Could not download file: This paper is available to authorised users only.


T. de Dios-Alija, C. de la Calle, O. Peñalba

Universidad Francisco de Vitoria (SPAIN)
The accompaniment programme at the Universidad Francisco de Vitoria allows the undergraduate students to become further involved in their participation in social institutions, as a part of the subject Social Responsibility, thereby giving rise to an experience whose aim is to help them become agents of social change.

Aware of the need to create an educational context that helps shape the student as a whole and faced with the fragmentation of the person in these times of Post-modernism, we offer a Mentoring service as a means of accompanying the student throughout his or her comprehensive education and development. This service aims to help the students develop their sense of social responsibility, by learning and putting into practice values such as commitment, solidarity and the care of others, by means of personalised, transforming and empowering attention leading to personal and professional growth and development.

After a first pilot project carried out during the academic year 2014-15 in which Computer Engineering students met with their personal mentor on three occasions on a individual basis, this year we wish to take a step further by creating a new modality of accompaniment. On this occasion, our proposal is to offer accompaniment in community; where the student, the class lecturer, the mentor and other figures of the university community, as well as students from more senior years who have already carried out social work, may share moments of the transforming experience found in social activity and help in the search for meaning in it: What does this have to do with you? How does it change you? What do you intend to do from now on?

To this end, our aim is to create small inter-generational communities in which, as a reflection of our ideology, the wisdom of past generations is considered, which is offered to the present generation, always aware that the fruits derived from learning in community are the questions and issues which may arise, and which are at times permanent and at others belonging to this moment in time. In these communities, the students will be able to experiment the creative richness of sharing experiences with others, with the desired result that during this path that is walked along together, a journey in which all the community plays a part, the meaning of the experience in itself may be found.

We are aware that there are great differences between the students living their experiences “alone”, sharing them in a final report, and living them while “accompanied”, really sharing them and finding true and deep meaning in what they are doing. Likewise, thanks to this modality of accompaniment, the lecturer and the mentor will also share the same experiences as the students, reflecting on them both in class and in the social work as well as by means of personalised mentoring.