Students supporting students
15th October 2012
Professor Alex Hughes, Pro-VC External, attended the awards ceremony of the Academic Peer Mentoring (APM) scheme hosted by the Student Learning Advisory Service in UELT on Tuesday 9th October. Colleagues from various schools and past and current mentors attended this event. A showcase of the past years scheme highlighted the experiences of staff and students. Students/mentors from 2011-1012 received their certificates handed to them by Prof Alex Hughes.
The APM scheme started in 2007 initially with three schools: Biosciences, Computer Sciences and Physical Sciences. In 2011-2012, the number of participating schools has risen with the addition of KLS, KBS, POL&IR, SECL and SMSAS, with a further number of schools expressing interest in joining the scheme. This year has seen the addition of EDA, Pharmacy and SSPSSR.
The aim of the APM scheme is to improve students learning and thus effectively improve their performance and retention. APM focuses on subjects rather than on high-risk students and is an excellent way to promote and encourage student-centered learning with first, second or third year students (student mentors) helping and supporting other students (mentees), in their foundation or first year. This initiative depends on student volunteers and is very much a student-led response to help other students in lower years benefit from their experience on the course. KBS has piloted this scheme with their PhD students mentoring masters students
Nevertheless, one size does not fit all and the Student Learning Advisory Service has been working closely with schools to develop and adapt the scheme to suit each schools particular needs.
Student mentors benefit greatly from the scheme as they develop further their understanding of the course content as well as enhance their employability skills. Student mentors talked about the positive outcomes of the scheme for them and their mentees. Many gave the feedback that their mentees were extremely grateful to the APM scheme and believe that their improved grades were largely due to the influence and support of the mentors.
A quote from one mentor, Dan-Habu Saratu, in KLS, said: My mentee walked up to me in Kent Law School and hugged me with excitement! She said that she got a first class in Public law which she never believed she could. The mentorship provided her with guidance, resources and reassurance, so much that she is actually looking forward to becoming a mentor and providing this assistance to other first years.
That made my day!
Thank you also for giving me this opportunity to positively impact people!!
Another mentor, Will Lowrie, in Biosciences said: "The most important skill I got out of the scheme was the confidence to stand up in front of people and give a talk. Time management was also a major skill I got as it took careful planning for each session"