A new virtual mentoring program for students with disabilities
The transition from high school to college is challenging for all students. Several studies have demonstrated the benefits of a mentoring program for cognitive, identity and social development of mentored students. Cégep du Vieux Montréal (CVM) is concerned about the success of their new students with disabilities and this is why the cégep offers the opportunity for these students to be accompanied by a peer during their first session at the CVM.
A brand new service has been developed for new students with disabilities who are enrolled in the adapted service (SAIDE) at Cegep du Vieux-Montréal: The Virtual Mentoring Center. Thus, in the comfort of their living room, mentees will be able to meet online with a student mentor on a weekly basis and benefit from invaluable advice to begin their college studies. First-year students will be paired at the start of the school year with second and third-year student mentors. The mentors will accompany them throughout their first session by introducing them to the various services, providing them with advice related to their specific needs, providing them with learning strategies and answering their questions. Participation in the mentoring program is completely voluntary but engagement is key to the success of the mentoring program for students with disabilities. Starting in September, the mentor will get in touch with his mentees to introduce themself and explain the virtual mentoring program for persons with disabilities at the CVM. The program lasts 12 weeks and consists of four mandatory informative meetings, four recommended consolidation meetings and four optional follow-up meetings. A collegiate session lasts 15 weeks. Because different difficulties and concerns can arise during a first session at a cégep – this is why 12 time slots are available to discuss with a mentor the obstacles that arise and the solutions that can be considered in order to maximize their chances of social and educational inclusion.