A new standard in student support
Raquel Gonzalez from IMAPS, Belinda Marking from the School of Art, Dr Rhys Thatcher, Director of Learning and Teaching at the Department of Sports and Exercise Science and Martine Smith from IBERS, four of the ten staff working towards the 'Supporting Students Award'.
02 March 2009
Offering the best student experience in Wales and ranked 8th in the UK (Times Higher Education's Student Experience Survey 2009) Aberystwyth University has unveiled an innovative, accredited training programme for non-academic staff members, in developing good practice in supporting students.
The programme has been developed by Giles Polglase from the University's Centre for the Development of Staff and Academic Practice and Del Harris, Social Science Coordinator for the School of Education and Lifelong Learning.
Giles Polglase said; “We surveyed a cross section of students and identified that for most their first contact for support or advice was with members of non-academic staff, such as departmental administrators. In response we developed the “Supporting Students Award”.
“The programme builds on existing best practice and encourages staff to reflect and develop their approaches to supporting the needs of a diverse student population and can be tailored to individual role requirements.
“The programme has been benchmarked against the National Professional Standards Framework and the Staff and Educational Development Association (SEDA) values and is accredited by Aberystwyth University. We believe this to be the first formal programme of its kind in the United Kingdom to be aimed at non-academic staff.”
The programme has been developed in collaboration with Aberystwyth University’s Student Support Services. Caryl Davies, Assistant Director of Student Support Services, said; “It is well recognised at Aberystwyth University that all staff contribute to a successful student experience. This programme provides recognition of the pivotal role non-academic staff already play in supporting students and offers a route to enhance and further develop their skills.”
In May the first cohort of 10 of staff will complete the programme which involves 30 hours of training over 15 weeks. From September 2009 the course will become a permanent feature of the University’s Staff Development Programme with 35 members of staff already signed up.
Members of staff who want to learn more about the programme should contact Giles Polglase at the Staff Development Office 01970 62(2386) / firstname.lastname@example.org.