of mentors role

15 Challenges Mentor engagement – 1/40 responses to 2 page qaire! – Getting enough students/ managers to want to do it Time Quality of mentoring input/ outcomes Inconsistency across students Possible impact on working relationships What can be done to minimise problems? – Not sure

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