The Inspire Mentor Program connects primary and secondary students with mentors who empower mentees to consider higher education as an option for their future. Mentors are reliable role models who support engagement in learning, social and emotional wellbeing and academia.
Mentors can benefit in a number of ways including:
- Increasing employability
- Improving and refining skills
- Expanding professional network
In some instances, the Inspire Mentor Program can even be embedded into university courses that require community service based practicums as part of the curriculum (Education, Disability studies etc.).
Journey to Higher Education (JtHE)
The Inspire Mentor Program is part of a government funded consortium that collectively delivers programs under the title 'Journey to Higher Education'. This engaging range of programs encourages low socioeconomic status, Indigenous and rural and remote school students to consider higher education. The consortium consists of Flinders University, the University of Adelaide and the University of South Australia and is also partnered with TAFE SA.
How Mentoring Works
Mentoring is delivered either face to face or online using interactive technology. Face to Face mentoring can occur either one-to-one or in a small group. The Inspire Mentor Program currently provides mentors to more than 60 sites across South Australia.
- Requires one hour per week (plus travel time), during the school term
- Involves direct interaction with a school student at the school or community centre
- Is supervised by school staff
Flinders University is proud to partner with the Department of Education and Child Development (DECD) to deliver the E-Mentoring program. Dedicated School Services Officers (SSO’s) provide support during sessions and obtain ongoing feedback from both mentors and mentees.
- Requires one hour per week during the school term
- Connects mentors with students located in rural & remote areas
- Requires access to a computer
- Utilises highly interactive and engaging online technology
Flinders University, the University of Adelaide, the University of South Australia and TAFE SA (Cert III and above) students are eligible to apply to become mentors, while students studying at other educational institutions will also be considered. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students are highly encouraged to be involved. University alumni and individuals holding a professional qualification are also eligible to apply in some circumstances.
Mentors must be available for mentoring one hour per week during the school term, for a minimum of 10 weeks. Mentoring occurs during school hours (Monday to Friday between 9am and 3pm), with the exception of The Smith Family and the Australian Refugee Association after school Learning Clubs. Mentoring does not occur on weekends.
How to Become a Mentor
1. Apply here.
2. Complete a DCSI child related employment screening application online. Instructions for this process are emailed to you in the days after you application is received. You will need to ensure that you have 100 points of ID (PDF 294KB) ready to be verified at your interview.
3. Attend a short interview.
4. Attend a 4 hour training session (2 hours Responding to Abuse and Neglect - Education & Care (RAN-EC) and 2 hours Inspire Mentor training).
5. Be placed in a school for face-to-face mentoring or be connected with a rural and remote student through e-mentoring.
As with any volunteer program, Inspire Mentor staff reserve the right to deny mentor applications if they feel that an applicant is not the right fit for the program.