Supporting undergraduate university students through instrumental mentoring
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© 2020 Social Science Press.
Student engagement and retention is a noted concern for universities and may be impacted by many different student factors such as difficulty transitioning to a university setting, inadequate skills or a sense of isolation. This study evaluated an instrumental mentoring program conducted at an Australian University in a program for pre service teachers. Twenty four undergraduate students were engaged as volunteer research assistants and worked with seven academic staff in meaningful writing and research tasks. Qualitative data was collected through focus groups, student journals, and follow up interviews. The data was analysed thematically. Results indicated that through their participation, students experienced and sustained an improved sense of belonging with more understanding and confidence regarding their academic writing and research skills. Implications for program practice, limitations, and future research directions are discussed.
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