According to the Discrimination Act (2008:567), universities and colleges are required to counteract discrimination and promote equal opportunities regardless of gender, gender identity, ethnic origin, religion or other belief, disability, sexual orientation, or age.
A tolerant and including study environment
Targeted Educational Support
Disabilities are individual and affect the study situation in different ways. To be eligible for targeted educational support, a student must provide documentation of a permanent disability.
Every student applying for support is offered a personal meeting with a coordinator for targeted educational support to discuss the student's needs. A student with a disability may be eligible for support from a mentor. The mentor can be someone with experience in higher education, such as a student with study experience or another individual with academic study experience.
The mentorship support is not provided by teachers or doctoral students employed by the University of Skövde. A student with a disability may be eligible for a mentor who provides support in structuring and planning.
The Mentor's Responsibilities
A mentor's role is always based on the student's needs. A mentor should be able to help the student organize their studies, review the course syllabus with learning objectives, course instructions, and schedule.
The student should receive support in creating a study plan, setting goals and sub-goals, and following up on them. The mentor can review study assignments, help interpret content, prioritize course materials, clarify instructions, and provide advice in various teaching situations.
The mentor should serve as a sounding board for study-related questions and also try to increase the student's motivation for their studies. The mentor should guide the student on where important information can be found, such as Studentportalen, the Canvas learning platform, or refer them to other support services at the University of Skövde.
Some of these tasks may vary depending on the mentor's background and experience.
Motivation among students with disabilities may be low due to past failures or negative experiences. Therefore, it is essential to provide good treatment and allow sufficient time.
As a mentor, you need to build trust and establish a good relationship. To facilitate for the student, it is helpful to provide clear and concrete information, such as where to meet, what to do, what to bring, and how long the meeting will last.
Whenever possible, avoid canceling or rescheduling the meeting. Find out when during the day the student is at their best and try to schedule the meeting at that time.
Take into account that scheduled meetings may not take place. Remind the student about the meeting with a text message/an SMS on the same day if necessary.
There is often a great need for structure and routines, so it is helpful to work with lists, schedules, or images to help understanding. Make sure to allocate time to summarize and ensure that there is a shared understanding of agreements or planning.
Avoid providing too much information at once; focus on one thing at a time. It is important to note that for some students with disabilities, the school day can be so demanding that the risk of burnout is high. Support their progress by assisting them in meeting formal requirements, reminding them of deadlines, submitting materials, and registering for exams, among other tasks.
Understand where your competence and responsibility lie and when other professionals should take over. Do not let the student fall through the cracks; ensure that the appropriate contacts have been made and that the student has received answers to their questions. As a mentor, you are responsible for maintaining contact with the student.
If the student wishes, as a mentor, you can participate in meetings with other professionals at the university. This could include study and career counselors or supervision meetings. Keep in mind that it is the student's meeting, so it is better to have a discussion with the student after the meeting rather than during it.
It is the student's responsibility to manage their studies forward. The student should be active between meetings and use the planning tools agreed upon. The student should be prepared and bring relevant and up-to-date materials.
The mentor should also be well-prepared for scheduled meetings. The mentor is not expected to share information about the assignment with others. The mentor is responsible for contacting the coordinator for targeted educational support in case of any changes in working with the student.
Expression of interest
If you want to become a note-taking supporter/mentor, send in a notification of interest to firstname.lastname@example.org. In the expression of interest, you can briefly describe yourself.
Introductory courses for new mentors are offered a few times per academic year.