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Aiming University Learning @ Work Psychology Pilot at Glasgow Caledonian University. Douglas Forbes, Rachel Mulholland, Lesley McAleavy and Mike Wrennall. June 2008. [email protected] Aims and objectives include:

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Aiming University Learning @ Work Psychology Pilot at Glasgow Caledonian University

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Aiming university learning work psychology pilot at glasgow caledonian university

Aiming University Learning @ Work

Psychology Pilot at Glasgow Caledonian University

Douglas Forbes, Rachel Mulholland, Lesley McAleavy and Mike Wrennall. June 2008

  • [email protected] Aims and objectives include:

  • “To identify strategies and operational practices that will enhance and facilitate delivery of WRL….through…piloting models for sustainable WRL across a variety of disciplines at three different [SHE] institutions.”

  • The pilots selected include Psychology at Glasgow Caledonian University.

The Psychology pilot at Glasgow Caledonian University

Background

  • Psychology as a non-vocational discipline. “Psychology students proceed into a variety of careers… Less than one fifth of the overall number of graduates ultimately gain employment as professional psychologists.” (QAAHE, 2002)

  • Psychology at Glasgow Caledonian University.

  • The flagship undergraduate psychology programme is the BSc (Hons) Psychology Degree (BSPS).

  • This Programme is accredited by the professional body (The British Psychological Society) as conferring eligibility for the Graduate Basis for Registration.

  • The Programme has c. 350 students on it, of whom c. 75 per annum graduate with honours.

  • Additional BPS recognised Psychology students graduate from the BA Social Sciences Degree, and psychology modules at all levels are accessed by students on a range of other programmes.

  • Employability on the BSPS prior to the [email protected] Project

  • At the commencement of the Project, a number of activities were in place to support employability for the BSPS students. These included having a member of the lecturing staff with a specific remit as careers tutor, annual careers evenings with speakers

  • representing a range of employers and former students, and a developing PDP provision for all students. A number of the optional modules on the Programme have an applied orientation (counselling, forensic, occupational, etc). And more recently, 2

  • initiatives had been developed: the provision of 2 accredited optional modules focussing on students’ work experience, and a Voluntary Work & Mentoring Scheme, set up to encourage and facilitate students’ obtaining relevant work experience within

  • voluntary and educational organisations whilst they are studying.

The Pilot

  • A senior member of academic staff (MW) had time “bought out” equivalent to 1 day per week for the academic year commencing September 2006.

  • Student survey. A survey of all BSPS students was undertaken in December 2006. This aimed to elicit the students’ views of our current provision, and their suggestions for further development.

  • Outcome summary:

  • Response rate within 1 month was c. 25% (n=85), with a reasonable distribution across all 4 levels of the Programme.

  • 69% had part-time jobs, averaging 17 hours per week; 24% were undertaking voluntary work, averaging 3 hours per week; 61% thought these experiences would be very useful in getting a job after graduating.

  • Only 15% thought the Programme was doing enough to develop students’ employability.

  • The most frequent suggestions for developing provision were: provide more information about future jobs and their requirements; provide more practical experience and placements; they said lectures generally failed to demonstrate how the lecture material related to carrying out a job; they felt that there was room for new modules which emphasise employability, but opinion was divided as to how many, at what level, and whether this should be optional or compulsory.

  • Options for expansion of employability. A number of these were put to the Programme Board in papers over the year. They were informed by the results of the student survey.

  • In June 2007, the Board approved in principle, the development of a new L1 required module focussing on employability, with a provisional start date of session 2008-9.

  • Preparing to deliver the new module. The period between 6/07 and 6/08 has seen a bit of a struggle to ensure that the module will actually be delivered. The context for this has been a tightening of staffing resources - staff leaving and not being

  • replaced - and a reluctance by already over-stretched staff to take on yet another commitment. However, a module leader was appointed in 5/08.

The currentsituation

  • Evaluation. Evaluation, by the Project researcher from the lead institution, of the employability provision which was in place prior to the commencement of the [email protected], is currently underway.The new module. Further development work is now under way to flesh out and operationalise the module outline, and this core module is scheduled to be rolled out in Semester B (January 2009).

  • A placements pilot. Following our progress with employability development on the Programme, enabled by the [email protected] Project, seed corn funding has been made available by the School of Life Sciences for a 2 year pilot to develop a placements programme for

  • Psychology students. A number of year-long placements have been identified, and offered to students currently completing Level 3. This work will be further developed and publicised over the coming year.

  • And finally: Psychology has also received funding to develop further the Voluntary Work & Mentoring Scheme, which is about to be rolled out to other selected programmes and groups of students within the University.

  • Psychology is also responsible for the [email protected] longitudinal research study into graduands’ transition from student to job seeker and citizen within society beyond university; see separate poster for more information on this.

For more information contact:[email protected]


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