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Mentor Scheme: staff guide

The access agreement commits the University of Worcester to a five-fold expansion of the Widening Participation Programme. The University has the responsibility to ensure that the funding allocated by the access agreement is used to fund activities that address recruitment and awareness-raising of students from groups that are particularly under-represented; whether at the University of Worcester or in the department, degree programme or subject area.

One of the commitments contained in the access agreement is to increase the number of University of Worcester student opportunities from 120 in 2011/12 to 500 in 2016/17. The introduction of a University wide scheme for mentoring has been developed as a controlled and measurable way to achieve and manage this expansion.

The term Mentoring in this context will be taken to mean engagement in outreach activities which raise aspirations and awareness of Higher Education among groups which traditionally have a low uptake of Higher Education. This could include work in primary & secondary Schools, FE colleges and certain aspects of community work.

Use of University of Worcester students

All University of Worcester students used in projects funded by the access agreement must be part of the University Student mentor programme.

All students must have completed the level 1 training as a minimum requirement before they can be employed on any outreach activity. The training is online and open to all University of Worcester students. Once a student has completed the training they are invited to register their interest in the scheme via a short on-line form. Access & Inclusion keep a list of all registered students.

University student roles can be defined as level 1 or level 2 roles. If the role is defined as level 1 there should not be a need to provide extra training apart from any subject or event specific information that needs to be passed on.

All level 2 roles will require extra knowledge and/or training on the part of the student mentor. This will be decided on & delivered by the department staging the event.

The need for extra training does not in itself mean that the job is a level 2 role. For example, work for a science visit may require the student mentors to have an extra training session on safety in the science lab but the work itself may be to assist a member of staff during a talk which would be a level 1 job.

Project staff responsible for the recruitment of students will be expected to have received training on the recruitment process. Details of any training requirements should be included in the project plan.

If the job involves working with children the students may also need to have a criminal records check from the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) and have received extra training on working with children & young people.

Factors to consider for differentiation of Level 1 & 2 roles

Level 1  
Session Content

Technical content of session developed by University of Worcester staff.

Students assist project staff with delivery of session. Eg Helping guide pupils on a school visit day, assisting IAG staff on a school or talk, discussing own personal experience.

Knowledge requirements

Essential knowledge requirements are covered by the Level 1 online training course.

Any extra knowledge requirements can be met by ‘on the day instructions’ to deliver the session.

Subject specific knowledge requirements are at a level that a student can reasonably be expected to have acquired during their normal studies of that subject.

Extra basic training may be needed for subject specific Health & Safety requirements.

Responsibility Student part of a team delivering simple activity. Responsibility for delivering session and welfare of the target audience rests with University of Worcester project staff. e.g. Learning through sport annual schools day, Sixth form induction day

Students work at University of Worcester premises or off site alongside University of Worcester staff

University of Worcester staff on hand to deal with any issues.

Task Management Sessions are planned and timetabled by University of Worcester staff.

All Liaison with outside contacts handled by University of Worcester project staff.

 

Level 2  
Session Content Student responsible for (or part of a team) devising & developing content of session.

Session requires student to deliver presentation, engage in subject specific discussions on their own, having researched & devised content themselves.

Knowledge requirements Student will require extra knowledge and training to be able to deliver an activity.

Role requires student to have subject specific knowledge and experience above that of knowledge acquired during their normal studies.

Responsibility Student is working on own or in small group to deliver sessions outside of University of Worcester premises with no University of Worcester staff support.

Student has responsibility for delivering 1-1 or small group sessions.

Student manages other student ambassadors to ensure task delivery.

Student expected to deal with issues in the first instance but University of Worcester staff should be available to contact if the student needs to escalate an issue.

Task management Student has to liaise directly with School, college, learner to plan and timetable sessions.

Student works independently of University of Worcester staff in planning and delivery of activity.