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Mentors

Besides teaching and research, university faculty members also shoulder the responsibilities of educating and advising students. College or graduate years are key moments for students to make friends, engage in academic pursuits, find their callings, and build their careers. The mentor system was established for faculty members to share their own experiences, offer timely guidance, and become a source of enlightenment for students. The following is a brief introduction to the mentor system and related resources managed by the Student Assistance Division of the Office of Student Affairs.

1. Mentor System

1.      Three-tier system for mentors (college-department/institute-class): The dean of a college is a common mentor to all the students of the college; the chairperson of the department or institute is a common mentor to all the students of the department or institute; the instructor of a class is the direct mentor to the individual students of the class.

2.      Two committees: The dean of each college convenes a college-level mentors’ working committee that organizes activities and meetings for the mentors of the college’s departments and institutes. Each department chairperson and institute director convenes a department- or institute-level mentors’ working committee that determines mentor payment allotments and other related matters.

3.      Selection and awarding of outstanding mentors: Mentors showing devotion and outstanding performance are selected and awarded annually. The working committee of each department or institute makes initial recommendations for the corresponding college to compile and present a complete list of candidates. The members of the university-level Outstanding Mentor Selection Committee then review the presented materials and conduct on-site visits to select the final awardees. A medal and a prize are presented to each awarded mentor. Visit the Office of Student Affairs website for the list of previous Outstanding Mentors.

2. Mentor Responsibilities

1.      Arrange mentor office hours, host regular gatherings with advisees, care for advisees, and strengthen the bond with them.

2.      Offer guidance pertaining to academic studies, course selection, career development, and campus life adaptation.

3.      Help students deal with emergencies related to physical and mental health, academic studies, or life.

4.      Respond to advisee-related emergencies and make emergency contact arrangements.

5.      Other duties stipulated in rules and regulations, including:

§  Academic grades early warning: Offer timely guidance, interviews, or referrals to undergraduate students showing maladaptation in learning, so as to help improve their learning outcomes.

§  Financial support: Talk with advisees to ascertain their familial economic conditions, and assist the students to apply for off- and on-campus scholarships and grants.

§  Student reward and punishment: Mentors may request the granting of rewards to students with outstanding performance. When students violate laws or rules, their mentors will help talk with them and accompany them to attend the reward/punishment meeting.

3. Mentor Training

The Student Assistance Division organizes regular activities, including campus-wide mentor training and information sessions, where mentors can share student counseling cases and related experiences to enhance their counseling-related competencies. For more information, visit the Chinese webpage devoted to Mentor Duties and Responsibilities (導師工作) on the Office of Student Affairs website.

4. Mentor Resources

1.      The Comprehensive Student Advisee Information system: Mentors use their Computer and Information Networking Center Internet account username and password to log in the system and access a range of basic information about student advisees, including personal information, course selection, academic records, reward/punishment records, housing, and student clubs, to better understand their student advisees. Mentors can also send group emails to student advisees or add comments via the system.

2.      The Student Safety Protection Network system: When organizing off-campus faculty-student activities, mentors first register the activities online. This ensures access to immediate assistance when situations that threaten the safety of students arise.

3.      Handbook of Student Advising Resources: Mentors can look up the available administrative support and contact persons of the divisions under the Office of Student Affairs. Download an electronic copy of the handbook on the webpage devoted to Mentor Duties and Responsibilities (導師工作) on the Office of Student Affairs

4.      Book Series about NTU’s Outstanding Mentors: These books have documented the experiences of 117 awarded mentors since the 2006/2007 academic year, offering various tips on how to communicate with students. Visit the website devoted to Mentor Duties and Responsibilities (導師工作) on the Office of Student Affairs website for the first six volumes.

Other advising or counseling resources: These include counselors at each college and department assigned by Office of Student Affairs Student Counseling Center, resident mentors at each dormitory, military/general instructor counselors at each college assigned by the Student Safety Center, and financial support staff members at the Student Assistance Division (responsible for scholarships and grants, emergency financial aid, student group accident insurance, etc.). Healthcare subsidies for mental health out-patient visits provided by the student group accident insurance are also available for students to access medical assistance and maintain physical and mental health.