The CGSB Academic Mentoring Program (AMP) is designed to provide support and pastoral care to new students at the CGSB by recent graduates. The mentors are not tutors or counsellors, they are “buddies”. They act as a friend and a person to consult with in unfamiliar territory. Considering that graduate studies are relatively different to undergraduate studies and the CGSB may be a new environment to most, it may help to have a guiding hand to ease the new graduates into life at the CGSB, convey the ethos of the institution and provide opportunities to meet past and current students in an informal setting. Mentees will be allocated a mentor and participation in the program is entirely voluntary by both parties.
- Assist in easing the transition of new students to their first trimester of graduate study.
- Provide commencing students with social and academic support during this period.
- Help new students build necessary skills for study and life-long-learning.
Principal Objectives of the Mentoring Program
- Provide new students with a sense of belonging, welcome and student identity making the transition to the CGSB less daunting.
- Provide an opportunity for commencing students to establish an informal but productive platform for interaction with an experienced graduate student who has volunteered as a Mentor.
- Help the new students focus on their selected courses and maintain a healthy and productive engagement in their studies.
- Boost the confidence of the students in their abilities, their choice of School and course, and in using the facilities of the School.
- Provide a listening ear and source of advice in regards to process issues at the CGSB & how to maximise the benefits of their studies at the CGSB.
Benefits to Mentors
- Development of interpersonal and communication skills
- Opportunity to share knowledge with others
- Acknowledgement of the contribution to the CGSB Academic Mentoring Program from the School
- Assist in furthering the quality and reputation of programs at the CGSB
Benefits to Mentees
- Make the transition into the School and course less daunting.
- Opportunity to receive practical advice in regard to the facilities and processes of the School
- Develop a support and social network
- Receive encouragement to maintain motivation and focus on one’s goals within the School
- Development of interpersonal and communication skills
Duration of mentoring
The CGSB Academic Mentoring Program (AMP) for commencing students will be for the duration of the designated trimester. Once this period is concluded any subsequent mentoring activity the mentor and mentee will engage in will be at their own discretion. Mentors could avail their services multiple times in the year of their own volition.
Establishing Some Ground Rules
When you make contact with your mentor or mentee the first time, take some time to establish some ground rules. This could entail rules or mutual agreements around the kind of advice to be considered e.g. only study-related information versus personal advice as well as over preferred contact times and communication modes etc.
The expectation of the time commitment required by mentors and mentees needs to be clearly indicated and accepted at the outset. The exact number of times that a mentor and the mentees meet or communicate within the Trimester is up to the participants. However mentors are likely to send 2-3 general emails to their mentees and provide answers to appropriate questions. Mentors have been advised that the commitment will be in the region of 10-12 hours and so mentees should be aware of this in respect of how often contact is made and the number of questions asked.
Please also refer to the student charter regarding expectations and responsibilities of students on matters such as academic expectations. http://students.curtin.edu.au/rights/student_charter.cfm
- Be Proactive: If your mentor or mentee hasn’t responded to you in a while, don’t be shy about e-mailing or calling them again.
- Make it Personal: Be sure to get to know your mentor/ mentee on a personal level. One can learn a lot from personal stories/ experiences.
What a mentor is:
- A guide
- A friend
- A listener
- A responsive “sounding board”
What a mentor is not:
- An academic tutor
- An arbitrator or representative for academic matters and disputes
- A family member
- A personal counsellor
- A ‘know-all’ advisor
Dos and Don’ts:
- DO keep appointments and be punctual
- DO look for opportunities to participate in School events together
- DO openly receive feedback without becoming defensive
- DO maintain trust and confidentiality where appropriate
- DO stick to the ground rules agreed upon collectively e.g. agreed contact times , preferred contact modes (e.g. work versus personal email)
- DON’T ask for or expect your mentor to provide a job or internship
- DON’T ask for past assignments from your mentor as this will be in breach of student academic expectations
- DON’T lose focus of the main objective of the mentoring: assistance to a good start in your studies and new environment
- DON’T ignore your responsibility to familiarise yourself with the School and University processes and expectations
Tips for giving feedback:
- be direct and straightforward
- be non-judgmental
- be candid
- be specific, focused, and timely
- be non-personal [focus on a behavior, not on the person]
- encourage the mentee to take responsibility for his or her own actions
- all feedback given in the context of a mentoring relationship should be focused on goals of the mentoring arrangement
- deal with behaviors or actions, not people or personalities
- be fair, empathetic, professional, and balanced
- offer help, support, suggestions
Note: The AMP will in no way, form, or manner try to replace the existing services provided to alumni and students by the University or School.
Other sources of assistance (particularly for mentees):
- CGSB Student Services Office
- Curtin Online Service Finder http://life.curtin.edu.au/
- For any issue, incident or activity that might threaten your or affect your sense of wellbeing go to Student Wellbeing at http://studentwellbeing.curtin.edu.au/ (URL) firstname.lastname@example.org (email) Student Wellbeing number 1800 244 043 (toll free)
- Lecturers: don’t be afraid to ask them questions
- Unit Controllers
- Course Directors
If you have a problem, please discuss it with someone entrusted to assist you and don’t just hope it will go away!
CGSB Academic Mentoring Program Contacts
There is no guarantee that all mentor-mentee arrangements work out though all groups are encouraged to initially try to resolve any issues within the group. The point of first contact for all communication both positive and negative can be directed to Kim McMullan, who will endeavour to assist with any queries or concerns.