Students 4 Students: Enhancing the 1st Year Experience

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Transcript Students 4 Students: Enhancing the 1st Year Experience

Dr John Barrow

Students 4 Students Coordinator

“Mentoring is to support and encourage people…” “…in order that they may maximise their potential, develop their skills, improve their performance and become the person they want to be.“

Eric Parsloe, The Oxford School of Coaching & Mentoring

• • Transitional mentoring of our students as they begin their undergraduate studies Run jointly by UoA and AUSA “The Students 4 Students (S4S) Scheme is here to help you settle into University life with advice and support from your fellow students who have been there and got the t-shirt.” “Our S4S Mentors are all fully trained, and are current undergraduate students who are studying in the same School as you and, if possible, on the same degree programme.”

• • • • • Initial idea was for academic mentoring Changed to peer mentoring specifically as a retention strategy Piloted in SMS (2010-11) – 5 Mentors / 15 first years Expanded in SMS / piloted in DHP (2011-12) – 25 Mentors / 35 first years SMT approved for institutional roll out to all Schools based on success of SMS/DHP pilots – Currently 75 Mentors being trained

• • • Specifically help first years by: Answering general questions and/or directing them to the most appropriate source of advice Encouraging them to make the most of opportunities to meet one another, become involved in campus life and develop their own support networks Maintaining contact with them during the first year of study and maintain confidentiality

• • • • • Gaining practical advice, encouragement and support Learning from the experiences of others within the same area of study Increasing social and academic confidence Making new friends across year groups Developing strategies for dealing with life at the University

March: Recruit S4S School Coordinators March: Recruit Mentors April: Training of Mentors Advising: Flyers for 1 st years

Freshers’ Week:

Advertise to 1 st years

Pre-Freshers’

Week: Refresher training

Freshers’ Week:

Notify 1 st years of first meeting

1 st week of term:

Ice-breaker meeting / Mentor groups formed Mentor meetings…

• • • • • • 4 weeks of intensive training from various support areas of the University: Lucy Foley – Student Support Services Pat Rowand – Registry Duncan Stuart – InfoHub Shona Howie – AUSA Student Advice Centre Joy Wootten, Janine Chalmers – Culture and diversity Angela Bolt, Sally King, Ruth Bannister – Counselling Service

• • • • Feedback has been gathered from previous two years It is hoped the scheme will grow and become entrenched in School-level retention strategies Ultimately the scheme should encourage a more student-centric atmosphere to all new undergraduate students Full impact will be tested in several years with data collected from each year