Mentorship Program

What is a Mentor Circle?

This quarter we are trying something new, "Mentor Circles." The Allen School has kindly allowed us to hire 3-4 part time TAs, each whom will conduct four, one hour long, mentor circles each week where they will meet in small groups of about 5-6 students.

Students in these groups, with the assistance of their "Mentor TA," will work to complete any of the section material that wasn't finished in class, go over questions from previous sections or lectures, and perhaps help brainstorm ideas for creative projects. The mentor circles will NOT be a place to get help with homework assignments, however.

Ultimately the goal of the Mentor Circle is to build a place where students can solidify knowledge and confidence in the course material so they will be able to more easily complete the homework assignments on their own. Furthermore, it is a place for students to form a small cohort and community with others in the course.

Who is a Mentor Circle for?

Mentor Circles are open to all, but preference will be given to students who have less prior programming experience and who are willing to commit to at least 8 out of the 10 weeks of our meeting times.

What times are the circles and who are running them?

We have three terrific TAs at the moment (and the ability to hire a 4th TA if we have enough interest in the program) – Sweekruthi Raghunathan, Hawk Ticehurst, and Jeffrey Worley. All three were TAs in past quarters and are incredibly knowledgable in the material.

We have enough students signed up to run six mentor circles this term. The schedule is as follows:

How do I sign up?

Fill out this form by Friday, April 5.

When will they start?

The goal is to start this as soon as possible so students can begin to form their cohort that will last through the quarter. We also want to be able to support students as we are ramping up on HTML/CSS and Git.

Our goal is to start the circles on Thursday, April 4th, even though the window to sign up will not yet be closed. We would like to make sure students have an opportunity to do extra work on our Week 1 section material or their creative project before it is due on Saturday April 6th.

Anything else I should know?

Since this is a pilot program we are getting some interest from the Allen School advisors who may want to replicate the program for other courses! We would really like to see this as a successful addition to the CSE 154 course. We'll therefore be looking for lots of feedback over the course of the quarter and would appreciate your willingness to work with us as we develop this new program.

Where did this awesome idea come from?

Giving credit where credit is due: This idea was born out of a conversation with Kevin Lin from UC Berekely regarding his very successful work with mentoring groups there.