Salesian College gives great emphasis on mentoring system and considers it as one of the integral parts of the educational system. The college is committed to accompany the young people as they enter the campus. Counselling and guidance are methods that can improve mental wellbeing. We seek to help students who are experiencing emotional or behavioural problems, which are common at their age, so that they may have a peaceful and positive mind set and enjoy their stay in the campus. Salesian College believes that good mental health is a part of overall health and wellness and thus be a friend and guide to our students. This method also brings back the focus of the students towards their studies, thus building up their career path.The college has well thought out and systematic plan to cater to the integral development of the students through mentoring thereby living the vision and mission of the college. The process of mentoring is an individualized form of counselling and guidance activities. It addresses the needs of the students to have a friend, a counsellor and a confidante in the campus. The practice is aimed at fostering a better rapport between the students and the teachers at a personal level. To achieve this target every year a group of 20 to 30 students are assigned to a faculty member at the commencement of the programme.
A mentor is faculty acting both as a friend and a role model who supports and encourages a student in his/her academic and personal growth. The mentor guides a student in his/her academic pursuits and emotional and psychological developments, particularly in the latter’s transition phase. The mentor also guides his/her wards as to how much they should try to achieve and how. Salesian College has adopted and implemented a Mentoring System as a student support measure. The system, though flexible, functions along well-defined lines.
Beginning of the year a group of 20 – 30 students are assigned by the Principal to each faculty member. The teacher mentor collects personal information from the ward without touching sensitive issues or forcing any information out of the wards and then provides the needed counselling to the wards. Critical issues are brought in to the notice of the Head of the Department and the College Management. A documented record of the mentoring process is maintained by the mentor teacher and the Head of the Department for the reference purposes. The format of the same will be provided to each faculty in the beginning of the year. All the information of the students if/when confided and specified to be kept in that manner by the students must be kept confidential by the mentor and a document to this effect of professional secrecy must be duly signed by the mentor. To be effective the faculty members undergo various workshops throughout the year which helps them to be adept in such counseling.
Just as there are specific characteristics of a successful mentor, there are attributes and sensibilities that make for a good mentee. This is important, because mentees must remember that mentors are doing this from the goodness of their heart, so being a good mentee is the best way to ensure the relationship enjoys a healthy purposeful existence.
Mentees need to be:
1. Committed to expanding their capabilities and focused on achieving professional results.
2. Ready to clarify/Clear about their career goals, needs and wants. Mentoring isn’t therapy where one just rambles aimlessly. Mentees are responsible for creating the mentoring agenda, so they must be clear about what they hope to get from mentoring.
3. Willing to ask for help, show vulnerability (voluntary submission to directions given), and explore different paths and perspectives. Mentees must be open and receptive to learning and trying new ideas. No mentor wants to advise someone who isn’t open to learning!
4. Able to seek and accept feedback—even the ‘constructive’ kind—and act upon it.
5. Be personally responsible and accountable. Mentors want to see movement and growth. If mentee saysthat s/he isgoing to do something, then s/he mustdo it! Sitting on the sidelines in a mentoring relationship is not going to work. Be a fruitful exercise.
6. Ready, willing, and able to meet on a regular basis. Relationships take time to develop, so mentees must also be committed to upholding their end of the bargain.
Types of Mentoring:
1. Professional Guidance – regarding professional goals, selection of career, higher education.
2. Career advancement – regarding self-employment opportunities, entrepreneurship development, morale, honesty, and integrity required for career growth.
3. Course-specific – regarding attendance and performance in the present semester and overall performance in the previous semester.
4. Lab-specific – regarding Do’s and Don’ts in the lab.
Benefits of a Mentoring System:
1. Enhances the students’ confidence and challenges them by setting higher goals, taking risks and ultimately guiding them to achieve higher levels.
2. Individual recognition and encouragement.
3. Psychosocial support at the time of need.
4. Routine advice/dialogue and exchange on balancing of academic and professional responsibilities.
5. Mentors act as role models and facilitate leadership by developing the interpersonal skills and helping students thrive in competitive environments.
6. Students get access to a support system (Mentors) during the crucial stages of their academic, professional and intellectual development.
7. Students get an insider’s perspective on navigating one’s career in the right channel.
8. Students get an exposure to diverse academic and professional perspectives, and experiences in various fields.
9. The mentees get a direct access to powerful resources within one’s/their major or profession.
10. The mentors lay the foundation for the students to reach greater heights in their professional lives – thereby contributing to lasting personal and professional relationship.
The Mentoring Process
1. Initial Meeting
- explain the purpose of the mentoring relationship
- the format of the meetings and how these will work
- what you will commit to and your role
- what is expected from mentees and their role
2. Mentor Sessions
- review experience
- identify objectives
- provide feedback
- identify strengths and achievements
- identify areas of development
- explore options
- coaching on specific areas if required
- discuss professional issues
- agree support needs
- set targets for future actions
- create opportunities for mentees to gain experience
3. Moving On
- identifying when the relationship reaches a natural end
- review and sign off objectives
- helping the mentee to identify the next steps (possibly a different mentor)
- Self-reflection and review on the effectiveness of the relationship by both parties
In this process a mentor takes up Different roles such as Networking, Counselling, Guiding, giving direction, Facilitating and Coaching
Responsibilities of a Mentor
The Mentor performs the following functions
1. To maintain personal details of the students including their address, contact numbers, overall academic performance and progress.
2. Meets the group of students weekly/biweekly.
3. Continuously monitors, counsels, guides and motivates the students in all academic matters.
4. Advises students regarding choice of electives, project, internship etc.
5. To guide the students in taking up extra academic and professional activities for value addition as a member of the society.
6. Contacts parents/guardians if situation demands e.g. academic irregularities, negative behavioural changes and interpersonal relations, detrimental activities etc. through the Head of the Department and the Principal/his nominee.
7. Advises students in their career development/professional guidance.
8. Keeps contact with the students even after their graduation.
9. Intimates HoD and suggest if any administrative action is called for.
10. Maintains a detail progressive record of the student
11. Maintains a brief but clear record of all discussions with students.
12. Advises Principal or his nominee of the College in matters of leave or absence, official recommendation etc.
13. Suggests to parents/guardians professional psychological guidance and counselling if required for a particular student
Responsibilities of the Head of the Department
1. Meets all mentor of his/her department at least once a month to review the proper implementation of the system
2. Advises mentors wherever/whenever necessary.
3. Initiates administrative action on a student when necessary in consultation with the Principal/his nominee
The Academic Council
Beginning of the academic session the Principal/his nominee appoints the mentors for the group of students. The academic council of the institution discusses mentoring related issues at least once a semester during its meetings and revises/upgrades the system if necessary. The suggestions are forwarded to the IQAC Office for the action taken report.
The Members of the Academic Council 2020-21
Fr Prof George Thadathil, sdb, PhD
Fr Dr Tomy Augustine, sdb, PhD
Fr Dr George Chempakathinal, sdb, PhD
Fr Dr James Chacko, sdb, PhD
Fr Dr Babu Joseph, sdb, PhD
Dr Terence Mukhia, PhD
Dr Gunjeet Aurora, PhD
Dr Dipankar Rudra, PhD
Mr Dhirodutta Subba
Mr Patrick Johnson
Mr Peter Lepcha
Fr Aju Kurien, sdb
Br Augustin Joseph, sdb
Fr CM Paul, sdb
Fr Jagjivan Tirkey, sdb
Ms Rachel Salomit Lepcha
Ms Ganga Parajuli Tirkey
Mr Anirban Ghosh
Mr Bryan Kerr
Mr Subhajit Paul
Mr Uday Mall
Mr Dhirendra Newar
Salesian College, Sonada-Siliguri