Peer Mentoring

To attend Higher Education can bring several challenges, especially when you are in the 1st year and meet new colleagues and teachers, new ways of teaching and of evaluation, new learning rhythms and even new challenges on a personal level, such as being in a different city and being away from family or friends. In this context, the UAlg’s Peer Mentoring Program was created to respond to these and other needs.
Universidade do Algarve

Who We Are

Promoted by the UAlg’s Pedagogical Innovation Support Office (GAIP), this Program has a vast team that is essentially made up of students (Mentors) and teachers (appointed coordinators of the Organic Units).

GAIP is responsible for the organization and supervision of the Program, as well as for the promotion of events and other activities related to peer mentoring (for example, the Peer Mentoring Course).

The coordinators of the Organic Units (OU) are the presidents of the Pedagogical Council of each OU or another appointed faculty member. Each coordinator, in conjunction with GAIP, supervises and monitors the Mentors and the Mentees of their OU. At the same time, together with the Course directors and the Academic Association, the coordinators and GAIP collaborate in the selection and organization process of the Mentor – Mentees groups.

Goals

With the main objective of promoting academic integration and success, this Program intends to formalize support relationships in which a more experienced student at UAlg, the Mentor, undertakes to accompany less experienced students in this context. In addition to:

  • Increase student involvement in the learning process, promoting academic success;
  • Empower students to become more active and autonomous, able to adapt to different learning environments;
  • Promote the students’ integration in the academic environment;
  • Develop students' soft skills.

We want you to feel integrated in UAlg and in the challenges of your academic path. For this, nothing better than the help of a colleague who has been through to something similar. What do you think?

Peer Mentoring Program

Duration

The Peer Mentoring Program takes place annually, between September and July. However, at the end of the 1st semester (February), the registered Mentors and Mentees confirm whether they want to continue their participation in the 2nd semester of the Program.

Phases

  • Recruitment and selection of Mentors
  • Peer Mentoring Course
  • Recruitment and selection of Mentees
  • Organization of Mentor – Mentees groups
  • Launch events and signing of the mentoring agreement
  • Mentoring activities

The Mentoring Program begins to be prepared in the previous academic year, through the recruitment of Mentors and their participation in a peer mentoring course. This course, created and promoted by GAIP, takes place during the four weeks of July, in an online format, and aims to train the role of mentor and to develop their soft skills, such as managing emotions, social skills and problem solving.

In September, in the student enrollment phase, the mentoring enrollment period takes place, followed by the selection and the organization of the mentoring groups, which can vary between 1 and 4 Mentees per Mentor.

After this process, the beginning of mentoring activities is formalized through a launch event at the initiation of the semester, where the objectives, the functioning and the team of the Program are presented. After this stage, each coordinator organizes, in their own Faculty/School/Institute, a welcome session where the Mentoring Agreement is signed (see Documents box). Mentoring support begins after signing this agreement.

At the end of the school year, the Mentor's activity is mentioned in the diploma supplement and the Mentee will receive a certificate of participation.

The peer Mentor is a student who already attends UAlg and who is willing to accompany between 1 to 4 students from the 1st year of UAlg (Mentees), by sharing their experiences and using their soft skills.

The Mentor has two main functions: psychosocial and of career. The former may include to support in problem solving, to motivate and to present UAlg’s elements (for example, extracurricular activities, colleagues, teachers, administrative services). Career functions, on the other hand, are related with activities such as to share information about curricular units and to share study and time management strategies.

Throughout the school year, each Mentor is accompanied by the coordinator of the Organic Unit to which the Mentees he helps belong.

At the end of each mentoring cycle, you must complete a specific questionnaire to evaluate the development of the program. The Mentor activity will be included in the diploma supplement.

To become a Mentor you need:

  • To attend, at least, the 2nd year of the Bachelor or a Higher Professional Technical Course at UAlg;
  • To have willingness to altruistically help students that enter in a new study cycle, as well as to share knowledge and to learn together with them;
  • To try to provide, at least, 3 hours a month for mentoring;
  • Don’t have delayed Curricular Units;
  • To participate in the UAlg Peer Mentoring Course;
  • To agree with the Peer Mentoring Agreement.

The Mentee is a UAlg student who is in the 1st year of any study cycle (Bachelor, Master, Doctorate or Higher Professional Technical Course) and who wishes to be accompanied by a UAlg Mentor.

If you would like to be a Mentee of the UAlg Peer Mentoring Program, you will be entitled to the support of a Mentor for at least one semester, as well as the coordinator of the Organic Unit to which you belong.

At the end of each mentoring cycle, a specific questionnaire must be completed to evaluate of the development of the program. You will be entitled to a certificate of participation at the end of your participation.

To become a Mentee you need:

  • To attend the 1st year (preferably) of any UAlg’s course and study cycle;
  • To have willingness to learn in a relational context;
  • To try to provide, at least, 2 hours a month to meet with the Mentor;
  • To complete an initial questionnaire, so that we can evaluate the program efficacy;
  • To agree with the Peer Mentoring Agreement.

Meetings between Mentor and Mentees

The meetings between Mentor and Mentees are the essence of this Program. In them, Mentor and Mentees share the responsibility of contributing to the quality of the mentoring relationship. Therefore, the mentoring group starts by filling out the Mentoring Plan (see Documents box), where they define the main objectives that they want to achieve.

We suggest that the mentoring meetings be weekly or biweekly. The duration and the places where they take place are defined between Mentor and Mentees. Regarding their format, they can be face-to-face (the most advisable), by videoconference or by mobile phone.

Contacts with the coordinator of the Organic Unit

Throughout the school year, each mentoring group is accompanied by the coordinator of the Organic Unit to which the Mentees belong. Thus, Mentors and Mentees can request their support and guidance whenever they need it.

Social Events

Social events are optional activities promoted by the Pedagogical Innovation Support Office (GAIP) and intended for all the Program participants. They aim to provide spaces for socializing, learning and developing soft skills. Activities will be announced throughout the school year.

Would you like to contribute to the integration of your colleagues at UAlg?

Do you want to develop your soft skills? If your answer is yes, this program is for you!

Sign up here

Documentos

Princípios orientadores do Programa de Mentoria por pares da Universidade do Algarve
Acordo de mentoria por pares da Universidade do Algarve
Plano de Mentoria
 
 
 
Contacts

Pedagogical Innovation Support Office
University of Algarve
Pavilhões de Alvenaria – Office F16
Gambelas Campus
8005-139 Faro
Telephone: +351 289 800 900, Ext: 7086
Email: mentoriaporpares@ualg.pt

Scientific Supervision and Coordination of the Programme: Saúl Neves de Jesus

Functional coordination: Mariana Guerreiro