What is a Mentor Circle?
In Spring 2019 (last quarter), we introduced "Mentor Circles" for the first time. The Allen School kindly allowed us to hire 3-4 part time TAs, each whom conducted 1-hour Mentor Circles
each week where they met in small groups of about 5-6 students. Given the feedback from students and mentors, we will continue this program over the summer, though with 1-2 Mentors (due to
the smaller course size).
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
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 6 weeks of the meeting times.
What times are the circles and who are running them?
Mentorship assignments will be finalized at the end of the first week depending on survey responses.
How do I sign up?
Fill out this form
by Saturday, June 29th.
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 Week 1, 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 June 29th.
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.