peer mentoring

Student Peer Mentoring

 

About our Student Peer Mentoring Service

The Student Peer Mentoring Service is available to all students as soon as they have accepted an offer to study with CCCU. The service is run by students for students and its focus is the wellbeing of our students. Student Peer Mentors are trained to provide a safe and confidential space for their fellow students to talk freely about anything and ask questions. Peer Mentors can provide reassurance, guidance and signposting to other services to help fellow students succeed through sharing their own knowledge and experience.

From September 2021 we will be recruiting new Beleive, Achieve, Mentor, Empower Student Peer Mentorings who will be available solely for our BAME student community.  Students who wanting these new mentors can apply from January 2022.

Why is Mentoring an Important Tool for University Courses?

Student Peer Mentors help you support your students.

Research and practice has shown that the use of Peer Mentoring schemes is beneficial for both students and staff. Mentoring offers many benefits to both the Mentor and the Mentee, including an overall improved learning experience, better degree outcomes, and the development of key graduate employability skills. For staff and module leaders, Student Peer Mentors help you to support your students both academically and personally. At CCCU, we proudly have a diverse variety of students and staff, and to support this diversity we have several mentors from the LGBTQ+ and BAME communities. If you are working to build Peer Mentoring and/or course mentoring within your course to promote and encourage diversity, targeting students with different ethnic profiles is essential. 

Peer Mentoring has helped to shape Foundation Year (FY) students with a range of academic demands. By using previous FY student to Peer Mentor new FY’s has seen a sharing of experience, approach and understanding which demonstrates the importance of student to student learning. We have seen examples of students who benefitted from the reinforcement of a Peer Mentor reviewing their work and going over processes to approach work, which has enabled their confidence to flourish quickly. Conversely, we have also seen that students with more acute demands in terms of organisation and structure and approach have also benefitted from the guidance which a fellow student can share from their experiences. This has led to successful student retention, and engagement, where individual students may have been uncertain as to their ability to approach academic study or to prosper in an unfamiliar setting.” Rob McPherson – Arts & Humanities Foundation Year Lecturer

 

Student Mentoring Models Available:

Pre-arrival Peer Mentors provide online (email) reassurance and guidance to new, returning, or distant students who have not yet commenced their studies but have a conditional or firm offer to study at CCCU.

The pre-arrival peer mentoring process:

  • A student may request a pre-arrival Peer Mentor as soon as they have accepted an offer to study with CCCU, but prior to them commencing their studies.
  • Students are matched according to their preferences or as near as possible.
  • The mentoring relationship is flexible so that it fits around students, their studies and other commitments.
  • A student mentor can choose the amount of time they devote to mentoring and how many mentees they can manage.
  • Both participants can change their mentor or mentee at any point.
  • How the mentoring relationship will work is for both participants to agree and decide. This will form the contract/boundaries for the mentoring relationship.

Pastoral Peer Mentors provide both online or face-to-face reassurance and guidance (subject to COVID-19 regulations) to students who are currently studying at CCCU.

The Pastoral Peer Mentoring Process:

A current student can request a pastoral peer mentor at any point during their studies.

  • Students are matched according to their preferences or as near as possible.
  • The mentoring relationship is flexible so that it fits around students, their studies, and other commitments.
  • A student mentor can choose the amount of time they devote to mentoring and how many mentees they can manage.
  • Both participants can change their mentor or mentee at any point.
  •  How the mentoring relationship will work is for both participants to agree and decide. This will form the contract/boundaries for the mentoring relationship.

The university runs a peer mentoring services for students when they accept an offer at Christ Church. Students can become or request a peer mentor at any stage of their academic journey. Through the peer mentoring scheme, students can gain guidance and support on all aspects of university life.  

Research and feedback from our students at Christ Church has shown that mentoring provides many benefits to both the mentor and mentee and can enhance learning and sense of belonging. The Believe, Achieve, Mentor and Empower programme aims to provide culturally supportive mentoring for Black, Asian, Mixed Heritage and Minority Ethnic students. Through this programme students that identify as Black, Asian, Mixed Heritage and Minority Ethnics (BAME) can be mentored or mentor BAME students. 

The benefits of mentoring or being mentored are limitless. Mentoring can provide valuable leadership and coaching skills that help you to understand how different individuals learn, promote self-reflection and enhance confidence.  

What is the Believe, Achieve, Mentor and Empower (BAME)Programme? 

This programme has been uniquely designed for students that identify as Black, Asian, Mixed Heritage or Minority Ethnic. The programme aims to improve the experience of Black, Asian and Mixed Heritage and Minority Ethnic students, enhance learning and celebrate success and collaboration. 

As mentoring provides opportunities for students to build a reciprocal relationship through empathy, listening, providing guidance and shared experiences, the Believe, Achieve, Mentor and Empower programme provides opportunities for students from a range of different cultural backgrounds to create a sense of community and shared understanding. Under the Believe, Achieve, Mentor and Empower programme, where possible students will be matched up with mentors from similar cultural backgrounds. 

Course Peer Mentoring provides subject-specific facilitated study sessions. Students are trained to be Peer Assisted Learning Leaders (PALs) to help enhance student understanding of the course. Course Mentoring can be facilitated to the needs of your students and typically consist of weekly or fortnightly in person or virtual group sessions enabling reflection on taught content, to achieve a set task designed to consolidate learning. It facilitates discussion, it is not teaching, and it allows students to raise questions in a safe and confidential environment about any fears, challenges, or other issues that they may be facing.

The PAL Process:

  • PALs run and facilitate peer assisted study sessions (PASS) for fellow students on their course in the level below.
  • PALs provide a safe and confidential space for students to ask questions.
  • PALs are trained in how to structure and lead flexible sessions so everyone can participate.
  • PALs are supported by their Academic Contact (academic member of staff in their course).
  • PALs do not teach, lecture, or give out the answers.
  • PALs may help with problem-solving, study skills and exam techniques, as well as preparation for coursework, assignments, and presentations.
  • PALs know what their students are going through because they 'have been there' and been successful.
  • PALs agree with the PAL group which material they want to review, improve on, or understand better.
  • PAL groups should bring lecture notes, hand-outs and/or textbooks to refer to in the session.
  • PALs and the PAL groups agree together how the group will work together to form the contract/boundaries for the group.

Some Benefits Reported by Staff Engaged with the Peer Mentoring Service: 

Staff have said that using peer mentors within their course has helped: 

  • students supporting each other with general enquiries, and in the use of certain systems, such as Blackboard and Turnitin. This proves particularly useful for staff as it decreases student reliance and frees up your time. 

  • with the reporting of issues to key course staff to aid in quicker resolutions. This helps with Student Staff Liaison Meetings as resolutions can be reported on rather than issues.  

  • students to develop real-life transferable graduate attributes, such as improving their leadership and presentation skills to help build self-confidence, and other skills often sought for in graduate jobs. 

  • with the overall health and mental wellbeing of students, enabling any issues to be made known to staff more swiftly and ensuring both student and staff have an adequate amount of time to complete assessments or other work in.  

 

 Frequently Asked Questions

Below are a some of the frequently asked questions from both staff and students.

Pre-arrival Stage

Pre-arrival Peer Mentoring provides online email guidance to new, returning, or distant students who, although they have not yet commenced their studies with us, have a conditional or firm offer to study a course at CCCU. 

Study Stage

Pastoral Peer Mentoring provides both online or face-to-face guidance (subject to COVID-19 regulations) and navigation to students who have already commenced their study at the University. 

Skills Stage

Course Peer Mentoring provides subject specific facilitated study sessions to enhance students understanding of the course. Course Mentoring typically consist of weekly or fortnightly in person or virtual group sessions, enabling reflection on taught content, to achieve a set task designed to consolidate learning. It facilitates discussion it is not teaching, and it allows students to raise any questions in safe and confidential environment about any fears, challenges, or other issues that they may be facing and to help them achieve the academic requirements of their course. 

Pre-arrival and Pastoral Peer Mentoring

Students involved in the Mentoring Service require a dedicated member of staff to provide them with first line contact and support within the course. 

Course Mentoring

Students involved in the Mentoring Service require a dedicated academic member of staff to inform on/tailor the study session activities/task to the subject specific requirements.  

As much time as you want to give. Any model you use should be student led as much as possible. However, it is important to inform your students involved in the mentoring service what you are expecting from them and/or want their student group will require/need.  

Ways You Can Support Your Students involved in the Mentoring Service 

  • Involve them in Induction Weeks to meet new students informally. 

  • Keep them aware of changes in the course. 

  • Course Mentoring requires access to or copies of first year modules/assessment briefs and are aware of course deadlines and timescales. 

  • Provide subject specific requirements for Course Mentoring student groups. 

  • Be someone students can pass feedback to, including areas they may be finding difficult. 

  • Help review and assess how student mentoring activities are going. 

  • Help with planning/ideas for activities tailored to the subject. 

  • Act as a mediator if there is a dispute or any other issues. 

  • Assist with any logistical matters (if required) such as attendance levels and timetabling. 

  • Provide pedagogical evaluation in partnership with LTE. 

The Peer Mentoring Team provide: 

  • Promotion and recruitment materials. 

  • Information talks (in person or virtually) to prospective students and families about the Peer Mentoring service at lectures, seminars, open days, information days and other events. 

  • Arrange and facilitate training on coaching and mentoring including group facilitation/management techniques. 

  • Maintains and manages the Peer Mentoring Service using a central database with responsibility for key information, including Peer Mentoring Blackboard. webpages, regular student communications through various channels. 

  • Support to academic and course teams to conceptualise and shape the mentoring approach. 

  • Regular communication with Academic Course Contact and Course Team to disseminate information on recruitment, training and other updates. 

  • Provide certificates and references for mentors. 

  • Collation and analysis of statistical data to measure and report on impact. 

  • A process for matching students together. 

  • Talks/development activities to students and colleagues about the peer mentoring service. 

  • Regular communication with other stakeholders such as the Student Union and the Enterprise and Employability team to include Peer mentoring activities on the HEAR, within the yearly volunteering award ceremony and the volunteering site. 

  • Benefits to CCCU (recruitment, inclusion, success and retention). 
  • Benefits to mentees (support, integration, and satisfaction). 
  • Benefits to mentors (knowledge, skills, and awards). 
  • Benefits to staff (workload, student retention, inclusion, success and achievement). 
  • Peer interaction and support. 

Contact the Peer Mentoring Officer at peermentoring@canterbury.ac.uk 

Some Reported Benefits from Students involved in the Mentoring Service 

  • Highly interactive training including group facilitation/management techniques. 

  • Consolidates learning and improves their own academic performance. 

  • Peer Mentoring or PAL Leadership shows an employer that they have gone above and beyond their degree and that they have been interested in contributing to the wider University community. 

  • Invitation to Yearly Volunteering Award Ceremony, University Certificate, chance of additional awards and recognition for being a peer mentor is recorded on their HEAR. 

  • Nominations for Peer Mentor of the Year Award. 

  • Develop skills in facilitating and mentoring/coaching and the ability to communicate and change communication to suit the needs of the audience. 

  • Develop graduate attributes such as listening, time-management, leadership and problem-solving skills and an ability to think on their feet. 

  • Improves knowledge of individual learning styles such as Visual, Auditory, Reading/Writing or Kinaesthetic and an awareness of different cultures and ability to adapt accordingly. 

Students are required to keep a record of their mentoring activities via the University volunteering system: https://ccsu.co.uk/volunteering/ to work towards achieving further awards. Students can record any volunteering activities they do throughout their period of study. This encourages reflective practice and provides a personal development plan which includes skills developed, potential challenges faced and time volunteered. 

 1.      Bronze = 0 to 50 hours and must include 2 skills 

2.      Silver = 51 to 100 hours and must include 5 skills 

3.      Gold = 101 to 150 hours and must include 10 skills 

4.      Platinum = 151 to 250 hours and must include 12 skills 

Each year students are invited to an Awards Ceremony where they may receive further certificates and be nominated for other awards. 

Peer Mentoring is recognised activities that is recorded on the Higher Education Achievement Report (HEAR). 

Peer mentoring students

“Peer Mentoring has improved retention rates and student performance on the first-year Texts and Contexts I module, with a greater number of first-year students submitting all three assessments and a greater overall average mark for the module.”  Susan Civale – English Literature Lecturer

Peer Mentoring helped facilitate effective learning among such a large and mixed cohort whilst enabling me to manage and meet the rest of my teaching and learning commitments.” Katja Hallenberg – Psychology and Crime Lecturer

 

 

 

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Last edited: 08/11/2021 11:09:00