Peer Mentoring to Promote Students' Well-being and Community Building in Higher Education: an Italian Case Study

ANNA BUSSU, Dr Rina Contini

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Abstract

Social and cultural changes and globalization processes are
posing specific questions to the educational institutions with the purpose to rethink new educational models, policies and practices in order to support students learning needs and to face health promotion in
policies. This paper focuses on the educational model and practices to
promote the well-being and life skills of students in the academic
community, as working on the well-being of an individual has effect
on the well-being of the whole community.
The paper takes an in depth look at Promotional Community (Bussu et
al., 2016) and StudyCircle models (Bussu et al., 2018). Specifically,
by using intervention research, it presents and discusses the results of
the ‘StudyCircle Peer Mentoring’ project focused on the participatory
practice implemented as a pilot experience in Southern (Italy) Higher
Education European Systems in 2014-2015. The aim of the project is
to train second year students as facilitators/trainers by supporting their
personal development and professional identity. These second-year
students in turn support first year students in transitioning to University. Projects goals focus on increasing the academic and social integration of first year students at the university through peer mentoring.
The paper aims to explore new learning strategies and
best educational practices to involve students in active roles at the
university in order to promote community building and explore which
tool/strategies could be most effective in flitting this. 20 students
completed a peer mentoring training in Italy. Were collected students’experiences and satisfaction by semi-structured interviews. The educational model and training contents have been adopted effectively in
both academic systems. This experience demonstrates the importance
of involving students in a more dynamic role, so that they consider
themselves active players within the university community
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)51-70
JournalRatio Sociologica. Journal of social sciences: theory and applications
Volume13
Issue number2
Early online dateDec 2020
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2020

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