Staff mentoring at DIT: A review of four programmes
Staff Mentoring at the Dublin Institute of Technology is quite
ambiguous in terms of its definition and purpose, as well as the
impact it has with retention issues. The purpose of this paper is
to provide a research review regarding the profile of the typical
first-year student as well as to compare four current staff-mentoring
programmes in DIT Kevin Street.
For the purpose of this paper, a staff mentor is defined as an
individual who meets the following criteria:
- he/she has been appointed to this position by his/her department;
- their role is to provide ‘support’ to first year students
– this can include information regarding class/lab changes,
referrals to other DIT services, information regarding attendance
and/or marks, etc.
- the student population is aware of this individual and of the
role he/she serves.
It was difficult to create a broad definition for staff mentor
because this particular terminology is not endorsed by DIT: other
titles such as tutor, mentor and adviser are utilised in separate
departments and schools. As a result, there often appears to be
much confusion about the exact role these staff members serve and
how each person is meant to implement their identified tasks. In
part this situation is a consequence of the lack of DIT policy regarding
the position and its expectations. It also reflects the individual
nature reflected in each DIT site, the six different faculties,
departments and even in specific courses.