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Examining the impact of a university mentorship program on student outcomes

Leah K. Hamilton (Bissett School of Business, Mount Royal University, Calgary, Canada)
Jennifer Boman (Academic Development Centre, Mount Royal University, Calgary, Canada)
Harris Rubin (Bissett School of Business, Mount Royal University, Calgary, Canada)
Balreen K. Sahota (Cumming School of Medicine, University of Calgary, Calgary, Canada)

International Journal of Mentoring and Coaching in Education

ISSN: 2046-6854

Article publication date: 30 January 2019

Issue publication date: 19 February 2019

1593

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine the outcomes of a formal university mentorship program that paired junior and senior (third and fourth year) undergraduate student mentees with mentors from industry. Specifically, the researchers examined the effects of mentorship on mentees’ psychological sense of community at the university, and job search self-efficacy (confidence).

Design/methodology/approach

The researchers used a mixed-methods design that incorporated survey data and qualitative data from interviews and focus groups. Where relevant, mentees were compared to a control group of students who did not participate in the mentorship program.

Findings

The results demonstrate that the mentees accrued several benefits from participating in the mentorship program. For mentees (but not the control group), job search self-efficacy increased over time as a result of participating in the program. Mentees valued receiving practical career-related support such as opportunities for networking, resume development and job interviewing skills. Mentees also gained a more realistic view about the workplace and their potential career options, and received important psychosocial support from their mentor.

Originality/value

Results suggest that junior and senior undergraduate student mentees gained professional and career-related benefits including increased job search self-efficacy from participation in a mentorship program that paired them with mentors from industry. In addition, the qualitative results indicate that mentees reported psychosocial benefits including an increased sense of connection to the university. Altogether, results indicate that undergraduate students experience positive outcomes from participating in mentorship programs designed to prepare them for the transition from university to the workplace.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

The authors would like to acknowledge the research assistants who helped with various aspects of this project: Kelsey Chan, Amanda Chodak, Benjamin Maciorowski, Bailey McCafferty, Wendy Muise, Alexandra Zabel and Desiree Zander.

Citation

Hamilton, L.K., Boman, J., Rubin, H. and Sahota, B.K. (2019), "Examining the impact of a university mentorship program on student outcomes", International Journal of Mentoring and Coaching in Education, Vol. 8 No. 1, pp. 19-36. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJMCE-02-2018-0013

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2019, Emerald Publishing Limited

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