Using part-time students as mentors - NTU, Derby and LSBU
The practice is based on a belief that part-time students in the workforce have significant attributes in terms of their experience of the industry and the professional skills they develop at work which they apply very effectively to their studying. Exposure to these skills, under the right circumstances, can be of great value to full-time students.
Details of the original project can be found at http://www.hestem.ac.uk/activity/using-part-time-students-mentors.
A variety of mentoring models have been developed or are proposed, including informal meetings with full-time first year students early in their course, supporting realistic project work, and guiding full-time students while preparing for work placements. The adoption process has involved the development of specific mentoring proposals, meetings with staff, and meetings with part-time students including initial mentor training.
The lessons learnt are that staff appreciate the value of part-time students and can see the merit, in principle, of an initiative that harnesses this, but need to know that a mentoring scheme is well thought-out; that part-time students can see the benefits of gaining experience as mentors but need assurance that the scheme has credits attached; and that the scheme must provide sufficient motivation for those being mentored.