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Helping Pacific students maximise their full potential while at Otago

The Academic Mentoring Programme is run and coordinated by the Pacific Islands Centre and the academic divisions.

Learn about the Programme:

Contact the Academic Programme Coordinator for more information.

What is academic mentoring?

Academic mentoring means studying smart and getting the most out of university.

About the Academic Mentoring Programme at Otago:

  • All students will be allocated an academic mentor to help guide them with their subjects, courses and career aspirations
  • Final year students will be mentored by our graduates in the workforce to help them find that perfect job
  • Mentoring is available to undergraduate and postgraduate students

Taimane DiamondWhat is the aim of the Programme?

It is aimed at helping Pacific students succeed and maximise their full potential while at Otago. Just as the Taimane has four sides – so does the academic mentoring programme.

Students are contacted four times (4 phases) during the Semester to ensure they are settling in and coping well with their studies. It is about managing the transition period well from home and school to living on campus and driving one's own studies. All Pacific students are encouraged to actively engage in the Taimane Academic Mentoring Programme, especially first year students.

How does the Programme work?

The Taimane Academic Mentoring Programme is a four-phase wrap around academic mentoring service provided by the Pacific Islands Centre. In collaboration with the academic tutorial programme, Taimane ensures that students maintain contact with support staff and are receiving culturally appropriate and targeted support.

Pacific students will meet with staff four times a semester, aimed at:

  1. entation Fono.
  2. Checking back-in with students in the first few weeks: How's it going?
  3. Touching base with students after their first assignment and implementing appropriate support structures: After the first assignment /assessment.
  4. Ensuring students are prepared for exams and touching base with them before the semester ends

Who are the Academic Mentors?

Academic Mentor Training Group photo  2015Academic Mentors (AMs) include:

  • Staff members
  • Senior students who are successful individuals and have shown they are capable of taking on extra responsibility while completing their own courses of study
  • Graduates who are in successful careers

About mentors in the Academic Mentoring Programme at Otago:

  • The AMs are selected by the Centre and the academic Divisions
  • The AMs will not be paid a salary for their services, but the Centre can provide Certificates of Merit co-signed by the Manager of the Centre and the appropriate Pro-Vice-Chancellor (or his/her representative), plus a gift at the end of the academic year.
  • AMs are chosen from successful candidates across the academic disciplines and are not solely individuals who are of Pacific Islands descent
  • AMs will meet one day a month for ongoing training and to offer support to one another. These meetings will be arranged by the Centre in consultation with the AMs. Meetings are to be fun and relaxed and to be held in an informal atmosphere

How do I become an Academic Mentor?

The rewards for academic mentors are endless, and often the mentors end up learning more than the mentees.

Academic mentors:

  • Help create a successful society of knowledge engineers and future leaders
  • Contribute to a healthy society
  • Become positive role models
  • Receive good training for future career opportunities
  • Can add mentoring experience to their CVs too!

Register to take part in the Programme

Complete the Academic Mentoring registration form to access our programme.

For more information on the Mentoring Programme please contact:

Christine Anesone

Community Liaison Officer

Pacific Islands Centre

Telephone: 03 479 4981


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