First Year’s Practice and Outcomes of the Peer Mentoring Scheme in Earth System Science Programme
Wenzhu Hou and Pui Yuk Tam
A peer mentoring scheme has been initiated from September 2017 in Earth System Science Programme in order to nurture academic excellence from our first year students. ESSC-major students from Year-3 and -4 obtaining GPAs greater than 3.0 were recruited to mentor the Year-1 students by organising regular group meetings. Each group consists of one mentor and four to five mentees. After the first year’s practice, a brief survey was conducted on participants to evaluate the effectiveness of this scheme. Survey questions are designed to measure mentee’s satisfaction from four aspects, which include (1) the academic support, (2) the support on the transition from high school study to university study, (3) the psychosocial support and (4) opportunities for developing other career-related skills. The survey also aims to identify opportunities for improvement. Our preliminary result shows that greater than 80% surveyed participants agree on the first and second aspects, which indicates that our peer mentoring scheme is relatively effective on enhancing our students’ conception and ability on critical thinking as well as helping them to adapt to the diversified curriculum and the interdisciplinary subject of the Earth system science. Although comparatively less satisfaction was obtained from the third and fourth aspects, still, greater than 65% surveyed participants agree on the psychosocial support and opportunities for developing soft skills. This result purveys new insights on the potential functions of our peer mentoring practice.