Tag Archives: Peer Mentoring

Peer Mentoring Thank You Event 2018

Peer Mentoring Thank You Event 2018

Peer mentors from across the University gathered at the Lindisfarne Room on Monday 26 November 2018 to celebrate another successful year of the peer mentoring scheme.

Peer Mentors and Staff Coordinators were invited to this celebration as a thank you from the University following another excellent start to the academic year with new students being supported and encouraged as they started their journey on their chosen programme of study and made the transition into Higher Education. These students (the mentees) were invited to provide their opinion of the scheme and to share the many benefits they had experienced as a result of having a peer mentor:

“Explained clearly what it was like from a student perspective and what I should expect to know and learn and how to do so.”

Continue reading Peer Mentoring Thank You Event 2018

PGT Peer Mentoring Task and Finish Group

We are looking to introduce further pilot schemes in regards to PGT buddy/mentoring within the University.

An email invitation was sent to Senior Tutors and Peer Mentoring staff coordinators to volunteer to join a Task and Finish Group to consider the best way forward regarding the launching of these pilots. If anyone would like to become a member of this group please contact Tony Chapman-Wilson, the University Peer Mentoring Coordinator for further details at Tony.Chapman-Wilson@Newcastle.ac.uk.

UKAT Annual Conference 2018 – Workshop: Academic Advising for PGT students

Workshop : Academic advising for taught postgraduate students: an exploratory study

Jane Fearon, Alison McCamley and Anna Wawera – Sheffield Hallam University

There had been an institution consideration of how little was done at PGT level. A small exploratory study with students interviewing other students on transition to create some scaffold for PGT support was run.

Development of: Transition support; Personal tutoring and personal development planning; Employability skills; academic literacies and study skills; English for academic/specific purposes; and academic and social integration. Continue reading UKAT Annual Conference 2018 – Workshop: Academic Advising for PGT students

UKAT Annual Conference 2018 – Workshop: Student Mentoring and Peer Learning

Workshop: Student Mentoring and Peer Learning – Gavin Jinks – University of Derby

Why they ran the pilot scheme: Sometimes students feel more comfortable asking their peers for advice; the reality of students sharing their experience ‘been there, seen it, done it’’; to increase level and type of support for year 1 students.

Recruiting of mentors: In the first year of the project Jinks approached 5 students with high levels of academic achievement. In the second year of the project Jinks saw a need for more mentors and also saw that academic achievement should not be the only criteria. This would allow for stretch and challenge, as well as supporting students with potential, allowing for more student engagement in the programme.  As a result Jinks approached 16 from the year 1 to be mentors.

What they did: Set up a Facebook group for networking and interaction; Induction activities planned and run; choose friendship and study groups; running study skills sessions; providing information and support on looking after yourself in the programme; managing relationships at home and outside the programme; an insider’s guide to lecturers and tutors; information on assessed practice placements. They would like to look at team building for future years. All the sessions and activities were created by the actual mentors,  as well as being run by them. Mentors ran student rep elections. Mentors facilitate study groups.

UKAT Annual Conference – Blog 1 – Keynote Speaker

Keynote: The case for collaborative care – Brett McFarlane  University of California – Davis

This discussed what is the true meaning of student success (is this retention rates or individual achievement), and how there should be Collaboration – work jointly on an activity or project; and Care – a provision of what is necessary; as well as considered attention and consideration to avoid damage or risk.

True collaboration: is based on shared ownership and vision, as well as shared resources. This should be based on the goals and outcomes of what the student wants to achieve – ‘theirs’ rather than the ‘institutional’ goals and outcomes allowing graduates to be happy with their experience. This will also support the improvement of social mobility and the achievement gap.

Research tells us: that relationships matter; that the frequency of advising matters – with the aim of improved satisfaction and learning; students need ‘cultural navigators’ – hidden curriculum, advice on who to see for what, the avoidance of assumption of what students ‘might’ or ‘should’ know, to enlighten students; and the connections with learning .

Barriers: These include a lack of agreement in what student success means; that nobody wants to ‘own’ student success; there is a failure to utilise prior research and literature; some institutions have a lack of formal training structures; and that there are some disaggregated and outdated technology systems

Moving forward: There is a need to consider process mapping in regards to what does the student actually need; some work is needed with function mapping and the definition of the staff involved and what their role is in the process; there is a need for a single shared communication structure to clearly articulate the student journey for ‘all’ to access; an obvious need for collaborative goals and outcomes that benefit the student, and in the long term the institution. We need to focus on building trust, involving students,  and to celebrate success. Continue reading UKAT Annual Conference – Blog 1 – Keynote Speaker

Peer Mentoring Thank You Event

Peer mentors from across the University gathered at the Great North Museum: Hancock last Monday to celebrate another successful year of the scheme.

Mentors and staff coordinators enjoyed drinks, food and an array of Christmas tunes as awards were given out for the best mentor from each Faculty and for the best Co-ordinator across the University.

PVC for Learning and Teaching Suzanne Cholerton introduces the awards
PVC for Learning and Teaching Suzanne Cholerton introduces the awards

Student mentors were nominated by the students they were mentoring and comments made were displayed on tables around to room:

‘My mentor was always positive and put 100% effort into helping every individual in our group.’

‘It is often more helpful to have a student’s perspective on an issue rather than just a staff perspective.’

peer-mentoring-quotationThe winners were Sachin Anand from Dental Sciences, Anjuli Chatterjee from Newcastle Law School and James Fortune from School of Biology.

The Coordinator of the Year was Alison Graham from the School of Biology.

alison-graham-award
Peer Mentoring Coordinator Winner Alison Graham, James Fortune Student Peer Mentor Winner and peer mentors from the School of Biology

The festive celebrations aimed to thank all students and staff for the time and effort they put into making the scheme such a success.

Well done everyone!

If you would like to get involved in Peer Mentoring at Newcastle, or you would like to find out more email us.

Peer Mentoring: Feedback Sessions

With the Peer Mentoring Scheme well underway across the University, mentors have been meeting with convenors to check how things are going.

Alison Graham convenes the Peer Mentors in the School of Biology.

feedback-session-peer-mentoring
Students in Peer Mentoring feedback session

She meets with Peer Mentors in the school in week 2, week 4 and week 7 or 8, just to check how students are doing and make sure that mentors and mentees are getting the most out of the scheme.

‘What I’ve started to try to do is to incentivise the meetings, so the students feel that they are getting something out of them, as well as just catching up.

‘I came up with the idea of tying them to the Graduate Skills Framework, so I often work through how the mentors will be able to use their skills in applying for jobs.

‘We go through how to evidence the skills that they’ve gained in applications and at  interview.’

Alison hopes that this approach will make the scheme more lucrative for second and third year students who may be unsure about giving up their time.

‘It’s really about making sure that students can see and really use the skills they are gaining form being a Peer Mentor, in addition to helping other students.’

Alison says the scheme has proved popular in the School and that students have described it as useful but that often the whole experience relies on engagement from the mentors.

‘We have some excellent mentors who establish a real social group and relationship with their mentees by organising trips and events.

‘We try to encourage that and encourage teamwork within the groups – for example, we organise a treasure hunt in week one where they all have to work together.’

She says that the amount of engagement with mentors depends on individual students and often to circumstances.

‘But it depends on them. Some students only really liaise with their mentor in the first few weeks but some need a little bit more.

‘They also tend to turn to their mentors around exam and assignment time.

‘But it can also be really important for some students who are struggling.’

As a convenor for the programme, Alison points out that its important for the mentors to be trained and supported so that they know what queries they can answer.

‘We have to be quite careful to make sure that they know how much help they can give students with their academic work.

‘Obviously they can provide some advice but we don’t want people sharing assignments or anything, so that’s something we have to train them for.’

As well as the feedback meetings, Peer Mentors have all been invited to a Thank You party, taking place on 5th December in the Great North Museum.

Claire Burnham, the University’s Peer Mentoring Coordinator said: ‘We’re very excited about the event.

‘The Mentor of the year award will be presented on the night and we’ve already had 400 nominations from students across the University.

‘It’s a great way of rewarding our mentors and our convenors for all of their hard work.’

 

Peer Mentoring: Helping Our New Students to Settle In

APL-Induction Pasta
Students Parents meet their Mentees in Architecture, Planning and Landscape

Peer parenting, or mentoring, inductions have taken place across campus.

The university’s mentoring scheme is gearing up for another busy year of supporting first year students through the first term of University here at Newcastle.

The scheme involves recruiting second year students to act as mentors, or parents, to first years offering advice on academic work as well as on other aspects of University experience.

In the School of Architecture, Planning and Landscape (APL), Caroline Armstrong,  Student Recruitment and Wellbeing Manager, organises the scheme, and the new “families” are all set for the new year.

Caroline said: ‘We call them parents in this school, rather than mentors.

‘We’ve been doing this for years now.

‘I just think that it’s such a good way of helping students to settle in.

‘I pick out the groups as soon as the firm offers are confirmed and students are contacted before they start by their new university “parents”.’

Caroline thinks the scheme is invaluable for new students in the School.

‘Just having someone there, who was in your position last year, to say “it gets better” makes all the difference.

‘Our students, like many others from across the University, are used to being real shining stars at School and when they get to University can struggle as they adjust to new subjects and new ways of thinking.

‘The have a social room, like a Common Room in the School and knowing and socialising with the second and third years can help them to feel comfortable and relaxed in these public spaces.’

The School have recently run their induction event, at which mentors meet their mentees for the first time.

‘We just get them together and they get a tour of the School and then have lunch with their new “families”.

‘To break the ice we gave them spaghetti, marshmallows and fruit pastels and told each “family” [a group formed of two mentors and a number of mentees] to build a structure.’

The scheme is so popular that the “parents” now have “grandparents”, third year students to help initiate them into their parental duties.

‘We might try brightly coloured jackets, to make the mentors really easy to spot in freshers week and to help promote the scheme to our other students.’

Caroline is currently planning feedback meetings, where students will be able to raise any pitfalls or benefits of the scheme.

‘Then it’s already looking forward to January, where we will start contacting this year’s first years to see if they want to parent next year’s students.’

Do you need help or advice about Peer Mentoring? Contact ltds@ncl.ac.uk.

Claire Burnham – Peer Mentoring

In light of the growing success of the University’s peer mentoring programme, Newcastle has appointed a new co-coordinator for the scheme, based in LTDS.

Claire Burnham
Claire Burnham

Claire Burnham began her new role in August and is already involved in helping to support the scheme more widely across the University.

She said: ‘I’m really looking forward to getting going with the programme. It’s going to be very exciting meeting the new mentors and helping to deliver some of the training.’

The programme trains and supports second and third year students to offer help and advice to first years as they begin their studies.

Each mentor works with a group of students in his or her school and a coordinator in their school or unit supervises the project and acts as a point of contact for mentors needing extra support or advice.

A Newcastle alumnus, with a degree in Psychology, Claire is very aware of the importance of getting it right in helping students to transition between school and higher education.

She said: ‘It’s such a great way of supporting students in making the transition to University, having a mentor who has already been through it and can offer support and advice.’

The programme offers full training to all mentors, equipping them with the skills to help new students but also with transferrable skills which will help them to enter the world of work.

As well as arranging and supporting training for peer mentors across the University, Claire is also responsible for making sure that the mentor’s achievements are celebrated.

She said: ‘We will be running, as we have done in previous years, awards for the best mentor in each faculty as nominated by their mentees.’

The awards get presented in a special event to be held at the Great North Museum: Hancock Museum on 5 December.

‘There is also an award for the best coordinator. So the event marks a great chance for mentors and coordinators to get together and celebrate a good job well done.’

If you would like help with training and supporting student mentors in your school or have any questions about the Peer Mentoring Scheme, you can email Claire on claire.burnham@ncl.ac.uk.

Do you have a particularly novel approach to Peer Mentoring School? Get in touch with us on ltds@ncl.ac.uk and tell us about it.