206559 Exploring the mentoring needs of public health social work students in a dual degree program

Tuesday, November 10, 2009: 10:30 AM

Brenda N. Henry, MSW , Graduate School of Public Health, Department of Behavioral and Community Health Sciences, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA
Tammy Thomas, MSW, MPH , Graduate School of Public Health, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA
Students who identify as having a positive mentoring relationship are more likely to succeed in graduate school. A mentor is someone who provides them guidance on academic issues but more importantly help them to navigate the various emotional and challenging aspects of academia.

Students engaged in a dual program of public health and social work (PHSW) have the added challenge of navigating two different systems. The role of a mentor becomes even more critical to assure that students feel connected, supported and able to traverse the needs of both programs. Additionally, mentors provide students understanding of how this integrated perspective is beneficial to meeting the needs of those they seek to serve.

To understand and meet the needs of joint PHSW students at the University of Pittsburgh, a qualitative assessment, including individual and group interviews, was done to explore student's perception of mentoring during their graduate education. The goal is to learn what students perceive as the critical elements in having a positive, encouraging learning environment and the role that mentorship plays in creating that environment. As more and more schools are moving to dual programs it is imperative that processes are in place to help students have a rich learning experience. This presentation will be offer insights and guidance to other dual degree programs.

Learning Objectives:
Participants will be able to describe the mentoring needs of PHSW social students. Participants will be able to discuss how mentoring may be beneficial to their own student community

Keywords: Education, Social Work

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I was involved in the conducting of this research
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.