The Use of an Academic Mentorship Model to Enhance the Transition, Retention, and Success of Disadvantaged Students in Higher Education

Gerard Rayner, Juliey Beckman

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (Book)Researchpeer-review


As participation in higher education widens with concomitant increases in the number and diversity of commencing students, so does the need for programs that will support their transition and retention. In response to this need, a growing awareness of the value of mentorship in Australian universities has resulted in the introduction of peer mentoring programs for students in many institutions. Mentorship, however, can take many different forms. This chapter reports on a model of academic (faculty) mentorship for commencing science students belonging to a range of defined disadvantaged groups. The program was initially funded by an internal grant, with voluntary participation by eligible students. At the end of the first semester, participants overwhelmingly endorsed the program as having enhanced their transition experience and improved their prospects for academic progress and retention. Despite reduced funding, the program was retained over two subsequent years with slight modifications based on student feedback, together with consideration of its most effective elements. The success of this academic mentorship program demonstrates the potential value of such approaches in the university retention and success of disadvantaged students.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationStrategies for Facilitating Inclusive Campuses in Higher Education
Subtitle of host publicationInternational Perspectives on Equity and Inclusion
EditorsJaimie Hoffman, Patrick Blessinger, Mandla Makhanya
Place of PublicationBingley UK
PublisherEmerald Group Publishing Limited
Number of pages14
ISBN (Electronic)9781787560642, 9781787560666
ISBN (Print)9781787560659
Publication statusPublished - 25 Jul 2019

Publication series

NameInnovations in Higher Education Teaching and Learning
PublisherEmerald Publishing Limited
ISSN (Print)2055-3641


  • Academic mentorship
  • diversity
  • low socio-economic status
  • disadvantage
  • transition
  • retention

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