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Launch of the PALS program at NMCI

Posted: February 25, 2015

PALS              

Today the NMCI welcomed Barbara Hempel, project manager for PALS, to launch the PALS initiative in the college.

PALS is an acronym for Peer Assisted Learning and Support. The social side of PAL’s is what we have introduced here at NMCI. It is derived from the L.I.S.T.E.N. (Listen & Involve Students to Empower New Beginnings) peer mentoring service in CIT. In layman’s terms it’s like a buddy system. It improves the first year student’s experience of college through social mentoring.

So what is PALS all about?

Take a moment and think back to when you were getting ready to go offshore you were probably a nervous wreck of excitement…. It was more than likely daunting going into a new environment and not knowing anybody and wondering would you make friends. For some people it can be exciting and for others it can be nerve wrecking.

PALS takes the pressure away. It helps you settle in, get to know people, learn the ropes and have an overall positive experience of the new journey ahead of you.

It improves the student’s experience of placement through social mentoring. The PALS initiative provides both support and guidance to students. It creates that social connection with other students which can be hard for some to achieve and instils confidence in students. By having a senior student as a mentor it gives students an opportunity to discuss possible pre placement issues and sponsorship issues which the mentor will have experience in.

Not only a mentor, your PAL helps you develop as a person. By gaining confidence your communication skills, your interpersonal skills and even your problem solving skills will improve.
It’s not just a one way system though; the PALS program benefits both parties. When you’re leaving college and looking to be employed, by having the PALS program on your CV it will enhance your employability as it shows you have skills such as leadership, communication, and teamwork. Sponsoring companies are even supportive of the PAL’s initiative and acknowledge participating students.

What does being a mentor entail?

Being a mentor is a great opportunity and one which is supported by both the NMCI and Sponsoring companies. The idea is that the mentor/ mentee will meet in a social setting and have a chat. It’s all about being social. Chat, drink tea/coffee and engage with one another. NMCI will provide a drinks voucher for each mentors/mentees so the financial strain is taken away from the gathering.

Think of it as a time to chill and catch up with friends; that’s what the program enables; it enables friendship amongst peers. Remember, even though Facebook takes up our time, it’s important to interact with people face to face.

Stand up, be a mentor and get involved in the PALS program, we all remember what it was like to be the new kid on the block.

For further information regarding the PALS program contact:
Maritime Liaison Officer Annette Coughlan |Annette.Coughlan@nmci.ie

 

My mentor met with me every week for a chat which really helped me settle in to CIT as I was really homesick at the beginning’ (CIT Student)

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