Course-Embedded Mentoring for First-Year Students: Melding Academic Support with Role Modeling, Psycho-Social Support, and Goal Setting

Co-authored with Jim Henry and Holly Huff Bruland, and published in the International Journal for the Scholarship on Teaching and Learning, 5(2) [full text]

This article examines a mentoring initiative that embedded advanced students in first-year composition courses to mentor students to excel to the best of their abilities. Mentors attended all classes along with students and conducted many out-of-class individual conferences, documenting each of them using program-implemented work logs. Four hundred four first-year students provided end-of-term anonymous feedback on standardized forms, which were transcribed, digitized, and tabulated for analysis. Analysis showed that the mentoring was effective in providing the four constructs key to mentoring as identified by Nora and Crisp (2008): psychological/emotional support; support for setting goals and choosing a career path; academic subject knowledge support aimed at advancing a student’s knowledge relevant to his or her chosen field; specification of a role model. Analysis also revealed a key construct not mentioned by Nora and Crisp: the mentee’s predisposition. Recommendations for implementing embedded mentoring for first-year students in other contexts follow the Discussion.