As of Fall'13, m4burns, nguenthe, and others are interested in starting a low-overhead CSC mentorship program. This is currently in the planning stage, more to come as it rolls out. The CSC is very good at disseminating high quality information, or at least arguing over it until it's figured out, but only for the very small subset of office regulars in a very particularly stringent culture.
The purposes are:
- Promote involvement and activity in the CSC, and support community formation with low overhead. (The CSC usually has a strong core of office regulars, but their reach ends at the office door, and when they graduate, their knowledge goes)
- Give our extended, non-office-regular membership a way to get something out of the club besides webspace
- Wash out the formation of Old Boys Clubs
- Give long-term CSC members experience tutoring and guiding. Make them remember that everyone was a noob once.
- Give noobier members someone they can call for help with any issues
Sample activities that members could do under the guise of this program:
- Mock interviews
as well as just having access to someone with more experience than you.
The program will simply be a postings board (https://csclub.uwaterloo.ca/mentoring), where people can post their availability and/or desire for mentorship.
Mentors can take on up to three mentees at a time, and can choose how many they want at a time (including zero, if they want to temporarily cancel their involvement, say during co-op or a busy term).
Mentors can themselves have mentors: mentored students can come in and get help. Hopefully after a year or two a useful mentorship will simply evolve into a friendship.
Participants provide some subset of:
- preferred contact methods
- program and year
- interests / courses
Pairings will be made by ..............?
Many of the other mentorship programs have some sort of ethics code. We (being m4 and nick) want to minimize bureaucracy, but will need some way to chastise or get rid of bad mentors that's better than just pulling the rug out from under them and their mentees. Perhaps we should just start it and add rules if we feel they are absolutely necessary as issues crop up.
- You must be a CSC member to use the postings board. The bar for participation in mentorship is the same bar for being a CSC member.
- Pairings will be dissolved in an account expires (or if an account is deleted, i.e. one term after it expires?)
- Do not do your mentees homework for them
There are other mentorship programs floating around campus. We might both learn from or overlap awkwardly with them. Below is meant to be a full list, but may be missing entries:
|Math Mentoring||Every Math orientation leader is automatically trained (supposedly via SSO, see below) to be a mentor, and assigned a set of 10 or so first years to mentor. Hands-off approach, in hopes of natural community effects taking effect. Paritioned on gender, orientation group, and program.||Currently going into year 3 with high hopes. Started and overseen by Riley Metzger and Ana Freitas; currently run by student volunteers Ravi Patel (r48patel) and Andre Liao (xqliao)
|WiCS||For women only. For pairing upper years with first years only. Onerous monthly written reports from all participants, intimidating (but perhaps necessary) ethics code||?? (does anyone know how much traction they have?)|
|Women in Engineering||Lots of warm-fuzzy soft-skills advice. Not much detail on their site about what they actually do. Onerity: low? Seems similar to the design we were envisioning, though again they are only interested in pairing first years with upper years.||Seems active: they host workshop events https://uwaterloo.ca/women-in-engineering/events|
|AskEngAlumni||For engineers||Seems dead?|
|DDC||For double-degree students. Similar in scope to CSC-mentorship.||???????|
|GSoC||What does GSoC do? How do they handle churn and dropouts and ethics?||Very popular and busy and big and funded.|
|Student Success Office Tutor Connect||Onerous click-through policy. For-profit postings. The university washes its hands of overseeing quality.||Absolutely, totally, dead. Also, hung their search badly by selecting every course.|
|ActSci Club||They don't have a mentorship program, they have mentorship events where the first n (n~=20) frosh that sign up get to have a mock interview by the senior asclub members, and then they all drink bubble tea||Busy!|