Academic Peer Mentoring (information for staff)

What is APM ?

Academic Peer Mentoring (APM) partners experienced students with newer students to support their learning in specific modules. The scheme operates in participating departments and is co-ordinated by the Student Learning Advisory Service (SLAS).

APM is a success strategy which helps students to make the most of their studies and has a positive impact on developing a sense of belonging, attainment and retention.

Academic Peer Mentoring is a voluntary scheme which is flexible, confidential, and fits around the availability and preferences of the students involved. Full training is provided and is compulsory for all mentors. Mentor participation will be reflected on the student’s Higher Education Achievement Record (HEAR), they will be able to log their hours towards the Kent Volunteer Scheme, and they will receive Employability Points and a Kent certificate from SLAS.

Mentors are usually from the same course as the mentees, and are trained to ensure they can handle the range of questions and emotions which students may go through as they experience university life.

Benefits of the APM scheme

  • Encourages independent learning
  • Improves student retention and achievement
  • Builds a community of learning
  • Supports transition to university studey and provides informal induction

Benefits for mentors:

  • Develop employability skills such as, confidence, communication and leadership
  • Practice teamwork and organisation skills
  • Demonstrate transferrable skills and CV experience
  • Involvement in a community of learning

Benefits for mentees:

  • Gain confidence in academic skills
  • Become an independent learner
  • Discuss and apply knowledge
  • Get help with aspects of the course

The kind of support mentors offer:

  • Help with time management
  • Informal induction information
  • Introduction to using an academic library
  • Subject-specific study skills support
  • Sign-posting support services

How does it work?

Participating academic departments run the scheme slightly differently depending on their needs and cohorts. Most departments operate on a 1:1 self-enrol basis, although some assign every new student to a mentor, who can be assigned up to 6 mentees. Some departments also work on an ‘on-call’ basis with a smaller pool of mentors who run drop-in clinics or answer individual enquiries from new students, rather than developing an on-going mentoring relationship.

Mentors are recruited by academic departments in the Spring term for the following academic year and trained by SLAS over the Summer via Moodle. This ensures that there are mentors ready to support new students when they arrive in September. There is then a second round of mentor recruitment at the beginning of the Autumn term. Mentees are recruited at the beginning of the academic year and are matched to their mentors primarily based on program of study.

Further information on how the scheme works, including contacts, timelines and marketing templates can be found in our APM for Staff Guide.

To find out more or if you would like to set up APM in your department, please contact us at slasapm@kent.ac.uk

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Last Updated: 23/02/2021