Mentors - CACUSS

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Mentoring Connection: Redefining
Mentoring as a Holistic Community
Approach to Sharing Knowledge and
Building Networks
Margaret Colton and Penny Kaill-Vinish
Office of the Dean of Students, McGill University
CACUSS Conference
Vancouver, 26 May 2015
Presentation Outline
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Introductions
Define “Mentoring”
Program Overview
Mentoring Reimagined
Current Program Structure
Challenges
Program Developments
Our Holistic Approach
Achievements
What We Have Learned
Looking Forward
What does “mentoring” mean to you?
Welcome to the
Staff-Student Mentoring Program!
Designed to spark informal
out-of-the-classroom conversations
between diverse members of the
McGill community with the overall
goal of enriching the university
experience for all.
A Brief History
It started with an idea, sparked by Professor
David Harpp…
“It’s someone who
has your back, as
the phrase goes.”
-- David Harpp
Collaboration
… and continued with the collaboration of 4 former
McGill students.
Why is it difficult for McGill community members
to connect?
• Large classroom size
• Immense student population (~40 000)
• Immense overall university population (~1 700 faculty)
• One can walk across campus and never spot a familiar
face!
Implementation
Together, Prof. Harpp and his student partners
proposed a solution to former Dean of Students, Jane
Everett…
… and the Staff-Student Mentoring Program launched
in February 2011!
Mentoring Reimagined
Anyone can be a mentor, and mentoring can take
many forms.
Every mentoring relationship will be unique in its
nature and scope and will develop organically over
time.
A mentoring relationship can help close gaps, foster
connections and build networks, as participants
discover new opportunities and share knowledge
and exchange insights about a wide variety of topics
and interests.
Current Program Structure
Mentees
• Undergraduate
students
Mentors
• Graduate students
• Management,
administrative and support
staff
• Faculty, course
instructors
• Healthcare professionals
• Young alumni (coming
soon!)
Pairing Process
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2.
Undergrad student fills out application form
Indicates mentor choice:
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Graduate student
Faculty member
Management, administrative and support staff
member
Healthcare professional (if they qualify)
Automated vs. Manual Pairings
Year
Automated
Pairings
Manual
Pairings
2013 - 2014
38 %
62 %
2014 - 2015
32 %
68 %
Special Considerations
We have made manual pairings based on…
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Language
Academic/research experience
Work/volunteer/life experience
Gender
Specific skills (i.e. public speaking)
Interests/hobbies
Political/philosophical ideologies
Sexual orientation
Ability
Top 10 “Special Considerations”
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Medicine
Research
Specific Academic Disciplines
Travel/International Affairs
Networking
Neuroscience
Language
Honourable Mentions:
1. Law
Writing/Publishing
2. School/Life Balance
Career Trajectory
3. Business/Management
Public Speaking
Participation
Academic Year
Total Number of Pairings
2012 - 2013
126
2013 - 2014
127
2014 - 2015
106
Year of Student
Total Number of Paired
Mentees (2013 – 2015)
U0
72
U1
83
U2
43
U3
32
U4
3
Challenges
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Current financial climate
Human resources
Faculty buy-in
Technological limitations
Continued Development
Stream options:
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Graduate student mentors
Faculty and staff mentors
Widening Participation Committee mentors
Young Alumni mentors
Rebranding to Mentoring Across McGill
Graduate – Undergraduate
Mentoring Stream
• Approached by interested graduate student,
Rachel Schwartz
• Increase in academic pairings because there is
no conflict of interest
• Increase in research pairings because grad
students are more “available” than faculty
Academic Year
Total Number of Pairings
2013 - 2014
31
2014 - 2015
56
Faculty of Medicine’s Widening
Participation Committee
• Scarcity of healthcare professionals from Indigenous and
Black communities as well as rural and low-income
backgrounds
• Under-representation creates shortages of healthcare
professionals in these communities
• Exacerbated by students’ limited interactions with people
from these populations during their medical studies
Our Holistic Approach
• Everyone has something to offer!
• Learning happens both ways
• Challenging traditional hierarchical
structures
• Providing options
• Connecting the disconnected
Achievements
• Multi-disciplinary mentorship pairings
• Pairings based on individual and diverse
student needs not met within traditional
structures
• Providing skill development and access to areas
not traditionally available to undergraduates
• Access to healthcare professions
• Elevating the importance of connection
What we have learned
• If you build it, they will come
• The domino effect
• Mentoring as community building
Looking Forward
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Young Alumni mentors
Training modules for mentors
Program assessment
Continued program growth
Thank you!
For more information, please feel free to
contact us!
• undergrad.mentoring@mcgill.ca
• www.mcgill.ca/mentoring
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