Mentoring is a unique method of supporting students to improve their learning and leadership skills, motivating them towards their future career development. With this in mind, the college has a mentorship program wherein the faculty members are given training on mentor system and meet the students on day-to-day basis to listen to their issues and guide them on their overall personality development.
THE STUDENT MENTORSHIP PROGRAMME (SMP)
The Student Mentor Programme (SMP) is a programme within the VIT student community, under the guidance of the Head of the department and faculty coordinators with the following primary objectives of enabling constructive interaction, guidance and mentorship of junior students by senior students. Providing, a reliable and comprehensive support system, to motivate students to excel in both academic and non-academic fields and to make the most of their life at the college. The objectives of the SMP include:
- To help the first year students understand the challenges and opportunities present in the college and develop a smooth transition to campus life.
- To counsel academically weak undergraduate first year students and to play an important role in helping troubled students cope with academic, extra-academic and personal problems.
- To provide positive role models to first year undergraduate students in the college.
- To proactively try to identify problems of the general student populace and to bring them to the notice of the concerned authorities
The SMP endeavors to pursue these objectives by carefully identifying those who can act as an anchor and guide for a freshman or an academically weak student. Student Mentors will be selected to play this role and are given the authority to pursue the mission of this programme. Student Mentors usually belonging to the Final year of BTech and Diploma. Each of them would be assigned a group of first year students. Each Student Mentor reports directly to the Faculty Advisor. He/she would be the direct point of interaction with the first year students and may report special cases for the consideration of Faculty Advisor. This two way system is devised to help freshman to be at ease with new environment of the college.
ESSENTIAL QUALITIES OF A STUDENT MENTOR (SM)
The qualities mentioned below are guidelines used by the Faculty Advisors in selecting the new Mentor team.
- A Student Mentor is normally a student from the Final year of B.Tech and Diploma
- Empathy and humility are the most essential qualities for any mentor to possess. It is necessary for a mentor to empathize with the wide variety of situations his mentees could face and be humble enough not to impose their own opinions but to tailor advice to the mentee’s needs.
- Ethics are of paramount importance for SMs and they should be able to instill the same in their mentees.
- SMs should be academically inclined and capable of persuading others to be the same.
- Preferably those students who are already working with the other committees of the college should not be considered.
- SMs should be someone as a role model people can look up to, because of their achievements and personality.
ROLE OF THE STUDENT MENTOR (SM)
Each Student Mentor is assigned a group of 6-10 freshmen, who would henceforth become his/her mentees. Under normal circumstances, it is the primary duty of the SM to guide the group of students assigned to him/her through their first year in the college. However, the responsibility of each mentor extends to the entire first year batch and hence, the Mentor should feel free to intervene in any matter related to freshmen.
- The Mentor should ensure to the best of his/her ability that the freshmen (especially his/her mentees) are able to adjust comfortably to life at VIT- both in the college and in the hostel.
- For this, it is imperative that the Mentor establishes a close rapport with his mentees.
- The Mentor should see to it that he/she meets them at certain critical junctures of the first year such as the first few weeks of the semester, well before semester exams and at the time of results.
- The Mentor must act on any complaint of misbehavior by a senior. The institute has strict policies against ragging of any form.
- The Mentor has to impress upon his/her mentee the need to maintain a balance between academic and extra-curricular activities, so that one utilizes one’s time at college in the most productive manner.
- The Mentor must ensure that no activity is forced upon any freshman against his/her will. The thin line between forcing and persuasion is one which the Mentor has to judge based upon his/her perception of the freshman, and the matter at hand.
- The Mentor should be ready to help his/her mentee overcome any problems (academic or social) in an advisory role and act as a responsible role model. At the same time, he must realize the importance of making his/her mentee independent and self-reliant.
- Mentors should immediately inform the FA or the Student Counselor regarding any potentially serious case related to their mentees or any other student (if they come to know of it).
- Mentors are expected to play their role as responsible seniors using their own discretion.
Duties of Mentors
- Mentors are required to keep track of their mentees with reference to academics, attendance, discipline and overall development
- Mentors are to record their findings in the mentor’s diary.
- Any complaint or compliments regarding mentees are to be brought to the notice of the respective mentors.
- Mentors, if required are to schedule face to face counseling with their mentees.