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TUTORING AND MENTORING PROTOCOL FOR FOREIGN STUDENTS OF ENGINEERING DEGREES IN FORESTRY, FOREST ENGINEERING AND ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES

C. Calderón Guerrero, M.P. Arraiza Bermudez-Cañete, J.V. López Alvarez

Universidad Politécnica de Madrid, E.T.S. Ingenieros de Montes (SPAIN)
The purpose of this study is to report on the design and development of a tutoring protocol to improve the integration of international students like Erasmus students, Athens courses participants and all kind of foreign visitors during their academic attendance in the programs offered at Universidad Politécnica de Madrid’s School of Forest Engineering (Madrid, Spain). These tutorial activities will be hold by interested professors and supported by a mentoring group of volunteer students. In order to organize all these actions, a specific protocol of tutoring and mentoring international students is required.

The protocol is structured in multipurpose goals and their results are described in this paper with recommendations and actions that should be considered for the beginning of the tutorial program in the first semester of the 2012-13 academic year.
This protocol is based on the experience of previous reports and new contributions provided by diverse sources. One of the main resources of information was provided by the former students academic profiles with general information about their provenance, courses that they have applied and their performance during the exchange program. The second source of information was a survey, in which previously a group of questionnaires have been created and designed, in order to evaluate the degree of satisfaction and performances of current and former foreign students that have attended the lectures in the last three years, as well as a second questionnaire for professor interested to join in tutoring activities in the future.
The results were analyzed in order to detect what students have evaluated regarding academic, administrative, organizational aspects and any suggestion about services that Faculty could provide. In particular, we paid attention to the weak points that should be improved during the tutorial action.

Another goal of this project was to make available these results to the academic community. All foreign students (former, current and future candidates) will evaluate the results of this survey, as well as additional information for incoming students regarding the average cost of life expenses during their stay provided by their own fellows, which are displayed on this paper and at the Faculty web site. Professors that have showed their interest to join the project will have a report with the collection of proposals and reviews provided by the questionnaires filled by each participating member.
The main results, discussion and conclusions for this protocol are provided in this communication. We find that questionnaires are a valid and reliable tool for the design of a satisfaction survey, in order to target resources by a tutorial protocol at those areas that are perceived to be low satisfaction and high importance. These recommendations and the protocol could be helpful for further actions to be developed in our faculty and other universities.