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Enhancing Experiential Learning via Technology Enabled Internships with Mentoring (TEIM): Student Peer Mentoring

Researchers will deliver a student-driven experiential learning program that facilitates structured, high-impact mentoring with industry professionals. This will be Phase Three of this project.

Funded by the CCI Hub

Rationale and Background

Employer surveys routinely show that students graduating from traditional programs are not workforce ready due to a lack of critical thinking/soft skills and the inability to apply theoretical knowledge learned in the classroom. 

While experiential learning approaches seek to address this issue, many lack needed structure.

Researchers will address these needs via phase three of the Technology Enabled Internship with Mentoring (TEIM) program. Phases one and two were the:

  • Student Entrepreneurial Ideation Challenge (SEIC).
  • Student Training Engagement Program (STEP) apprenticeships. 

Read more about the previous work.


The TEIM program will ask experienced higher education students to serve as mentors for less experienced college and high school students. 

The student-mentors will get “mentoring-the-mentor” support from professionals.

Once the student-mentor is assigned, the mentee takes the lead to:

  • Work with the student-mentor to establish a routine meeting time.
  • Study curated weekly topic-specific learning materials (written, video, and interactive) in preparation of the meeting.
  • Lead weekly meetings using a provided structured agenda with built-in feedback points.
  • Capture meeting feedback and data in the Your Career Counselor platform.
  • Perform follow-up actions that include meeting recaps to the student-mentor.

Projected Outcomes

Student-mentors will:

  • Learn communication and leadership skills via mentoring-the-mentor training.
  • Apply technical, communication, and leadership skills as a mentor.
  • Gain enhanced understanding of cybersecurity areas through application and teaching.

Student-mentors and mentees will:

  • Model professional behavior: scheduling, agendas, meetings, data capture.
  • Gain professional knowledge through directed, topic-specific conversations.
  • Hear personal feedback on professional and soft skills, presentation style, etc.
  • Experience a project lifecycle from discovery to application of findings.
  • Build a professional network for guidance and future career opportunities.

Industry professionals/mentors will:

  • Work in an easy-to-engage, structured environment.
  • Share knowledge with the next generation of cybersecurity professionals.
  • Get novel feedback/potential solutions to hard industry questions/challenges.
  • Gain access to a broad resource pool/pipeline of Virginia-based cybersecurity workers.