We use a model that combines Corporate Social Responsibility and Investment, Educational Foundation or Educational Trust funding to fund this programme for disadvantaged institutions and NGO’s. The Lumina Learning tool together with the Mentoring Programme was originally developed with corporates in mind, their costing would thus place them outside of the budget of most institutions that we deal with. It is our pleasure to provide the opportunity for the staff, students and target group of these institutions to participate and benefit from the course.
The vision of this mentoring programme is to work with participants and accompany them on a journey beginning with self-knowledge and continuing through building a skill set that enables them to work collaboratively and become leaders of teams.
The vision is predicated on the idea expressed by Daniel Goleman in the following quote:
“If your emotional abilities aren’t in hand, if you can’t have empathy and have effective relationships, then no matter how smart you are, you are not going to get very far.”
It has become clear that although the Matric pass rate has improved in many schools which is directly associated with the improved academic level being achieved at the school, many of the students who attend tertiary education institutions, however, struggle with the non-academic side of their education. The students on the whole are from backgrounds and home situations that are challenging and not comparable to many of the other students that they find themselves within the tertiary institutions. This raises challenges for the students and has been associated with the students being unable to complete their field of study.
Teachers also in many of the disadvantaged schools do not have the EQ training to be able to impart the principles on to their students. Additionally, they are generally not exposed to professional development in this area which is so vital to success.
There has been much research in this area of challenge for students that are often called “First Generation Higher Education Students” because they are the first generation in their families that have the opportunity to attend a higher education institution. Their families are therefore unable to equip them with the required skill set required to succeed in these institutions and in this milieu.
Pym and Kapp (2011) explain as follows, “a significant number of the students experience varying levels of demoralisation and loss of self acceptance when they first realise that their schooling has not prepared them for University.” Pym and Kapp go on further to explain that, “ The entry into a new environment of higher education- where very little is familiar and which is physically far from home- often produces intense loneliness and a loss of voice, self-esteem and purpose (2011).
Surfacing Possibilities. What it Means to Work with First-Generation Higher Education Students, edited by June Pym and Moragh Paxton. Published by Common Ground publishers.
Harnessing Agency: towards a learning model for undergraduate students.