Academic Development and Quality Enhancement

PGCertHE mentors

Each participant on the PGCertHE is assigned a mentor by their School before they start the course. Mentoring is an important part of colleagues' professional development on the course, and both the course team and participants very much appreciate this valuable support shared by more experienced colleagues. In particular, course participants find it extremely valuable to have a point of contact within their School to meet with regularly and informally throughout their course participation, to talk through any emerging issues in their teaching practice, gain insight into disciplinary and school practices, and to introduce them to relevant professional networks and individuals. It is also an opportunity for mentors to support their own professional development through taking this responsibility for mentoring others.

The core responsibilities we ask for PGCertHE course mentors are as follows:

  • to meet with mentees for at least 1 hour per term (3 hours total). This may be spread over a number of shorter meetings if preferred;
  • to observe your mentee teaching at least once during their PGCertHE;
  • to act as a critical friend offering advice and feedback on developing a draft of their assessment work should they wish this.

Prior to the start of the Teaching and Learning in Higher Education module, course participants should arrange to meet with their assigned mentor to discuss the participant's relevant existing HE teaching experience. This discussion should reference to the Current Teaching Experience profile. Through this discussion it should be agreed which spring term workshops participants will attend as part of the PGCertHE's module 2, based on existing experience and development needs as identified by participant and mentor together. Participants are required to attend a minimum of 5 workshops - though attendance at more than 5 sessions is greatly encouraged if these are identified as relevant.

Mentors are asked to observe their mentee teaching at least once while they are enrolled on the PGCertHE using the PGCertHE observation forms. This does not form part of the observation element of participants' formal assessment, but rather is intended instead to provide valuable formative input into participants' professional development. In addition, mentors may be asked by their mentees for support in identifying suitable School colleagues for them to approach to carry out formal teaching observations as part of the module assessment. Course participants can also approach any colleagues who their Head of School, Head of Department, Director of Teaching and Learning, or mentor, identifies to them as being appropriate in terms of professional standing in HE Teaching and Learning. This may include colleagues who have already achieved a PGCertHE, HEA Fellowship, or an institutional or national teaching award, as well as those otherwise identified for excellence in HE Teaching and Learning.

We invite and actively encourage all new and existing PGCertHE mentors to attend the University's annual Mentor training. This training is offered by the Staff Development Unit (SDU) and the PGCertHE team and is relevant to developing and delivering all types of mentoring within the University. The involvement of the PGCert team ensures alignment to the UKPSF.

In addition, new and existing mentors are invited to attend the PGCertHE participant induction at the start of each academic year to learn more about the course and meet with staff and to share questions, experiences and good practice related to the role.

The expectations of both Mentor and Mentee are set out in a Mentoring Agreement.

For more information about mentoring at Sussex, please visit the University’s main mentoring webpage.