The achievements of Academic Peer Mentors from Kent Business School at Medway have been recognised by the University of Kent’s Student Learning Advisory Service.
Academic Peer Mentors (APMs) Nana Agyemfra, Fatin Azhar, Damian Chan and Chengetai Garaiza attended the event with Kent Business School Student Experience Assistant James Lagdon. Peer Mentors from across both the Medway and Canterbury campuses were invited, which was a good opportunity to see the good work and different approaches taken in different academic schools.
‘I enjoyed the APM awards, it’s a nice gesture to recognise the work done by all the mentors. Being an APM has helped me to hone my time management skills and also aided in my networking endeavors. I was also able to consolidate prior knowledge gained from previous years of education. I would recommend being an APM to other potential mentors. It may sound daunting at first, teaching or guiding another student to excel at university, but the benefits gained overcome the challenges. Being a mentor rewards you with the best feeling in the world (next to graduating university with a first class degree of course!). You are making a change in the world, one mentee at a time.’ – Fatin Binti-Azhar, Stage 3 APM
‘To me, our mentors are truly inspirational. They somehow manage to find enough time to support their mentees (some have worked with 10 mentees at a time!) in and amongst their own studies – all whilst applying and having interviews/assessment centres for placement roles. Crucially, the support our mentors provide to younger students is very valuable, and is well received by mentees, due to the small age gap and relatability. Our mentor scheme has been hugely successful this year and no doubt will continue to be for many years to come.’ – James Lagdon, Student Experience Assistant.
The awards were presented to the mentors by Dr Bob Newport, Emeritus Professor of Materials Physics, who was one of the pioneers and a great advocate of the APM scheme in the School of Physical Sciences. Mentors from the School of Architecture, Kent Business School and the School of Social Policy Sociology and Social Research at Medway made presentations and showcased the impact this additional support has had on student achievement. The APM scheme has become an important intervention in the University of Kent’s Student Success project.
At Kent Business School the Student Success project was responsible for the re-focusing of the mentoring scheme. KBS Project Officers identified a problem with numeracy skills that was addressed in the first year of the re-focussed scheme. First year students also value the experience and insight of their mentors given that they have first-hand experience of what it’s like in the early stages of their University experience – both from an academic and non-academic perspective.
‘Not only do we see a positive impact on the attainment and engagement of our mentees but we also see our mentors benefit through increased confidence and the enhancement of key skills such as organisation and communication. The scheme continues to develop through the support of our Student Experience Assistant, and we see increasing numbers of students achieving and demonstrating model behaviors. It appears that as a result of the scheme and other initiatives run under Student Success in 2016/17, many more stage one students have met the criteria to become mentors in 2017/18.’ – Kayleigh Bliss, Student Success and Engagement Officer.
Find out more about the Academic Peer Mentor Scheme.