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Poster 11

From the Periphery to the Mainstream: Mentoring in Schools on the Curriculum at Cass Business School

Rob Compton - PRME Programme Manager  |  Cass Business School

Professsor Paul Palmer - Principal Investigator  |  Cass Business School

This poster will present our experience of teaching essential transferable and future-proofed, people skills (Robles 2012), for business students in a blended, workshop format to provide theoretical and critical insight alongside practice.

Second year undergraduate business students on the Mentoring and Coaching for Leadership module attend a series of workshops during the Autumn term, before practicing their skills in schools and the university during the Spring term when assessment takes place.

The project has evolved significantly over the last 3 years and will change further to reflect feedback and learning from our evaluative work. Importantly, we are constantly looking for criticism and ideas from colleagues across the University and other institutions.

The poster will summarise our key findings and invite feedback in the following areas:

Curriculum design and development

This module is underpinned by a set of “people skills for business” for our students to understand and practice. These skills are developed in the context of mentoring and coaching in both a business and educational context. The literature is then introduced alongside ongoing practice to enable students to develop their critical perspective. The content and format is formally reviewed with a stakeholder “teaching group” every year and updated regularly.

Learning and teaching approaches

Here, we will present findings from adopting a highly practical workshop format for undergraduate students alongside initial reflections on the value and challenge of experiential learning taking place outside the comfort zone (Rhodes 2002) of university – a concept introduced in the US as service learning (Kenworthy 1996).

Assessment design

The module is assessed through an essay which requires students to combine a literature review with reflection on their experience as well as a formal observation. This is a new experience for our management students and we are keen to discuss how we communicate, the use of formative assessment and the recent introduction of assessing filmed observations.
Finally, we are keen to discuss more widely how students can be engaged with the programme outside the classroom.


Kenworthy. A.L (1996), Linking Business Education Campus Culture and Community: The Bentley Service Learning Project. Netherlands, Journal of Business Ethics 15 (pp 121-131).

Rhodes. JE (2002), Stand by Me: The Risks and Rewards of Mentoring Today's Youth. Boston MA, First Harvard University Press.

Robles, M. M. (2012). Executive Perceptions of the Top 10 Soft Skills Needed in Today’s Workplace. Business Communication Quarterly, 75(4), 453–465. Retrieved from on 14 January 2019