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Transitions and choices: Graduate student mentoring for psychology honours students

Abstract

Peer mentoring programs are typically designed to support students transitioning into university. However, recent work has highlighted the importance of supporting transitions through and out of university. The Australian psychology honours year is a particularly stressful period that involves transitioning through university into the research environment and is soon followed by transitions into the workforce or postgraduate study. The School of Psychology at the University of New South Wales, Australia (UNSW) recently developed a graduate/honours peer mentoring program. Pairs of PhD students mentor small groups of honours students in monthly meetings, discussing various aspects of honours and career options. Most honours students sign up for mentoring and evaluation results show that mentees find the program helpful, most frequently acknowledging that their mentors helped them with general advice and understanding their career options. Peer mentoring can therefore support psychology student transitions through and out of university.

Published:
Pages:147 to 154
Section: Practice Reports
How to Cite
Khoo, S., Zhao, J., Walker, A., Kirkman, J., & Spehar, B. (2019). Transitions and choices: Graduate student mentoring for psychology honours students. Student Success, 10(1), 147-154. https://doi.org/10.5204/ssj.v10i1.648

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Author Biographies

Concordia University
Canada Canada

Shaun Khoo was a Peer Mentoring Coordinator from 2014-2016. He is now a postdoctoral fellow at the Université de Montréal in Canada where he studies appetitive motivation and addiction.

University of New South Wales
Australia Australia

Jenna Zhao was a Peer Mentoring Coordinator from 2015-2018. She has a keen interest in education and training, and now works at the Department of Developmental Disability Neuropsychiatry (3DN) at the University of New South Wales, developing and evaluating training resources and programs for health professionals on disability mental health.

University of New South Wales
Australia Australia

Adrian Walker is a PhD student in cognitive psychology at the University of New South Wales. He is a Peer Mentoring Coordinator (2016-present) and tutor in the School of Psychology.

Macquarie University
Australia Australia

Jessica Kirkman completed her PhD at the University of New South Wales studying childhood behavioural disorders. She has clinical and research experience in schools, university clinics, hospitals and not-for-profit organisations. Jessica has a particular interest in working with children, adolescents and families, particularly through assisting parents and children with behavioural disorders, anxiety, depression and other mood disorders. She was a Peer Mentoring Coordinator from 2014-2015.

University of New South Wales
Australia Australia

Branka Spehar is a Professor and Director of Undergraduate Studies in the School of Psychology at the University of New South Wales. Her research interests include visual perception, attention and aesthetics.