Contributions that careers advisors, student support officers, digital and technical specialists have on student success is to be investigated.
There is considerable work being undertaken by professionals in other areas of the university that may have a strong influence on outcomes and reinforce or support the work of academics.
Commissioned by Advance HE, the ‘Beyond the Classroom: Supporting Student Outcomes’ project is being led by Staffordshire Centre of Learning and Pedagogic Practice (SCoLPP) in partnership with the Directorate of Student Success at the University of the West of Scotland.
It aims to collate case studies that identify and share new ways of working to show how frontline University staff - sometimes referred to as “third space” professionals - can positively enhance the student experience and support retention, progression and achievement.
SCoLPP Projects Development Manager Dr Kate Cuthbert said: “Higher education institutions (HEIs) are facing increased scrutiny over the value of the degree, not only as a transformational experience but as a societal good. This in turn has seen increased use of metrics to measure factors such as progression, retention, and graduate outcomes.
“This external pressure has seen HEIs concentrate significant resources around the teaching experience and the direct academic-student relationship. However, there is considerable work being undertaken by professionals in other areas of the university that may have a strong influence on outcomes and reinforce or support the work of academics.”
Dr Emily McIntosh, Director of Student Success at the University of the West of Scotland, added: “Through this project, we aim to progress understanding about third space professional’s contribution to student outcomes”
“We will shortly be inviting colleagues from across the sector to submit expressions of interest for concise case studies for consideration by the project team. We are looking to showcase a breadth and depth of expertise and insight, and to capture ideas that can be applied in different contexts.”
A small number of the submitted case studies will be selected for the project’s final publication will provide practical examples of how this type of integrated working can be undertaken.
- Advance HE is a member-led, sector-owned charity that works with institutions and higher education across the world to improve higher education for staff, students and society.
- “Third space” in higher education is used to describe the role of blended professionals whose work spans the interface between academic and professional activity.