In an educational context, the work of the student mentor has been defined in the following way: “The mentor acts as a facilitator and a catalyst for learning rather than as a ‘teacher’. The learner is responsible for her own learning. The mentor is responsible for supporting, facilitating and learning with the learner.” (Kehoe 2007, p. 6).
Each SLC Student Mentor Training Program is contextualised to meet each school or programs mentoring objectives and to ensure mentors have the skills required to achieve positive outcomes for students and the school. Although mentor programs have varying priorities, training typically includes (PDF 71KB 1p) activities to develop skills and knowledge in the areas of mentoring, communication, awareness of diversity, peer learning, group facilitation, learning styles and reflective practice.
Students who volunteer for 15 hours and complete 5 hours of mentor training in a recognised mentor program will be eligible for the RMIT LEAD certificate signed by the Vice Chancellor and have their contribution recorded on their official RMIT academic transcript.
Other benefits for mentors
Consolidation of academic skills
Increased confidence and experience working in groups, resolving conflict and leading a team
Improved cross cultural communication and leadership skills
Satisfaction from helping others to succeed, make new friends and to widen personal and professional networks
Enhanced employability and CV/ resume
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Increased motivation, improved study techniques and confidence as academic learners,
Increased social engagement and enhanced motivation to attend classes and engage in learning as a result of interaction between students and mentors
Improved critical skills, problem solving ability which assists pass rates, grades and retention
Opportunity to develop study groups and networks of supportive fellow students
Increased interpersonal, cross cultural and social skills in a diverse and demanding environment
As mentors attend scheduled classes no additional time commitment is required from students and all students (whether struggling to succeed or just wanting to get ahead) have equal access to mentors support, knowledge and experience
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For staff thinking about starting a Mentor program
Are you thinking of establishing your own Student Mentor program but have a few questions or concerns?
Over the last 6 years of assisting academic and professional staff (Champions) to conceive, design, implement and improve mentoring and peer tutoring programs a multitude of issues, concerns and ‘perceived’ limitations have been raised and overcome. Creating successful mentor programs is possible because developing and delivering the mentor program is done in collaboration between staff in the school, the College ADG and RMIT SLC.
Although mentoring programs in the College have much in common, each has in fact been individually designed to meet the Champions (the school’s, program or course’s) objectives, context and resource limitations.