NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
ERIC Number: ED306974
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1989-Apr
Pages: 12
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
Improving Student Support Systems through Staff Development in an English Polytechnic.
Earwaker, John
Until recently, the model of student support operating at Sheffield City Polytechnic (SCP) in England involved pairing each student with a tutor, defining an entitlement of time for the student, specifying a minimum time commitment for which the tutor is required to be available, and leaving it up to the tutor and student to get together as best they can. A number of factors have put this personal tutorial system under great strain, including the tutors' other responsibilities for research and course development, the premium placed upon career advice, financial constraints, the development of unit-based course structures, and the invalidation of unspoken assumptions about the characteristics of polytechnic students and their needs for support. In many departments, the lecturer with overall responsibility for the first year of a particular course was becoming a key figure in student support. Yet in most cases, the first-year tutors, if not actually ill-equipped, felt ill-prepared for such a role. In view of all of these difficulties, it was proposed that a unit for tutorial development be created to: (1) insure that tutors have adequate information about SCP; (2) assist teaching staff in their role as tutors to individual students; (3) offer professional support to tutors and establish links with external agencies which offer advice to students; (4) provide training opportunities for staff to update their knowledge and skills and enhance their understanding of student problems; and (5) advise course leaders and course planning committees. There can be no possibility of implementing such a far-reaching scheme until the school's current funding upheavals have subsided. In the immediate future, efforts shall focus on investigating tutors' problems and practices, preparing training materials, learning how students help each other, and examining course induction procedures. In addition, staff members with an interest in student support will be eligible for enrollment in a newly created course in "Study Support and Tutoring." (ALB)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Practitioners
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United Kingdom (England)