PEER MENTORING INTO BIOCHEMISTRY CLUB: THE ROLE OF THE OLDER STUDENT-CLUB MEMBER AS A MENTOR
1 University of Barcelona (SPAIN)
2 Generalitat de Catalunya (SPAIN)
About this paper:
Appears in: EDULEARN13 Proceedings
Publication year: 2013
Conference name: 5th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 1-3 July, 2013
Location: Barcelona, Spain
Abstract:Spanish universities are integrated in EEES “Espacio Europeo de Educación Superior” in which tutorial function is an important strategy to make possible the academic and professional promotion for students.
“The Biochemistry Club” was created by The Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (University of Barcelona) in 2006-2007 academic course. Talented and motivated secondary school students to biochemistry and biosciences who have participated in “I love Biochemistry” course then they have became Club Members.
Peer mentoring is a form of mentorship that usually takes place between a person who has lived through a specific experience (Peer Mentor) and a person who is new to that experience (the Peer Mentee). In our Club, an older and experienced student will be a Mentor to a new student, the Mentee who is studying in the same Faculty or the same kind of studies. Both have similar backgrounds and a great interest in biochemistry. For this reason, the Biochemistry Club Mentors help The Biochemistry Club Mentee students in many questions such as how to enrol in biochemistry, how to register for classes, how to write papers, how to apply for financial aid, etc. Usually, senior students who act as mentors have focused their support on social, academic, and cultural skills that can help young students.
Examples of relevant questions which were posed five years ago by two students in their first University year have showed and discussed. The gratifying answers given by the Mentor have showed and discussed too. In addition, the support and information needed and given by the same two students who now act as Mentors have also discussed.
The students’ opinion was extremely positive. They said that it was good to ask a Mentor to obtain support for becoming accustomed to a new academic environment quicker and for doing the things more comfortable. And Biochemistry Club members thought that it was also good to become a Mentor because they have to promote and support individual education and, when it is necessary, the Mentor have to try to move or change the Mantee ideas with new ones. However, both students, the Mentor and the Mantee obtain benefits from their relationship.
Keywords: Tutoring, University, Mentoring functions.