Mentorship Program

What is a Mentor Circle?

In Spring 2019 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 this quarter with an appropriate number of TAs to match the size of the course.

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 6 weeks of the meeting times.

What times are the circles and who is running them?

We currently have Olga running one circle. If you are late to the course or decided you're interested in a circle after signups ended, please let us know. We can't promise anything but with enough interest we may be able to create additional groups.

The schedule is as follows:

How do I sign up?

Fill out this form by Friday, June 26th.

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.

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, another lecturer at the Allen School, who was very successful working with mentoring groups at UC Berekely.