Succeeding with non-traditional learners in HE: a workshop recap

Apologies for cross posting:

An extract from the blog on Continuing Access and Education featuring BUs own Shell Morgan. Shell is the Associate Dean for the Student Experience with the Faculty of Media and Communication at Bournemouth University:

Michelle Morgan (Associate Professor and Associate Dean, Student Experience at Bournemouth University)–stepping in for Liz Thomas–gave an inspiring keynote about what it means to engage and support students. She touched on the role of Access and Participation Plans (who owns these, the OfS, HEIs or students?) and warned us about making blanket statements concerning student groups (e.g. “all BME students are x or y”). Instead, she referenced students as snowflakes: individuals for whom we must foster a personal sense of belonging. Here, Michelle tapped into the What Works discourse, reminding us of the four tenets that heighten a sense of belonging:

  • building peer relations among students
  • creating meaningful student-staff interactions
  • adding knowledge and value to HE degrees
  • developing confidence and skills in students

It is worth focusing on the curriculum, Michelle reminded us, as it is the one common tool that can shape and impact a sense of belonging. She finished her speech with a personal account of her HE journey, commenting that “when I went to polytechnic it was a choice, today HE is an expectation”. As such, she argues it is now viewed as a product by students. But, with that in mind, why not support students so they get the best of their HE experience?

Full post on the event can be accessed here:

http://www.face.ac.uk/tag/office-for-students/

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