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1 January 2015
UWC Peer Mentoring Programme has Great Success

UWC Peer Mentoring Programme has Great Success

The Peer Mentoring Programme (PMP) forms part of the Office for Academic Support which falls under the Centre for Student Support Services. The PMP is a mentoring programme aimed at facilitating the academic, social and personal adjustment of all first year students.

In 2009 the university-wide Peer Mentoring Programme was established when Prof Lullu Tshiwula made the decision to merge the SDS Mentoring Programme and the Student Mentoring Programme. The PMP serves both residential and commuter students from the Cassinga and CSSS offices.

Senior students who are interested in becoming peer mentors must apply for this position and meet selection criteria. The mentor application process opens annually in the first week of the second semester. Potential candidates must however meet the selection criteria, which include academic excellence as well as a range of competencies and skills.

Mainstream first year students (FYS) who are interested in becoming mentees can apply throughout the year to join the Peer Mentoring Programme, and will be allocated a mentor accordingly.

Based on PMP statistics from 2011 until 2014:

* PMP conducts 6,253 mentoring sessions annually

* 739 FYS apply as mentees

* 74.1% of FYS who are mentees in the PMP are promoted to their next year of studies

* 194 senior students apply to become mentors

Based on statistics outlined above and evaluation feedback, it is evident that the PMP has been a great success, not only among the first year students but also among senior students who participate as mentors.

The programme has an annual Mentor Valediction Ceremony to acknowledge the hard-work, determination and dedication of certificate recipients as well as those who made significant contributions to the academic, personal and social development of FYS. However, not every mentor is awarded a mentor certificate.

The prestigious Andrè Lakey award is presented annually at the Mentor Valediction ceremony in honour of Andre’s legacy. It is awarded to a mentor who displays a range of qualities which includes putting the well-being and the needs of others (their mentees particularly) above their own.

This year’s recipient is Busisiwe Matonsi, a final year Geology student who is a mentor in the programme. Busisiwe maintained academic excellence while living her passion and commitment for developing and inspiring her mentees. She displayed an attitude of humility and a genuine sense of service.