Staff mentoring at DIT: A review of four programmes
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
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
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