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Supporting Additional Learning Needs Polly Osborne First Year Experience in Continuing Education 24 -25 April 2006.

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Presentation on theme: "Supporting Additional Learning Needs Polly Osborne First Year Experience in Continuing Education 24 -25 April 2006."— Presentation transcript:

1 Supporting Additional Learning Needs Polly Osborne First Year Experience in Continuing Education April 2006

2 Support …. what? Preparation –for student life –for learning On-going support / guidance –towards independent learning –to help achieve potential

3 Effective Support Appropriate … targeted at specific groups tailored for individuals Timely (right thing at right time)

4 Preparation: Targeted initiatives to ease the transition to HE 1.Mature students - Gateway programme 2.Disabled students - Induction programme

5 Mature students - concerns Time - juggling commitments No recent experience of education Key skills Age – feeling different … Lack of confidence …

6 Mature students as learners (strengths) Motivation Experience Transferable skills Deep approach

7 Southampton Solent University: Gateway to Higher Education Short preparatory programme designed for adults returning to study. Development of key skills Familiarisation with the university environment.

8 Gateway to Higher Education programme: Benefits to university Supports widening participation Eases transition to higher education for non-standard entrants Aids retention of mature students Improves performance of mature students

9 Hallmarks of programme Student-centred Differentiated Run by central Study Assistance team

10 Personal and Academic Development Stage 1 Pre-course activities Communication and Study Skills Information Technology Numeracy Personal and Academic Development Stage 2 Introductory activities Personal and Academic Development Stage 3 Review Gateway study programme Choice of skills units: minimum 1, maximum 3.

11 Four units … Personal & Academic Development –identification of existing skills and learning development needs Communication and Study Skills –learning, writing, presentation, library etc IT –basic skills : , internet, MS Office Numeracy – b asic maths / statistics

12 Student feedback I feel much more confident about returning to education. It helped me to brush up on skills that I had not used for several years and helped me to think in an academic way. I gained the realisation that I can learn the things I don t yet know and I now have confidence that I can actually do my course!

13 Afterwards Higher rate of retention each year of HE course – Gateway students 30% more likely to complete degree compared with other mature students who did not do Gateway. Overall achievements exceed those of general student population - 8% of ex- Gateway students gained 1 st class degree in 2002, compared to institution total of 4%. Data extracted from Student Record System, Southampton Institute

14 Severely disabled students Have to manage a disability alongside their studies They may also: have limited experience of living independently have communication difficulties fear being isolated Hurdles … but not barriers

15 Induction for disabled students Aim: To help prepare students for university life

16 Induction for disabled students Pilot in September days (before Freshers Week) 15 students invited - wide range of disabilities – all attended Existing disabled students helped with planning and delivery

17 Induction programme Included: Managing your disability within a university context Developing interpersonal skills Introductions to key student services at the university Social activities - to build friendships and peer support networks.

18 Benefits to new students Programme provided opportunities to: Settle in to new environment Develop friendships Share concerns and experiences Gain insights into experiences of existing disabled students Build relationships with staff

19 ***** Very positive feedback from students. ***** No drop-outs during Year 1 (as at Easter)! Our conclusions: helped minimise social isolation students better prepared for realities of university life Plans for Disabled Students Induction 2006: 16 – 25 participants programme broadly similar

20 On-going support Study Assistance tutors/advisers available year-round: – skills development – disability support

21 Over to you … Comments? Questions? Your experiences?

22 Supporting Additional Learning Needs Polly Osborne First Year Experience in Continuing Education April 2006


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