Each class is assigned a mentor. Unlike the traditional concept of “class teacher,” a mentor plays a very significant and proactive role that transcends mere academic matters. A mentor at SCC is truly a person of genuine concern, excellent clarity of purpose, and steady commitment to the students and to the institution. The mentor tries to understand the student’s need to succeed, recognizes the student’s problems, assures the student of a bright future, facilitates him/her to short-list possible options, expands his/her consciousness to the perspectives of a wider world, and guides him/her to a path of development. Mentoring is, therefore, ‘learner-centered’ and not ‘curriculum-oriented.’
As regards the methodology, the first thing that the institution takes care of is, “mentoring the mentors.” The institution has put in place effective strategies to prepare the mentors:
- Young mentors are given guidance and resource materials at the Faculty Development Programme as well as by their HODs. The HODs explain the mentoring system to the new faculty. In addition to the training, Peer Group meetings and Peer Reviews are conducted from time to time, where they could review their experiences with other mentors.
- An induction is given to the young faculty at the beginning of the academic year at which clear guidelines are given:
- The Principal clearly draws the profile of an effective mentor, emphasizing such personal qualities as maturity, self- confidence, emotional stability and positive outlook. He explains how mentoring should be done effectively.
The following are the methods deployed by the mentors to ensure that the learners gain all they can for their individual growth form the institution:
- Mentors explain the vision and mission of the institution, procedures and policies, and why certain values are upheld. Mentors help the learner “see the big picture.”
- They remain in constant touch with the students, meetings them as group and counsels them on matters of academic performance, career, health and behavior. The institution is very specific about the frequency and the timing of the meetings.
- They also keep in touch with the parents/guardians of the students. They meet the parents/guardians on formal occasions like the parent-teacher meet every semester. They also invite parents to the college when an interaction or briefing for a student is felt necessary.
- The mentor maintains a well-designed Mentor’s Manual which provides ready information with regard to several vital information like the academic progress from the entry level; the details of the student’s participation in sports, cultural, literary, extension activities; the attendance records, the details of the student’s interaction with the mentor and the parents etc.
- In the case of students who require it, the mentor recommends counseling session with a trained counselor.