Advancing unity in University of Applied Sciences

In the Equal and United University of Applied Sciences project we advance unity by developing tutoring and expanding mentoring, starting a meeting place for students and offering compassion mentoring.

Group of tutors jumping

Advancing unity with tutoring and mentoring

JAMKO works in this project as a collaboration partner and our goal is to advance unity with tutoring and mentoring. By developing tutoring and expanding mentoring we reinforce the formation and stability of UAS’s communities. 

JAMKO’s tutors and mentors create unity already by existing.

Tutors are in a very important role for the first year students who have the tutors as their first experience into the communities in Jamk. 

Mentors will help students after the first year when tutoring “has come to its end”. Mentors help over study field barriers and create new ways to advance unity. 

Developing mentoring 

Mentoring has been in motion in JAMKO for about six years so no wonder that it might feel a bit distant to many students. Mentoring has been developed to continue tutoring and it has worked as a path to deepen one’s own guidance skills. During this project mentor training’s contents will be checked out and their amount will get much higher. The purpose of this is to train mentors to have more skills to  guide and help to support students in the challenges of their studies and well-being. There will be additions to the current themes of the trainings which include compassionate leading, developing one’s emotional intelligence, schedule building and arranging events. Mentors will also be more visible to students and in the support of tutors. Mentors could be called as a Tutor 2.0.

Tutor’s guidance meetings 

Tutoring has been developed as part of the OHKE project’s Working package “Tutors as a support” in the past two years. OHKE piloted tutor’s guidance meetings that were held by Jamk’s well-being services’ personnel. The guidance meetings were arranged in groups of about five people and the group met three times in the autumn and once in the spring. The meetings were perceived as a good way to support tutoring and during YYamk project they will be polished to be a part of the continuing actions.

However in the autumn 2022 guidance meetings won’t be executed in the same way as in the model of OHKE project. This autumn tutors will get support services in three different ways. At first JAMKO’s tutor sector meets tutors in their own study field group meetings where we discuss orientation week, how the tutoring is going and remind them about tasks related to tutoring. After these meetings tutors will get a survey link, built by Jamk’s well-being personnel, and by filling it in, tutors can get individual help to support their tutoring. The third support service is the informal event called “Tutorturinat” that is organized by JAMKO’s board’s tutor responsibles. If tutors want they can attend tutorturinat and come drink coffee and talk with other tutors about the hottest news of the day or just about their own things. 

During the YYamk project the principles and frame for the guidance meetings will be established. The goal is to create a model which is a useful part of tutoring even when this project has ended. The sufficiency and dividing of resources need to be examined so the support for tutors won’t be interrupted. One possible solution is that JAMKO will be able to recruit and train enough mentors so they could organize the guidance meetings for tutors, beginning in autumn 2023. If needed, Jamk’s well-being services’ personnel could be asked for working partners. Guidance meetings could be arranged in themes such as your own well-being, scheduling and how the tutoring is going. Meetings will be arranged in the same pattern as in OHKE project: three meetings in autumn and one (or possibly more depending on the group’s wishes) in the spring.

Meeting place 

Especially after studying remotely students long for communities and the feeling of unity after getting back to campus. The feeling of unity can be achieved for example by meeting with other students and sharing your own experiences with others. So that students could talk and meet with each other they should be offered a chance and a platform for it. The purpose of this concept called the meeting place is to offer a safe space and a place where students can also meet Jamk’s well-being personnel and JAMKO’s mentors. At the moment there is already a team called Dare to Care which consists of Jamk’s well-being personnel which is once a month offering Hype-coffee at Rajakatu, Lutakko and Music campuses. These coffee times will be refined forward so they could be a regular event that all students know and where they can come to talk for example about the themes around well-being and get more information about getting help when needed. 

Students are studying outside campuses more and more since hybrid and multiform teaching are becoming more popular. This meeting place concept should be accessible to all students regardless of their form of studying. 

Study Together study groups at Jamk:

Join the study group and get help with the challenge of getting started and build a routine for independent study, as well as develop your academic study skills. More information about the study groups

How and where would you like to meet with other students and Jamk’s well-being personnel?

Compassion mentoring at Jamk

Compassion is known to promote mental well-being and success in studies, as well as experiences of cohesion and meaningfulness. In 2023, the YYamk project will organise compassion mentoring for students, which is based on the peer group activities model developed by Nyyti ry. Participating the mentoring group can benefit, for example, students who experience stress, exhaustion, or feel that they are hard to perform or are demanding in relation to themselves.

In a group, students get to strengthen your own ability to have a compassionate attitude and action. Participation in a compassion mentoring group can be accredited to optional studies. More information: (in Finnish) Myötätuntoa korkeakouluihin -hankkeen (Nyyti ry.)

Nyyti ry. has selected Jamk as a partner for the 2023 Compassion Mentoring Partnership Project. With it, Nyyti ry. provides strong practical support for the Communal and Equal University of Applied Sciences project and the development of compassion mentoring in Jamk. 

Registration to the compassion mentoring groups in fall 2023 has ended and the groups are full.  

Visibility for students 

Our goal is to make a practical and concrete project. During OHKE project was piloted and thought about themes around well-being, tutoring and mentoring in theory and now the intention is to establish those things as part of the continuous actions. We want to bring this project closer to students so in the early autumn we kept stands for example at Jamk’s Back to Campus-festival. In the stands were Jamk’s well-being personnel together with at the same time operating other well-being projects. We have wanted to be concretely visible for students and have conversations with them about well-being and different kinds of needs for support. 

At the stands we have wanted to involve students to gather their thoughts together into post-it notes which are put up as part of the dashboard: “a well-being tree”. To awaken some thoughts from the students we used two questions: “How do you define a well-being UAS?” and “What helps you feel good during your studies?”. With the answers we have gathered valuable feedback directly from the students which we are concluding afterwards to be sent forward. Based on the answers we will also write blogs which you can access in this project’s front page. 

Developing the teachers' and personnel skills

  • Trainings for the teaching and guidance personnel 
  • Special education teacher's services 
Stella Palassalo

Project Coordinator 
Student Union JAMKO

Maaret Rutanen

Senior Lecturer 
Jamk University of Applied Sciences 

Heini-Maria Pietilä

Project manager, Special education teacher 

Jamk University of Applied Sciences 
Tel. +35840 521 9415