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MMUST Mentors Equipped to Navigate Students’ Academic, Social, and Professional Needs

Participants of the student mentorship training at the Golf Hotel Kakamega.

In a bid to enhance student support and foster their holistic development, Masinde Muliro University of Science and Technology (MMUST) on Monday 5th February, 2024, held a one-day workshop focused on student mentorship. The workshop, which took place at the Golf Hotel Kakamega, was a significant step towards fulfilling the University Council’s Performance Contract target for the financial year 2023/2024. Over seventy academic staff drawn from the University’s eleven Schools participated in the training, which was organized by the Office of Career Services. It was aimed at equipping them with the necessary skills and strategies to guide students through their academic, social, and professional journeys.

Speaking during the official opening of the event, the Vice Chancellor, Prof. Solomon Shibairo underscored that the training aligns with the University’s commitment to providing comprehensive support to its students. “This workshop aligns with the targets set in our Performance Contract for the financial year 2023/2024, reflecting our commitment to meeting and exceeding academic excellence.  By undertaking it, we are strategically advancing towards achieving our institutional objectives of providing quality education and nurturing well-rounded individuals,” said Prof. Shibairo. He urged the staff to commit to mentoring at least ten students each semester, guiding them through their university journey to alleviate instances of deferment.


The Vice Chancellor, Prof. Solomon Shibairo, keenly following the discussions.

Similarly, the Deputy Vice Chancellor – Academic and Student Affairs, Prof. Hussein Golicha commended the faculty members for their dedication to guiding the students through their academic, social, and professional endeavors. “Students are our number one customer and as lecturers, it is our responsibility to take care of them during their stay here. We should create an enabling academic environment so that they can excel academically, grow, and thrive in their chosen fields,” stated Prof. Golicha.

The Director, Performance Monitoring and Evaluation Unit, Prof. Joseph Nasongo stated that the workshop was a good step towards ensuring that students are mentored.  “Students need mentorship in leadership, academic scholarship, social skills, as well as career and professional occupations,” stressed Prof. Nasongo.


A section of participants during the training.

The training was facilitated by Dr. Rachel Muteti from the Career Development Association of Kenya, providing expertise and insights to enrich the mentorship program. She brought a wealth of experience in student development and mentorship, having worked extensively with educational institutions across the country. Dr. Muteti’s interactive sessions and practical exercises provided the academic staff with valuable tools and strategies to effectively guide students through their academic, social, and professional endeavors. Her commitment to fostering holistic student development was evident throughout the workshop, inspiring participants to elevate their mentorship practices and make a lasting impact on students.

“Mentorship works but we have to be intentional, purposeful, and willing to allow it to work,” she stated, urging advisors to stay current on academic policies, program requirements and career trends to better assist mentees in navigating their academic and career-related challenges and opportunities.


Dr. Rachel Muteti from the Career Development Association of Kenya making a presentation during the training.

One of the attendees, Mr. Nalianya Wasike from the Department of Geography stressed on the importance of acknowledging and honoring various aspects of students’ identities, heritage, purpose, potential, and destiny as mentors offer guidance. Emphasizing the diverse support network crucial for mentees, he identified key figures including grounders, mentors, connectors, and encouragers. Mr. Nalianya further emphasized the unique contributions of each category, providing essential support, guidance, and resources that are vital for mentees’ growth and success. “Together, these individuals form a comprehensive support system that addresses diverse needs, empowering mentees to pursue their aspirations,” he stated.

Addressing his colleagues, Mr. Nalianya challenged them to understand that students’ reception of mentorship may be hindered if they are hungry, angry, lonely, or tired. While acknowledging the daunting nature of mentorship, he encouraged continued efforts to support students’ holistic well-being.


One of the participants, Dr. Mary Goretti Kariaga from  SAVET sharing her view during the training.

“In preparation for the upcoming September intake, the Office of Career Services is committed to establishing a proficient team of academic mentors who will play a pivotal role in guiding students towards success. Our aim is to structure and conduct academic mentorship from a well-informed position, ensuring students receive the support they need to thrive,” said the outgoing Director Office of Career Services, Dr. Teresa Okoth. In the same breadth, the incoming Director, Prof. Robert Egessa, appreciated the trainer and reinforced the importance of such initiatives in the University. He urged the faculty members to utilize the information and cascade the mentorship to students in their Schools.


The incoming Director, Office of Career Services - Prof. Robert Egessa addressing the attendees at the event.

I encourage you to develop mentorship strategies focused on open communication and coaching approaches including group academic advising. As we do this, we need to document feedback from our mentees to enable us assess the impact of the mentorship program in overcoming academic, professional, and social challenges,” he stated.

The workshop concluded with mentors successfully empowered and equipped to guide students through their academic, social, and professional journeys. With a renewed focus on mentorship, MMUST is committed to nurture the next generation of leaders and professionals, ensuring that their success both within and beyond the University walls is guaranteed.

By Caren Nekesa

Photos by Wangari Wambugu 

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