An Award-Winning Student Mentoring Program
Australia’s RMIT University, was recently recognized by the Victorian International Education Awards for their student mentoring program aimed at international students.
RMIT received the award for Excellence in International Student Employability and Career Development, solidifying their reputation for producing graduates who are highly valued by employers worldwide. RMIT’s mentoring program matches industry professionals and alumni with international and domestic students, which provides their students with guidance and real-world experience. RMIT takes pride in preparing their students for life after school by increasing their employability as well as helping them build their professional networks.
The Rewards of Student Mentoring
RMIT’s student mentoring program has a number of facets, not the least of which is the opportunity for networking. But mentoring is the core of their program. This video, featuring interviews with a sampling of mentors involved in the RMIT program, is an inspiring testament of the impact that a mentoring program can deliver:
RMIT’s Software Partner
When RMIT initially looked for software to complement their mentoring program, they had to choose a complement to their unique programs. RMIT settled on Chronus as their go-to software based on a handful of key features, including:
- MatchIQTM, Chronus’ technology that determines superior matches
- Chronus’ customizable design that supports a variety of mentoring formats
- Capability to scale as needed
- Hands-on customer support
RMIT doesn’t just use Chronus software for international student programs. Chronus is the basis for five other programs focused on career development, transition guidance, and cultural diversity.
One of their more innovative mentoring applications is a mentoring circles program. RMIT groups incoming freshmen with a student mentor who has received extensive training in being a supportive mentor. These groups contribute and help each other in a moderated setting to ease them into the transition of university life. In return for guiding freshman students, the student mentor receives credit on his or her school transcript. At the end of the year, interested mentees can become a mentor the following year, thus continuing the positive and supportive effects of mentoring.
Mentoring & Employability Initiatives
The recent award hasn’t been the only confirmation of RMIT’s efforts to improve student employability. In the inaugural QS Graduate Employability Rankings released in 2015, RMIT was ranked fourth in Australia and 56th in the world on the basis of reputation among employers, alumni outcomes, partnerships with employers, employers’ presence on campus, and graduate employment rate.
RMIT Dean of Students Professor Owen Hughes said, “Our mentoring and employability initiatives form an important component of the University’s overall strategy for ensuring that students are ready for life and work, both here and internationally.” He believes that the mentoring program is especially valuable to RMIT’s international student populace. “International students are often disadvantaged by a lack of Australian work experience and industry networks in establishing their career.”
The Applications of Student Mentoring
Mentoring at the university level doesn’t have to be focused on preparing students to leave school; it can be equally effective at preparing them to enter school. The transition out of high school or secondary school into university can be challenging for incoming freshman. An established student mentoring program can make the transition a little more painless, and gives upperclassmen the opportunity to receive extensive training to become supportive mentors.
As the popularity of mentoring programs grow, so do the applications for it. Each time a workplace, university, or nonprofit implements a successful program, it’s a testament to the success and opportunity that mentoring programs afford organizations at any level to learn, grow, and expand their knowledge base.