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The Academic and Professional Advisor Role in SBS. An evaluation of the 2011-12 experience. Introduction - The SHU Student Experience Agenda. SHU Corporate plan aims for an excellent student experience. In practice this means:

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the academic and professional advisor role in sbs

The Academic and Professional Advisor Role in SBS

An evaluation of the

2011-12 experience

introduction the shu student experience agenda
Introduction - The SHU Student Experience Agenda
  • SHU Corporate plan aims for an excellent student experience. In practice this means:
  • An enhanced course focus and strong course leadership;
  • Identifying success factors and performance indicators;
  • Academic and career management support for students;
  • A review of assessment practices;
  • A review of contact hours;
  • Improvements in timetabling to support the student experience
sbs academic professional advisor role 2011 12 aims
SBS Academic / Professional Advisor role 2011-12- aims
  • Support the personal action planning of students with respect to the development of their academic and employability skills;
  • Support transition into level 4 and bring to the attention of students resources to support academic and employability skills development;
  • Motivate and support students in their endeavours to secure a placement at level 5 (slight variation for nutrition courses;
sbs academic professional advisor role aims
SBS Academic / Professional Advisor role - aims
  • Facilitate awareness, understanding and planning for the future in the context of students’ career aspirations at level 6;
  • Communicate with relevant Course Leaders concerning any issues affecting the academic and personal development of students and identify those students ‘at risk’;
  • Act as a personal referee for students when requested and support students in the development and completion of a high quality CV.
the scheme in practice
The Scheme in Practice
  • Academic / Professional Advisors held one-to-one meetings with their allocated students
  • Duration of meetings: 20 minutes
  • The first meetings took place November
  • The second meetings took place February
  • Advisors contacted students to communicate the date/time/venue for the meeting
  • Advisors requested to record attendance and alert Course Leaders of any absentees as and when they occured
the process
The Process
  • Before the meeting students asked to complete templates - bring to meeting - these used as a basis for discussion
  • Level 4 - focus - academic development
  • Level 5 - focus - academic development and placement support
  • Level 6 - focus - academic development and springboard into work
  • Templates available via SBS placement intranet site: http://teaching.shu.ac.uk/sbs/placements/
who were the academic professional advisors
Who were the Academic / Professional Advisors?
  • Level 4 - Flying Start tutors
  • Level 5 - Staff from the appropriate subject area
  • Level 6 - Tutors involved with: the new post - Placement module; WBL module, PASBD module, Project module, Business Society and Culture (3)
evaluation of apa role undertaken april and may 2012 femi hardwick slack
Evaluation of APA role undertaken April and May 2012 (Femi Hardwick-Slack)
  • Data gathered by:
  • Interviews (7 Advisors interviewed at level 5, 13 at level 6)
  • Student focus group
findings
Findings
  • Attendance:
  • Overall attendance at level 5 - poor
  • Level 6 - very strong attendance on some modules for meeting 1; attendance at meeting 2 variable; poor attendance on some modules (WBL, PASBD)
  • Students seemed more likely to attend meetings when:
    • they had undertaken a placement year
    • they had a familiar relationship with their APA
    • meetings were insisted upon by the APA
organisation of meetings
Organisation of meetings
  • Arranged during seminars (level 6) or e mail
  • Location - booked room or Deli Bar
  • Duration - from 10 - 90- minutes, average 30/30 minutes
  • Discussion - often not focused on the 'forms' students were required to complete; (APA's did not feel forms were that useful;) focus of discussions - academic and personal development, addressing specific concerns, module-related assignments
  • Some contact with students after meetings
key issues putting the pieces together
Key issues - putting the pieces together
  • Students unsure as to purpose and relevance of APA role
  • APAs not always clear about 'what they had to do'
  • Feedback from students on meetings was varied
  • Flexibility of timing for students was a key issue
recommendations refining the scheme for next year1
Recommendations / Refining the scheme for next year
  • Communicate the role to students more powerfully
  • Encourage stronger relations between APAs and students e.g. by aligning seminar tutors with APA role
  • Enhance connectivity between APAs and other roles (placement officers, course leaders)
recommendations refining the scheme for next year2
Recommendations / Refining the scheme for next year
  • Revise the APA guide for students and associated process; reduce overlaps with level 6 employability modules
  • Introduce more guidance on how to structure meetings
  • More briefing opportunities for staff