Students 4 Students: Enhancing the 1st Year Experience

Dr John Barrow
Students 4 Students Coordinator
“Mentoring is to support and encourage
“…in order that they may maximise their
potential, develop their skills, improve their
performance and become the person they want
to be.“
Eric Parsloe, The Oxford School of
Coaching & Mentoring
• Transitional mentoring of our students as they
begin their undergraduate studies
• Run jointly by UoA and AUSA
“The Students 4 Students (S4S) Scheme is here to help you settle
into University life with advice and support from your fellow
students who have been there and got the t-shirt.”
“Our S4S Mentors are all fully trained, and are current
undergraduate students who are studying in the same School as
you and, if possible, on the same degree programme.”
• Initial idea was for academic mentoring
• Changed to peer mentoring specifically as a retention
• Piloted in SMS (2010-11)
– 5 Mentors / 15 first years
• Expanded in SMS / piloted in DHP (2011-12)
– 25 Mentors / 35 first years
• SMT approved for institutional roll out to all Schools
based on success of SMS/DHP pilots
– Currently 75 Mentors being trained
Specifically help first years by:
• Answering general questions and/or directing
them to the most appropriate source of advice
• Encouraging them to make the most of
opportunities to meet one another, become
involved in campus life and develop their own
support networks
• Maintaining contact with them during the first
year of study and maintain confidentiality
• Gaining practical advice, encouragement and
• Learning from the experiences of others
within the same area of study
• Increasing social and academic confidence
• Making new friends across year groups
• Developing strategies for dealing with life at
the University
March: Recruit
S4S School
Advising: Flyers
for 1st years
Freshers’ Week:
Notify 1st years of
first meeting
March: Recruit
Freshers’ Week:
Advertise to 1st
1st week of term:
meeting / Mentor
groups formed
April: Training of
Week: Refresher
4 weeks of intensive training from various support areas
of the University:
• Lucy Foley – Student Support Services
• Pat Rowand – Registry
• Duncan Stuart – InfoHub
• Shona Howie – AUSA Student Advice Centre
• Joy Wootten, Janine Chalmers – Culture and diversity
• Angela Bolt, Sally King, Ruth Bannister – Counselling
• Feedback has been gathered from previous two
• It is hoped the scheme will grow and become
entrenched in School-level retention strategies
• Ultimately the scheme should encourage a
more student-centric atmosphere to all new
undergraduate students
• Full impact will be tested in several years with
data collected from each year