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IMPACT OF MENTORING ON ENVIRONMENT KNOWLEDGE INCREASING IN PENULTIMATE COURSE STUDENTS

Mentoring is a relationship between a more experienced person (the Mentor) and a less experienced one (the Telemachus). This relationship is reciprocal, so both mentor and telemachus can benefit from it (Eby, Rhodes, & Allen, 2007).
The normal type of mentoring used in university settings is the peer mentoring (usually in group: a mentor and several telemachus; although when the number of telemachus is low pair mentoring is also used: a mentor and a telemachus) with virtual support.
In spanish university environments, the mentor is usually a student of higher courses that provides support, guidance and feedback on different aspects of the studies being done and also personal and professional development.
Different studies reveal that one of the benefits obtained by telemachus is the degree of learning outcome achieved as a result of receiving the action of mentoring (Alonso et al., 2010; Bentley, Cradit & Jackson, 2006); Eby and Lockwood, 2005; Germain, 2004; Haggard et al., 2011; Pan, Sun and Chow, 2011).
The main objective to be achieved with this study is to evaluate the efficacy of a mentoring program at university context on the knowledge acquired on the academic environment by the telemachus. To evaluate this efficacy similarities and differences among telemachus (experimental group) and not telemachus (control group) are analyzed before and after program implementation.
Telemachus (experimental group) were 33 penultimate course students of Work Psychology specialty and non telemachus (control group) were 32 students from the same course. A 24 open-ended questions protocol was applied to this sample in which they were asked about their knowledge about resources available in the Faculty (library, on-line resources, IT resources, medical and complementary services, etc.); academic and administrative organization at University; offer of undergraduate and graduate training in the market; different professional options for which university studies followed qualify and different professional actions to be developed to join the labour market once university education is completed (Psychologists' Association, Employment Services, job search techniques, etc.).
Repeated measures ANOVA revealed significant improvements in knowledge on the academic environment acquired by participants. The telemachus obtain improvements over not telemachus in the later measure of their knowledge on employment, computer skills, additional training and issues related to professional activities. In addition, telemachus increased their knowledge between pre and post measurement in such variables and also on students’ duties and rights. Control group does not show improvements in knowledge acquired on the different matters.
Areas of knowledge in which highest learning outcome was achieved are in depth analyzed; also recommendations on the most interesting areas to be developed for future programs are made.