Become a PgCert mentor
Being a PgCert mentor is a valuable and rewarding experience. Not only are you playing a vital role in a colleague’s professional and personal development, but you’re also giving something worthwhile back to higher education.
Furthermore, it’s a great opportunity for you to develop your personal skills and to advance your career.
Interested in becoming a mentor? Read on.
What is PgCert mentoring?
The AUA PgCert programme is a challenging, self-directed, distance and work based learning programme. To support students in their independent learning they are each assigned a mentor.
As a mentor your role is to:
- Help your student to plan and review their progress
- Assist them in identifying opportunities for professional development
- Challenge them to reflect critically on their professional practice and development
- Encourage them to explore difference approaches to assessments
The mentor relationship allows students to broaden their perspectives and to challenge thinking beyond their immediate professional context.
More information about the PgCert programme, its structure and assessment can be found here.
Supporting a student through the PgCert programme you share your professional experience, make a real contribution to their career development, and ultimately give something back to the sector.
“Being a mentor gives you an enormous sense of satisfaction, particularly when you watch them cross the stage at a graduation. The relationships I have formed have been mutually supportive. I have gained as much from them as they have from me. The opportunity has given me insight into the workings of a wide range of institutions, something which I would not have happened if I had not become a mentor.”
Nick Allen, Executive Officer in the Office of the Vice Chancellor, University of Northampton
Expectations of the role
The duration of the programme is 12 months so you will be required to commit to the role for a minimum of 12 months and a maximum of three years to see the mentoring relationship through. You should expect to meet with your student for a minimum of three times throughout the programme. It is always up to students to travel to meet their mentors. As well as face-to-face meetings, you will communicate with your mentee via email, Skype or phone throughout the programme.
Mentors tell us that the experience of supporting someone’s professional development is very rewarding. You can expect to develop your own skills and become more reflective about your own role. You will deepen your understanding of the sector as you read and discuss written assignments on areas of higher education that you may have limited knowledge about. You will also extend your professional network by getting to know new people, students and other mentors, at institutions other than your own.
“Being a mentor benefits my own work and development by encouraging me to reflect on my practices as I encourage and support my mentee.”
Sue Beech, Programme Manager, Warwick Business School
Support while you are a mentor
All new mentors receive free initial training where the details of the programme will be explained and mentoring skills will be explored. You will also have the option of attending further refresher events free of charge.
Mentors will receive a Mentor Handbook, which contains all the specific information about the programme as well as information about mentoring. Mentors are given access to the online workspace ‘NOW’ where there is a separate area for mentors to join discussions and view further guidance on the programme content.
The Programme Manager and Programme Administrator are on hand to answer any queries you have, and there is also a mentor representative on the Board of Studies who can offer advice and support.
Mentor are usually:
- Have a UK or Republic of Ireland (or equivalent) postgraduate qualification
- Are eligible for AUA membership, i.e. employment in a UK or Republic of Ireland higher education institution or related body
If you do not hold a postgraduate qualification may be selected if you can demonstrate:
- Substantial relevant work experience, in mentoring, coaching or developing other members of staff (this experience does not necessarily have to have been acquired in the workplace) and/or
- Comparable professional or other qualifications
Your professional experience
You will not be expected to know about everything, but it helps if you have a broad understanding of the main issues that face HE. What is important is that you are able to advise on how gaps can be filled and to make suggestions on how students can use what’s available either within their own institution or the sector.
You do not have to hold a senior position but it is likely that you will have some years’ experience of working in HE or have come to it more recently with experience that means you will be a good mentor – perhaps experience of mentoring or coaching in another sector. A commitment to continuing professional development and an appreciation of reflective practice are as important as knowledge and experience. You will need to be able to talk with your student about their work experiences and how this can be used in the context of their learning and to make suggestions on how they might develop their skills and knowledge.
Next mentor training dates
More mentor training will take place in Spring 2019. Dates and locations to be confirmed.
All mentor training is open to new mentors and as well as existing mentors who would like to attend as a refresher and to find out more about the 12 month PgCert programme. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org to book a place.