STUDENT MENTORING: AN EXPLORATION OF THE BENEFITS OF STUDENT MENTORS FOR YEAR 1 STUDENTS ON AN UNDERGRADUATE DEGREE PROGRAMME

G. Jinks

University of Derby (UNITED KINGDOM)
In 2015 I introduced the idea of student mentors for year 1 students on the BA Applied Social Work at the University of Derby. This was a small and low key idea. I recruited 5 students from the 2nd and 3rd years to run a short session during induction week and to be contactable so that new year 1s could raise questions and queries which they preferred not to raise with tutors. Discussions with all involved indicated that year 1 students wanted to have a significantly developed student mentoring scheme. So this year 19 further mentors have been recruited from current year 1 in order to develop the scheme. For 2017-18 the mentors are taking responsibility for 2 full days of student induction. They are taking responsibility for setting up and managing a Facebook group for the new year 1 students.

This group will allow information to be given to new students as well as providing an opportunity for them to raise questions. Student mentors will also be involved in providing assignment guidance to year 1 students for subjects in which those mentors have been very successful.

A key finding thus far has been the enthusiasm with which those invited to take on the student mentor role have responded.