The eventful spring of YYamk project

Writer Stella Palassalo works as the project coordinator in the YYamk – project.

There have been multiple steps forward during this spring in JAMKO and Jamk’s project Equal and United University of Applied Sciences (YYamk). The project will continue until the end of this year and the plans made this spring are moving towards autumn.

In mentoring there have been many roller coasters during this spring. Many of the procedures laid on the shoulders of mentor recruitment which meant that the suspense was at its highest in the middle of March when the recruitment was ending. We didn’t reach our goal of ten applicants but we still got eight amazing mentors on board – that’s more than in years! Trainings started like planned at the end of March and went well beyond our expectations. The trainings about deepening guidance skills were held on an active and inclusive note and the discussions were almost non-ending. For example, students’ well-being and developing their own skills were hot topics.

The biggest change in mentoring happened at a structural level. Mentoring has earlier been a way to offer support for those who have survived their first year of studies and might have been tutors. In this project mentoring has been aimed again specifically for supporting tutors. Mentors have been tutors before so they are in a perfect position to understand tutors’ thoughts and feelings during their tutoring year.

The most important form of support is guidance meetings. Mentor pairs meet with groups of tutors four times during the tutoring year. The first meetings were held this spring and feedback has been strongly positive. Grouping, exchanging thoughts and peer support have been the biggest themes in the meetings. Rest of the three meetings will be held in the autumn and two of them are in connection with orientation week. The orientation week is the busiest time of tutoring which means that also the need for support is at its peak.

In addition to tutoring and mentoring a lot of time and thoughts have been put into creating principles of a safer space. JAMKO’s Code of Conduct process has already started in autumn 2022 and during spring 2023 it was worked from craft stage to a nearly ready form together with JAMKO’s board and staff. With the principles of a safer place common spirit will be improved and literally a safer space will be created. The compliance of these principles is up to each individual which is why JAMKO’s Code of Conduct has been created for each individual to reflect their own actions.

Multiple events have been arranged for students this spring to advance unity. The year began with an event together with JYY, Student SnowFun, which led smoothly towards JAMKO’s Speedfriending event on Valentine’s day. After the winter events we celebrated May Day with students with children at HopLop – a record number of 30 children were there! Then towards summer we arrange well-being events every week before Midsummer for students that have stayed in Jyväskylä.

All and all the spring of the project YYamk has been full of hustle and bustle and the plans have been executed successfully. After this eventful spring we have a well-deserved summer vacation so that in the autumn we can finish the final six months of this project!


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