Mentoring - compulsory - why?

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Mentoring - one of 5 compulsory courses

In addition to the computer science and mathematics lectures, there is another compulsory course in the first and second semester, which you must attend: the computer science mentoring. Mentoring helps you to find your way around the university and master the first semester successfully.

You are wondering why?

On the one hand, we know that a bad academic start tends to have a negative impact on the further academic progress. This results, for example, in longer studies and worse grades. On the other hand, many students report that they felt lost at the beginning of their studies or that they simply underestimated the professional and personal requirements of their studies.

This is more than understandable, because Uni works quite differently than school. From the beginning, you are responsible for your studies and their progress. You need to reorganize, make many decisions and take the initiative. In addition, for many students their entire personal environment changes at once: the first own apartment, friends and family are far away and everything is new. This situation is very stressful for many students in the first year of their studies.

For these reasons, the Department of Computer Science in cooperation with the Student Council considered how they could support new students, so they can have a successful academic start and are able to find their way into their studies more easily. The result was the development of a mentoring program for first-year students, in which they form small groups in the orientation week. Throughout the first semester, these groups are accompanied and supported by student mentors who are computer science students from higher semesters.

How does it work?

During the weekly mentoring appointments, your group will be dealing with topics of everyday student life. Together, you will be able to overcome obstacles and develop solutions and strategies that can help you successfully master the challenges of studying. In addition to the group appointments, you have the opportunity to discuss personal problems and difficulties with your mentor in private. The mentoring has the positive side effect that you quickly and easily get to know new people and you can start networking right from the beginning. You will see: Fun is also not missed out, whether it is during Laser Tag, barbecue or a cozy pub evening. If you are open-minded and ready to participate actively, you can benefit from the mentoring, your mentor's experience and from working with the students in your group.


By the way...

If you like the mentoring program and want to give something back to others, you can become a mentor yourself, either as part of your non-technical elective module or as a small student assistant position.


Which topics are worked on?

The mentoring program starts at the points that students find difficult in the first semesters. Topics will be covered that will make you fit for your studies:

  • Starting your studies: How does studying at RWTH work? What do I need to know to manage and reorganize my student life cycle?
  • Learning while studying: What is changing compared to school? How can I better cope with the high level and amount of fabrics?
  • Exam preparation: How do I prepare for exams? What strategies and aids are there?
  • Everything about studying computer science: What are examination regulations? How do ZPA and PA differ? What rights do I have? What duties?


Why is there the compulsory module mentoring computer science - first-semester groups?

Mentoring helps you to find your way around the university and master the first semester successfully.

  • How do I plan out the semester?
  • Which online systems can I use and how do they work?
  • What's the best way for me to study and how do I find the right study group?
  • How do I deal with stress?
  • What is the Department of Computer Science? How can I best prepare for exams?
  • Should I commute or look for an apartment? What about funding and financial aid?

This is just a snippet of the variety of questions, problems, and uncertainties that you face at the beginning of your studies and that can be burdensome.

Our Mentoring Program for first-year students offers intensive supervision and individual advising to make your start at the university easier. You meet in a small mentoring group once a week. You will not only discuss topics relevant to studies but you also have the opportunity to talk with fellow students and build a helpful network right from the beginning.


How does it work?

You will be assigned to a mentoring group during the orientation week.Your mentor will accompany you and your group throughout the week.

The mentors are computer science students from higher semesters who are intensively prepared for their tasks.In this way, you can benefit from the experiences of advanced students who were in the same situation as you not so long ago.

The mentoring groups meet weekly during the semester and work together on study-related topics that will help you to settle into your studies and to master the challenges of your studies.



Who must participate in mentoring?

Active participation in mentoring is required for students in the first and second semesters.

They receive 1CP or credit point for their participation. There is no alternative module for obtaining this credit.

In the PO2022, mentoring is a prerequisite for all compulsory courses from the 4th semester onwards.

Do I have to participate in mentoring if I was previously in another course of study?

If you gained 30 or more credit points in your previous course of study, you can be excused from participating. Please file an application for the recognition of prior academic performance (transfer of credit) with the Examination Board. Further information on this application can be found in the Application System of the Examination Board, see Transfer of Credit.

How do I register for the mentoring groups?

There is a RWTHonline course registration procedure for Mentoring Informatik - Erstsemester-Gruppen.

You will then have access to the RWTHmoodle course room for the mentoring event, where you will find all further information.

Please note: Registration in RWTHonline does not automatically mean you are assigned to a mentoring group. The allocation to the groups takes place in the subject-specific introductory event in the first semester introductory week.

If you cannot attend the subject-specific first-semester introductory event for good reasons, please attend the mentoring standard group directly in the first week of lectures on Tuesday, 10.10.2023, 10:30 am. It meets in the Computer Science Center, building part E3 (2359), 2nd floor, room 222.

If you start your studies later, please contact us immediately via email.

Can I change mentoring groups?

We will consider assigning you to another group if you have have a valid reason and talk with us.

What is required to receive the mentoring credit?

Active participation in mentoring is required for students in the first and second semesters.

You will receive the mentoring credit after the first semester if you have passed at least two of the four compulsory examinations in the first semester in addition to compulsory attendance. Active means that you have to hand in homework in addition to the normal activity in the appointment.

In this case, you will automatically be exempted from participating in mentoring in the second semester. The mentoring credit will be credited to you after the first semester.

If you have passed fewer than 2 exams, you must attend a mentoring learning workshop in the second semester.

Please note: You will not be automatically enrolled for 2nd semester mentoring. You have to register for Computer Science Mentoring - Second-Semester Workshops. After the registration deadline, you will receive an e-mail with the dates of the Workshops and further details.


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