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Supporting non-traditional students: The Student Journey, a new model of engagement – The move from a transactional service delivery model, to a transformational resource Alison Doyle, Declan Reilly, Declan Treanor. DS Philosophy. Move from a transactional to a transformational resource;
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Supporting non-traditional students: The Student Journey, a new model of engagement – The move from a transactional service delivery model, to a transformational resource Alison Doyle, Declan Reilly, Declan Treanor
DS Philosophy • Move from a transactional to a transformational resource; • A three phase approach in supporting students as they transition into, through and out of college; • Encourages the student to work as independently as possible… • Focus is not on rehabilitating the disabled student.
TCD Transition Model The Disability Service Strategic Plan 2011-14 ‘The Student Journey’; Pathway to employment Phase 3: Transition to further study or employment Pathway to College Phase 1: Pre-entry, admission and the first year experience. Pathway through College Phase 2: Building and maintaining a college career. http://www.tcd.ie/disability/strategic-plan/
Policy context TCD Strategic Plan - 2009-2014; TCD Access Plan 2009-13; National Policy – HEA Access Plan 2008-2013; The OECD (2011) final review of international policy and practice for students with disabilities engaging in higher education and / or employment activities post-secondary school. • Promoting equity as a responsibility of educational institutions • Empowering second level students and schools to ensure inclusion • Promoting an education system that focuses on every student’s success • Making a move towards integrated transition systems
Evidence based service research • Why conduct research in a service area? • To enhance, develop and provide a quality service to the disabled student which aims to enhance the disabled students’ experience and journey through college.
Assets • Our greatest resource is our staff; • Five PhDs, one Masters, all staff participating in strategic objectives and PMDS; • Term peer review, final review and annual report on objectives against plan; • Articles written, reports, submissions encouraged; • KPIs; • http://www.tcd.ie/disability/links/Conference%20papers.php • http://www.tcd.ie/disability/policies/annual-reports.php
Objectives 2011 - 2013: phase 1 Engage students in pre and post entry activities in preparation for the transition to College. Support students, parents and school staff by providing transition materials and resources. Review the application process for disabled applicants, and monitor DARE and admissions statistics. Monitor engagement with supports provided by the Disability Service. Survey and interview students at the completion of their first year in College. Additional activities relating to service delivery within College.
Data from three longitudinal surveys: 117 students, 66 parents and 20 practitioners; Interviews with 3 students, 8 parents, and 2 Guidance Counsellors.Preliminary findings - poster presentation.
Transition assessment and planning tool Unit 1: Preparing myself for collegeUnit 2: Independent living skillsUnit 3: Academic skillsUnit 4: Applying to collegeUnit 5: Using college supports
Transition support workshops Opportunities to: • Explore the nature of their own learning style. • Develop effective study skills. • Actively partake in planning their own transition to college. • Navigate through the Disability Access Route to Education (DARE) process. • Succeed during the exam period by learning how to effectively use reasonable accommodations, exam technique and stress management techniques. Workshops: Year 1 students from 5th and 6th year (n=11), and 13 parents in attendance; Years 2 6th year students (n=17) and 4 parents in attendance.
Included as a model of good practice http://www.heacademy.ac.uk/assets/documents/what-works-student-retention/What_Works_Compendium_Effective_Practice.pdf
DARE admissions Applications to DARE 2008 - 2013
DARE review HEAR / DARE Review findings (Byrne, D., Doris, A., Sweetman, O., & Casey, R. 2013. A National Evaluation of the HEAR and DARE Supplementary Admission Routes to Higher Education. National University of Ireland). Recommendations The school level analyses suggest that the intersection of disability and disadvantage is likely to constrain school leavers in accessing the scheme. DARE is not capturing greater numbers of students with physical, sensory and multiple disabilities over time. Need for HEAR and DARE to provide a greater degree of flexibility in transition paths and investigate the use of multiple pathways for young adults with disabilities.
TCD Admissions Policy 2014 In 2012 – 2013 TCD made 24% of all DARE offers under the scheme, therefore it makes sense to reflect on i) factors related to progression to HE, ii) barriers to progression to HE, iii) how this affects specific cohorts, and iv) how this might be addressed through policy change. Offers will be made first to DARE eligible applicants with sensory and physical disabilities, and remaining places offered to all other DARE eligible students. Secondly, the waiver of the Mathematics / modern language requirement has been extended to students with sensory or communication disabilities, provided that the study of Mathematics/modern languages do not form part of their chosen course of study.
Support uptake Students with Significant On-going Illness, Specific Learning Difficulties and Mental Health Difficulties, are less likely to use support systems in DS, but are more likely to Withdraw, Defer or go Off Books.
First Year Experience: • 82% had a clear understanding of college structures and organization. • 75.8% of students found transition to college unproblematic. • 68% needed help with gaining or improving academic skills, which in general was made available to them. • 24% found registration problematic / confusing. • 14% unaware of who to contact for assistance or where to locate helpful information. • Ease of transition was related to support from the Disability Service (72.4%), appropriate course choices (60%), and positive encouragement. • Overall students indicated that the transition process was a positive experience, with 100% of students stating that College is an open, inclusive and welcoming place, which they would recommend to other students.
Objectives 2011 - 2013: phase 2 1. Identify transferable skills across the college experience which will promote and encourage independence, self-determination and self-advocacy. 2. Ensure support systems are fit for purpose by conducting evidence-based research to determine needs and supports, and to monitor performance and delivery of those supports. 3. Identify factors that function as either promoters or barriers to student retention. 4. Connect support with student independence in the student life cycle by ensuring support is appropriate and increases greater self sufficiency. 5. Create initiatives to retain target groups from undergraduate to post graduate study
Activities 2012 - 2013: phase 2 Construct a model of support for students on professional courses in College. Identify ‘at risk’ students based on previous students in TCD with difficulties. Work with other areas in TCD to enhance current supports. Develop new systems to reflect new DS strategies: a self assessment system to alert students to seek support. Improve data management to enable greater student autonomy i.e. student ownership of supports. Additional tasks relating to service delivery within College.
Key disability retention issues • Students with mental health difficulties and who are deaf are most at risk of non completion • All other categories as likely as non disabled peers to graduate • Students with disabilities more likely to take longer to graduate: up to 35% take 5 years to complete a 4 year degree • Similar to peers, 1st years and repeating 1st years most likely to withdraw • A bottleneck effect occurs: increasing intake, withdrawals occur in 1st or 2nd year in College but graduates take 4 to 5 years to emerge
Professional placement planning • Clearly define learning outcomes and core competencies expected of students on professional placements • Participate and understand effective disclosure/confidentiality process Identify students practice placement needs • Provide and explain practice place reasonable accommodations • Maintain academic and professional standards • Ensure the safety of students, staff and members of the public
Review of rationale for supports… • Review of rationale (transformational v transactional) for provision of supports and accommodations in key areas, e.g.: • Assistive technology:↑software ↓laptops • Educational support work: ↑ inclusive teaching practices at school level, ↓ note takers. • Exam accommodations: ↑ typing skills, ↓ scribes.
Objectives 2011 - 2013: phase 3 • Complete and evaluate pilot transition to employment programme of support with students within final year / post-graduate studies. • Produce a Transition to Employment Planning Tool. • Liaise with outside employment supporters such as WAM, Employability. • Engage with Careers’ Advisory Service to create a more inclusive Service. • Investigate the experiences of disabled students in transitioning into employment. • Critique employer issues in the employment of disabled graduates and determine national policy issues required to allow for greater employment opportunities.
EU Leonardo Transition to employment project 2010-12: • Develop an employment tool to assist Universities to embed employment into their needs assessment process; • How should the University enable students with disabilities to prepare for transitioning to employment?
Lack of data • There is no information on the graduate status of disabled students nationally; • Students in TCD (2010) who had been registered with the Disability Service (DS) were more likely to go into employment than the general graduate population (GGP) - 55% DS, 42% GGP, and less likely to go into further study - 35% DS, 49% GGP; • National data in the First Destination Survey produced annually by the HEA identifies the need to include specific disability questions.
Preliminary themes emerging i) enabling work environments, ii) personal strategies, iii) enabling college experiences, iv) college supports and accommodations, v) advice for students, vi) personal views on disability and disclosure, and vii) personal development and confidence.
Transition to employment for graduates experiencing mental health difficulties – 2 year project; • Aim is to develop an individualised, recovery-orientated and employment-focused approach to supporting college students and recent graduates experiencing mental health difficulties in their transition to employment; • Partnership internally with Careers Service and with DCU, DIT and UCD.
Conclusions • Significant changes have taken place in DS work practices and how we articulate our strategies across the student journey pre and post-entry, and into employment; • Phase 1: need to actively engage those students who transcend the HEAR and DARE criteria; • Transition planning strategies required for those entering college; • Role models and making connections with college essential.
Conclusions… • Phase 2: The vast majority of students with disabilities make the transition into and through HE successfully - students who are D/deaf or who have a Mental Health Condition are more likely to withdraw; • Placement planning processes leading to more focused supports for those on professional courses; • Reviewing supports at College allows for greater move to transformational resource.
Conclusions… • Phase 3: Disability Services need to work with students on transition to employment from the beginning of the student journey; • Disclosure and managing disability are the main concerns of students; • Reasonable accommodations in Colleges are reviewed to ensure they are fit for work and that student owns this process.