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The 2009 Mentor Preparation Program Jim Elliott START Manager
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The 2009 Mentor Preparation Program Jim Elliott START Manager

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  1. The 2009 Mentor Preparation ProgramJim ElliottSTART Manager While you’re waiting – introduce yourself to three people you don’t already know

  2. The 2009 Student Mentor Handbook Today’s program (green) The agenda for your meeting with your staff coordinator (buff) The Mentor Agreement (white) The hypothetical (yellow) 10 Copies of the Sports Program for your mentees Small group discussion questions (blue) Your name tag – add a coloured sticker if you have previously been a Curtin mentor Handouts you should have…

  3. We are now in the 2nd year of the large scale Mentor program We have Mentor programs in: Pharmacy Nursing & Midwifery Psychology Biomedical Science Occupational Therapy Social Work Education Computer Science Centre for Aboriginal Studies Nursing & Midwifery Health Information Management – specifically for Distance Education Students Design Multimedia Design Fashion Design Architecture Urban & Regional Planning Social Science & Asian Languages Art Spatial Design Construction Management Media, Culture & Creative Arts Apologies to anyone I missed… Welcome and thank-you in Advance!

  4. The Mentor Role • 9.00 – 9.45 am (Jim Elliott) • Overview of the Mentor Role – • What can a mentor do? • Limits and boundaries of the role • What can a mentor do to build a sense of community in their school? • Understanding Student Development and Transition – • What do new students go through? • What is associated with success? • Indicators for being at-risk of dropping out, failure or withdrawal

  5. What was the pathway leading to the decision to apply for your course? What was your biggest worry before you began? What were you most excited about? Think back…

  6. At the beginning of your course: what could have made a difference to your adjustment to university study? What might have helped during your first semester? Did anyone do anything that really helped? When did that happen? Keep thinking back…

  7. Helping new students become successful… • Successful students: • Make friends and have a sense of belonging • Form good relationships with University staff • Develop effective Study Skills • Have clear motivation and career goals • Use sources of help

  8. A Mentor can make a big difference • A mentor is a student who has completed at least 1st year and who is willing to help new students settle in to their course.

  9. A little bit of history • The term mentor comes from Homer’s ‘Odyssey’ in ancient Greece (over 3,000 years ago). Odysseus appointed Mentor to act as a guardian, role model and friend for his son Telemachus while he went off to fight the Trojan War – the war with Brad Pitt starring as Achilles. • That is, Mentor was an actual person, and the term now applies to a role.

  10. Mentees value what you are doing • Have a look at the 2008 mentee feedback at • They really like what is on offer – even though they can be apparently somewhat unresponsive

  11. Indications that new students may be struggling • New students showing these signs are the ones that need your help most: • poor attendance record • poor punctuality • late submission of assessable work • poor quality of assessable work • reluctance to participate in class (e.g. avoiding speaking in tutorials; avoiding giving presentations) • Expressions of low motivation, not belonging and the like • How might you find out if anyone is showing these signs?

  12. Role of the Mentor: Listen & question Guide on career development Pass on what you know Offer different perspectives Offer support, encouragement Take lead (initially) Give well-informed advice Refer on where appropriate Celebrate success (do not ignore this one) Encourage mentee to Check their understanding Share their concerns Review & reflect on learning Take responsibility for own development Get the most from the relationship Celebrate success The Mentor:Mentee Relationship

  13. Aspects of the Relationship • Beginning the Relationship • Consolidating the Relationship • Maintaining the Relationship and Being Available • Contributing to the development of your school community • Concluding the relationship • See pages 8-9 of the Mentor Handbook – let’s take a quick look

  14. Specific Mentor activities… • Finding their way around uni • Getting used to the library • Understanding how the timetable works • Helping make sense of class sign-ups • Understanding Curtin’s on-line environment (OASIS, student email, Blackboard etc) • OASIS now has a new StartUp Channel especially for new students • Connections to fellow students and staff • Helping develop a feeling of welcome and belonging

  15. There is a lot of mentoring experience in this room today • This session will be a small group discussion • 9.45 – 10.30 am – discussion time, leading in to a 10.30 – 10.45 am break

  16. Your task… • Your group should have at least one experienced mentor • Discussion Questions: • What worked in the 2008 mentor program? What was not so successful? (2008 mentors will need to lead this part of the discussion) • What can you do to connect to and get some communication back from mentees? • What are some social or professional development activities you might be able to organise in your school? (i.e. things that build a sense of community and belonging)

  17. Find your group • Your name tag has a number and a letter on it • Find the group with the same letter as you, and then sit with that group for the discussion activity • You can stay in this room, or use the adjacent class rooms • Grab some morning tea from about 10.15 onwards and be back in here for 10.45 am

  18. Follow-up on pre-morning tea discussion • A lot of the material discussed in that session is in your Mentor Handbook • pages 3-9 and pages 14-17 • You might also use the slide show at

  19. The Learning Centre 10.45 – 11.15 am David Packer The Learning Centre – • What do they do? • How to connect new students to this service

  20. A Mentor can connect mentees with sources of help 11.15 – 12 noon (Jim Elliott) • It is important to be familiar with what is available….and to link your mentees to the right service in a timely way • These are all listed in your Handbook

  21. University LifeSources of Help at Curtin Curtin has many resources that you might suggest to your mentees… Mentor Handbook – pages 23-28

  22. The University Life Portal • - this page has: • A link to every support service offered at Curtin • A service finder, in case you are not sure which service you might need • You’ll find a link to this anywhere that has the “Don’t Drop Out, Drop in” button

  23. Counselling ServicesLevel 2, Building 109Ph 9266 7850 • A free and confidential service. • Appointments are required but counsellors may be seen on short notice for emergencies • Includes a group program • • Disability Support Services are also located in the same area •

  24. Health ServicesLevel 1, Building 109Ph 9266 7345 • Provides comprehensive general practice patient care plus overseas immunization. •

  25. First Year ExperienceBuilding 102Ph 9266 4761 • The First Year Experience Coordinator (FYEC) supports new-to-Curtin students and is responsible for transition programs run each semester. • Also available for one to one chats, the FYEC can also refer you to other services on and off campus to support your life while at Uni. • Email -

  26. International Student AdvisersBuilding 102Ph 9266 • For International students, we can assist with: • A smooth transition into university life (International Prep Week) • Personal issues • Academic concerns i.e. conditional status, struggling with units, course etc • Advice on how to handle complaints and grievances • Liaison between student and faculty or School (Course Coordinator, Unit Controller etc.) if you have problems explaining yourself • Any other situation that you are unhappy with or unsure of •

  27. Housing Services Building 103 (International Office)Phone 9266 4430 • Advice on all accommodation-related issues, eg, finding on-campus, off-campus and private sector accommodation, paying fees, transferring rooms. •

  28. Curtin Volunteers (CV!)Curtin Hub, Building 599Ph 9266 3954 • A non-profit, student-led organization that gives both Curtin students and staff an opportunity to give back to the community through a huge range of rewarding programs and projects. • Also extremely useful to help new students build a social network and improve conversational English •

  29. Recreation@Curtin • Getting off your butt and being active is a top stress management tool • The new sports stadium offers a ton of activities in addition to existing facilities • Ph 9266 7052 •

  30. Curtin Business School students • CBS also offers a range of support services for CBS students • See See the Communication Skills Centre • Building 407, Room 202 • Phone 9266 3079 •

  31. Financial information • Student Central, Building 101 • Phone 9266 2992 • • Emergency Loans information:

  32. Centrelink • Building 106 • Phone 132 490 • • Contact page:

  33. Ethics, Equity and Social Justice • Web-based resources on diversity issues: •

  34. Student Central & Faculty Student Service Offices – there is often an administrative solution to some problems • See website for a vast array of services – • Enrolment • Fees • Examinations • Appeals • OASIS / eStudent • Lots of other essential things… •

  35. Student Guild Building 106A • Phone 9266 2900 • Student Assist - • (check out Bookshop Grants….) • Recreation -

  36. A Task • Spend a little time looking through the Hypothetical Scenario on your handout • How would you advise these unfortunate students?

  37. Small group discussion on the hypothetical (see yellow handout) • Form into the numbered groups on your name tags • These will be mentors from the same or similar courses • You might need to split your group if your course has lots of mentors • Then kick on to the lunch break

  38. It’s nearly lunch time! • During lunch – you will meet in small groups with your staff co-ordinator. Make sure you have a copy of the agenda (the buff handout). • Agenda: • Planning for the school’s Orientation program • Planning about how to communicate the goals of the program to new students • Process of assigning mentees to mentors • Setting meeting dates between mentors and staff coordinators • Issues specific to the school • Following up on O Week – social or professional development activities + ways of staying connected to your mentees • Assigning a person to keep a record of mentor/coordinator meetings and distribute copies (if necessary)

  39. 12 noon – 1.00 pm: lunch (provided as part of program). You can use the adjacent classrooms, find a nice spot outside or wherever makes you happy We will begin again at 1.00 pm There will be chocolate for punctual people. Enjoy lunch The lunch break! Oh joy!

  40. The Hypothetical • Some lessons from this exercise • You are unlikely to come across anything that complicated • If you do… you will definitely need to connect to the University’s professional services

  41. Using your experience as a mentor in your future career • 1.00 – 1.30 pm (Kristy Warrick) • The Careers Service • What can they do for your mentees? • What can they do for you?

  42. The Library 1.30 – 2.00 pm (Diana Blackwood) New Students and the Library

  43. Other key learning resources • Before moving on – just think… • Are there any other key learning resources in your area that a new student should know about? • Labs, common rooms, whatever?

  44. Cultural Diversity and Sensitivity • 2.00 – 2.30 pm (Jim Elliott) • Cultural issues • Communicating with Mentees • Meetings, Email and mobile phone etiquette

  45. Mentors are expected to: • Treat other students with respect and courtesy • Be fair and consistent with all mentees • Comply with Curtin policy with respect to bullying and harassment

  46. Be careful of the language you use. Avoid swearing and slang that might not make sense (especially to students who first language may be different from your own). Be aware of student’s sensitivities -ethnicity, social class, gender, religion etc. (Be aware of formal Equity and Diversity issues) It’s OK to ask people how they wish to be treated. Building the role – cultural issues

  47. Email Netiquette… What is wrong with this email to mentees? To: From: Subject: Wassup???? Hey dudes, This your ever-friendly mentor calling! Yo! Hope you all just luvvin your assignemtns (AWHFY - LOL!!!!!!!!!) Anyway, IMHO you might need a little help some time. Gimme a call if you want an F2F. But if you got any questions about the unit outline, RTFM first!!!! Cop you later :-) Mr Mentor man (p.s. like my Fat Freddy cartoon?)

  48. What’s wrong with this one? To: From: Subject: Is everything OK? Dear sirs/madams, It is my duty to check if you are doing OK with your study. If not, please call me. Yours sincerely Eleanor Sponge (Miss)

  49. The Mobile Phone/Email Dilemma • Email is free - but not all students respond to it frequently and quickly • They are more likely to respond to phone contact – but that is neither free nor private • It is totally your choice whether you communicate with mentees via phone

  50. Mentor Handbook Reference • Building relationships and communicating – see pages 18-22 • Templates for emails to mentees and possible meeting agenda items – pages 37-45 • I will also send you emails and email templates throughout the semester