Cross-age mentoring to support A-level pupils' transition into Higher Education and undergraduate students' employability

Alana James

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Two challenges identified for psychology higher education are supporting entry students’ transition, and supporting graduates’ transition into employment. The evaluation of the first phase of a cross-age mentoring action research project targeting these issues is presented; eight psychology undergraduates mentored 20 A-level psychology pupils in two schools. Mentors showed significant increases in two of nine psychological literacies, in self-efficacy but not self-esteem, were highly satisfied with the experience, and reported benefits
including enhanced communication skills. Mentees did not improve relative to pupils who were not mentored on attitudes towards higher education, self-efficacy or self-esteem, though reported benefits included enhanced insight into going to university, greater knowledge of psychology, and gains in academic skills. Mentees in one school were highly satisfied, with greater variation in the second. Adaptations identified for the next project iteration include greater focus upon the psychology A-level curriculum, and increased communication
between mentors and school staff.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)79-94
JournalPsychology Teaching Review
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2014


  • mentoring
  • transition
  • employability
  • action research
  • widening participation

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