Leadership development: Enhancing staff and student mentor capability to improve engagement and retention in a two-year ‘fast track’degree program

Marguerite Bramble, Grace Stankiewicz, Rochelle Einboden, Hazel Maxwell, Richard Say, Chin Liang Beh, Sally Farrington, Graham Munro, Greg Rickard

Research output: Other contribution to conferenceAbstractpeer-review


Background: The UTAS Rozelle campus offers ‘fast-track’ Nursing and Paramedicine courses. During its six years of operation, students and academics have experienced a sense of isolation from the main campuses in Tasmania, which may impact student and academic well-being. Additionally, the cohort has a high proportion of culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) students, many of whom are mature-aged with family and work responsibilities. An existing student-to-student mentor program on campus, led by The Community and Friends Network Program (CFNP), aims to develop student identity, capacity and connectedness.
Purpose: Building on the CFNP, this participatory action research project aims to foster engagement, leadership and mentorship capability for students and academics through a three-month ‘partnership’ intervention.
Method: CFNP student mentors were invited to participate. Nine were recruited and randomly paired with an academic (also n=9) for the intervention. Qualitative data was collected from two audio recorded pre-intervention workshops, in which academic and student cohorts separately developed terms of engagement for the intervention. The process is guided by mentorship and leadership frameworks (Tabloski, 2016; Potter and Tolson, 2014; Posluszny, 2014). Additionally, data was collected from participant reflections and a post-intervention workshop, which identified the impact of the intervention on participants.
Results: The data set was analysed thematically using NVIVO 11. Themes from the academic workshops included: role-modelling, recognising diversity, reflective practice and creating space for voice. Themes from the student workshops included: maturing as a student in one’s area of practice, reflecting on core values and additional support for CALD students.
Conclusion: Results highlight significant focus areas for future strategies to foster engagement. Despite reflecting local issues, study results also offer insights into issues for contemporary fast-track course delivery with an increasingly diverse student population.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages2
Publication statusPublished - 2016
EventTeaching Matters 2016: Transforming practice through innovation and partnerships - University of Tasmania, Hobart, Australia
Duration: 06 Dec 201606 Dec 2016


ConferenceTeaching Matters 2016
Internet address


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