New Perspectives in Science Education

Edition 11

Accepted Abstracts

To Be or Not To Be a Mentor: Assessment of the Efficacy of a Peer Mentoring Program in the University of Castilla-La Mancha

Carlos Alonso Moreno, University of Castilla-La Mancha (Spain)

Araceli Abellan, University of Castilla-La Mancha (Spain)

Rita Alonso Moreno, University of Castilla-La Mancha (Spain)

María del Mar Arroyo Jiménez, University of Castilla-La Mancha (Spain)

Franciso José Espinosa, University of Castilla-La Mancha (Spain)

Jaime Fernández-Bravo, University of Castilla-La Mancha (Spain)

Jorge Tebar, University of Castilla-La Mancha (Spain)

Lourdes Rueda, University of Castilla-La Mancha (Spain)

Abstract

Mentoring is a shared opportunity for learning and growth. Mentoring could be considered as a very powerful tool to help people to progress in their careers and is becoming increasing popular as its potential is realized. It is a partnership between two people (mentor and mentee) based upon mutual trust and respect.

The degree in Pharmacy of the University of Castilla-La Mancha is included in the branch of Health Sciences and its main objective is to train specialists in all aspects of drugs and medicines, in accordance with European Directives relating to the pharmacology profession. Freshmen find many difficulties in this degree related to the high level of demand together with the multidisciplinary typology of the different subjects during the course. A mentoring program with the aim of helping first-year students to achieve their potential was designed three years ago. Particularly, the program is based on a partnership between first-year students and senior students. The mentoring partnership formulated is a structured one-to-one relationship that focuses on the needs of the mentored participant.

To be a mentor in the degree of Pharmacy is not a simple task. Specialized psychologies look for students who present basic qualities to relate to mentees, such as active listener, empathy, see solutions and opportunities, or be flexible and open motivate mentees. After an accurately selection stage by the help of test-taking strategies and personal interviews, mentor are trained on university regulations, on sharing successfully knowledge, on communicate properly, and on improving their emotional intelligence. Along the course the mentors develop their mentoring work by several meetings.

In the present study, the efficacy of a formal mentoring program applied to the students of the Faculty of Pharmacy of the University of Castilla-La Mancha is assessed. To assess the efficacy, the mentors were evaluated on the development of transversal skills along the program. The results show very positive responses and immediate outcomes. The freshmen valued favorably the job done by the mentors.

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