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    A comparative study of formal coaching and mentoring programmes in higher education

    Jones, Jenni and Smith, Helen A. (2022) A comparative study of formal coaching and mentoring programmes in higher education. International Journal of Mentoring and Coaching in Education, 11 (2). pp. 213-231. ISSN 2046-6854

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    Abstract

    Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to evaluate two coaching and mentoring programmes focused on the ever-increasingly important aim of enhancing the chances of professional level employment for undergraduate students, at two UK universities. In addition, to offer recommendations to enhance coaching and mentoring success within higher education (HE). Design/methodology/approach: Two similar programmes are compared; the first study is a coaching programme delivered in two phases involving over 1,500 students within the business school. The second study is a mentoring programme involving over 250 students over a ten-year period within the business school at a different institution. Findings: The two programmes have been compared against the key success criteria from the literature, endorsed by coaching and mentoring experts. The results highlight the importance of integrating with other initiatives, senior management commitment, budget, an application process, clear matching process, trained coaches and mentors, induction for both parties, supportive material, ongoing supervision and robust evaluation and record keeping. Research limitations/implications: The research focuses on two similar institutions, with comparable student demographics. It would have been useful to dig deeper into the effect of the diverse characteristics of coach/mentor and coachee/mentee on the effectiveness of their relationships. In addition, to test the assumptions and recommendations beyond these two institutions, and to validate the reach and application of these best practice recommendations further afield. Practical implications: The results identify a number of best practice recommendations to guide HE institutions when offering coaching and mentoring interventions to support career progression of their students. Originality/value: There are limited comparison studies between universities with undergraduate career-related coaching and mentoring programmes and limited research offering best practice recommendations for coaching and mentoring programmes in HE. The top ten factors offered here to take away will add value to those thinking of running similar programmes within HE.

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