Students' first year experience at university has been of concern for a long time. This is especially the case in engineering faculties where high rates of attrition occur during this period. Universities have used different strategies to stem this loss including student mentoring and various programs of learning and pastoral support. Many of these initiatives have been successful but questions remain about students' reactions to these approaches. The University of Newcastle has, over the years, implemented a range of projects to support students. This paper reports on the introduction of a guidance mentor (GM) in the Faculty of Engineering and Built Environment to monitor students' progress and to proactively offer support and direction to those experiencing difficulties. The GM program has operated for three years and has reduced the number of students being excluded from the Faculty.
20th Annual Conference for the Australasian Association for Engineering Education (AAEE 2009). Proceedings of the 20th Annual Conference for the Australasian Association for Engineering Education (Adelaide, S.A. 6-9 December, 2009) p. 538-543