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Staff mentoring at DIT: A review of four programmes

Author - Leslie Shoemaker

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DIT as a whole needs further to review staff mentoring in light of the increased competition among third-level institutions and the on- going first year student retention difficulties. In the past, student retention and the needs of first-year students have been two areas that have received sporadic attention and inconsistent funding, even though these two areas have the potential to have a significant impact for this institution. The following are my recommendations:

1. A policy regarding formal and on-going staff-mentoring programmes (i.e. the role, expectations, etc.) should be developed and implemented at DIT. A uniform job description clearly defining the expected tasks should be developed as part of this, since it is clear that there is quite a bit of disparity in current programmes.
2. Staff mentors should be provided with the necessary support (i.e. reduction in teaching hours, financial support, on-going training, etc.) to execute their role.
3. Establish one agency within DIT to provide information, support and accountability for the programme. It will be important for these staff members to have a form of support and information since they may be faced with the occasional difficult experience.
4. A DIT staff mentoring handbook, with associated training, should be developed.
5. Staff mentors should meet together at least once a year to discuss progress, difficulties, solutions, etc. In addition, this has the potential to serve as another form of support.
6. Staff mentors should be represented at the appropriate DIT meetings.
7. Continuing professional training should occur at least once a year to assist the appointed individuals in maintaining and acquiring new and related skills.
8. Assessment of the programme should occur annually (the Q5, Q6 and Q7).



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