University of Strathclyde Partners For New Leadership Course

Originally published on The Glasgowist

By Paul Trainer

Pioneering school-based mentoring programme MCR Pathways has partnered with the University of Strathclyde Business School to create an accredited leadership training course. Based on the MCR model of relationship focused mentoring the Leadership Through MCR Mentoring will be accredited at SCQF Level 7 (First year BA/BSc level) by the University of Strathclyde.

The two-year course, launching in June, aims to build leadership skills by incorporating MCR mentoring, alongside academic learning.

The three modules in the programme will raise participants’ confidence in mentoring and coaching, both in a workplace setting and as an MCR Pathways mentor. The course’s aim is to help participants develop their skills, knowledge and aptitude as both leaders and mentors.

MCR Pathways works in conjunction with all secondary schools in Glasgow, and now across Scotland, supporting young people through volunteer one-on-one mentors who listen and encourage. This can be transformational for both mentor and mentee. Mentors have an opportunity to put into practice essential skills, including empathy and active listening, that can also have an enormous impact in the workplace.

The University of Strathclyde is committed to social and system transformation and has committed 20% of its staff to become MCR mentors as part of their working week.

David Hillier, Associate Principal and Executive Dean (Strathclyde Business School) at the University of Strathclyde, said: “From the training MCR Pathways offers, staff will develop certain leadership skills that will put them in a good stead for developing their own career. This course is innovative and essential to improve within any workforce.

“Research has shown that the top leaders are those who can empathise with people. The best way that you can really learn to empathise with people is to work with others and understand how they themselves work.”

Iain MacRitchie, founder of MCR Pathways, said: “We are very excited to announce this collaboration with the University of Strathclyde Business School. Leadership qualities are understood, but there are few opportunities for practical learning. This course demonstrates the benefits of mentoring very well. It’s one of a kind and can be easily incorporated into a busy working week.

“Simply by completing the core activities of the mentoring journey and attending mentor forums, participants will have already gained two-thirds of the accreditation towards the award – so only 33% of total time is academic learning.”

Dr Louise Kelly, Senior Lecturer and Associate Dean, Department of Mathematics and Statistics, University of Strathclyde said: “I have been mentoring for one school year and during that time I have witnessed my mentee grow in confidence, both personally and academically. We have shared stories and experiences with each other, both happy and sad, given each other advice and generally become good friends. She has told me that she can tell me anything and I often ask her advice on my teenage children!

I have learned many skills during this year, such as empathy, effective listening and taking the time to reflect, and a lot of these I now use in my workplace when leading teams and working with individuals. The experience benefits not only my mentee but also me, my colleagues, my staff and, ultimately, my organisation.”

Training shall commence with an introduction to the programme on June 12th. For more information contact

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