At College Connect, we believe mentoring is an effective way to build meaningful and sustainable relationships with communities. The College Connect mentoring programme supports people from our communities to explore if college is for them. Mentoring is a space of trust, where potential students can meet their peers who are in college – this is where the saying ‘if you can see it, you can be it’ takes place. Our mentoring programme is developing both group-based and one-to-one mentoring approaches, and we describe these mentoring approaches as our Mentoring Levels. College Connect mentoring aims to :
– Deliver an enjoyable learning experience for the mentees that gives them a sense they can be a part of the College Community
– Provide the mentors with an opportunity to take part in a rewarding group-mentoring project where they develop new skills
– Enhance the relationships between the Colleges and the Communities we deliver the projects in
Mentoring Level 1: Student Placement Workshop – College: What’s the Story?
The College: What’s the Story? workshop is a set of group-based exercises that explore what people think about college. The workshop is delivered by current college students who have selected a local community group or school-group to take part in the workshop. We encourage the students to select groups that would benefit the most from hearing their story. So for example if we have a Traveller student trained to deliver the workshop then we look for local Traveller groups for the student to deliver the workshop too. As we said this is where the saying
– “if you can see, you can be it” takes place. Following on from the workshop College Connect and the college students design a campus event were we invite all of the people who took part in the workshop to attend. This gives the participants the chance to enjoy a day on the campus and get even more of a sense of what the story is.
Mentoring Level 2: Change Makers
The Change Makers course is a set of 6 workshops whereby a community group of mentees (between 20 – 25) and college-student mentors (8) work with each other to explore the topics of Power, Leadership and Change. The course investigates what the group knows about the topics and then examines the way in which Power and Leadership can create Change around issues that are important to the group members. Some issues the groups have examined so far include Homelessness, Racism, Mental Health, Drugs in the Community, and many more. The course uses group work activities and games to engage the mentors and mentees in learning about the topics. This approach helps to build a positive relationship among the group and gives the mentees a sense that they too can be part of the College Community.
“The mentees ability to work in teams and their urge to take initiative during the course shows just how capable they are in taking on the world and creating change”
Taken from the Graduation Speech of a Change Maker College Mentor