About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 1548-1555
Publication year: 2009
ISBN: 978-84-613-2953-3
ISSN: 2340-1095

Conference name: 2nd International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 16-18 November, 2009
Location: Madrid, Spain

AN EVALUATION OF A PEER-MENTORING PROGRAMME IN A SCHOOL OF PSYCHOLOGY AIMED AT INCREASING STUDENT ENGAGEMENT

Y. Freeney

University College Dublin (IRELAND)
The issue of student dropout challenges universities throughout the world. Reasons for dropout are varied but often centre on unmet expectations and difficulties in adapting to college life and a new way of learning. Efforts to retain students until completion of their degree programmes focus on the development of support systems that can help to bridge the transition from second to third level education. In a study on student retention in University College Dublin (UCD), Matthews and Mulkeen (2003) found that wrong choice of course was the main reason for student dropout. After this, lack of interaction with staff, unfriendly atmosphere, poor sense of community and lack of friends were the main reasons cited by non-completers for their decision to leave. A couple of the key recommendations of this student retention study were to introduce a mentoring or buddy system for first year students and to promote an environment that fosters socialising but where alcohol is not the focus of all events. It was on this basis that the School of Psychology in UCD initiated and implemented a student engagement peer-mentoring programme for first year students, where first year students are assigned final year student mentors. The present study is an evaluation of the successes and limitations of this programme, an essential step in further developing effective mentoring programmes in UCD. Fifty-six first year psychology students (70% of the class) completed questionnaires assessing their attitudes towards the university and staff, their levels of engagement and various other questions about their experiences so far and aspirations for the future. These questionnaires were completed in the first month of both the first and second semesters. Findings from this study will be discussed in relation to the effectiveness of the mentoring programme and limitations of the current design of the programme. Students also provided qualitative feedback on how the programme could be improved and this presentation will discuss what improvements are to be implemented in the new academic year.
@InProceedings{FREENEY2009ANE,
author = {Freeney, Y.},
title = {AN EVALUATION OF A PEER-MENTORING PROGRAMME IN A SCHOOL OF PSYCHOLOGY AIMED AT INCREASING STUDENT ENGAGEMENT},
series = {2nd International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation},
booktitle = {ICERI2009 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-613-2953-3},
issn = {2340-1095},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Madrid, Spain},
month = {16-18 November, 2009},
year = {2009},
pages = {1548-1555}}
TY - CONF
AU - Y. Freeney
TI - AN EVALUATION OF A PEER-MENTORING PROGRAMME IN A SCHOOL OF PSYCHOLOGY AIMED AT INCREASING STUDENT ENGAGEMENT
SN - 978-84-613-2953-3/2340-1095
PY - 2009
Y1 - 16-18 November, 2009
CI - Madrid, Spain
JO - 2nd International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
JA - ICERI2009 Proceedings
SP - 1548
EP - 1555
ER -
Y. Freeney (2009) AN EVALUATION OF A PEER-MENTORING PROGRAMME IN A SCHOOL OF PSYCHOLOGY AIMED AT INCREASING STUDENT ENGAGEMENT, ICERI2009 Proceedings, pp. 1548-1555.
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