Dealing with students’ employability queries – a guide to help Swansea University staff

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PRESENTATION

Author(s) Zdravka  Kamenova ,Jennie James and Rebecca Vaughan

Abstract

The session, delivered by SEA Careers Advisers, will provide an overview of ‘The Career Journey Guide for Staff’ and explain how it can be used as a tool to engage students, support them to consolidate their learning and to take ownership of their employability. The session will feature a brief PowerPoint Presentation, a case study, video materials, and a group discussion.

Outline

The Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF) is part of the Government’s plans for raising standards in Higher Education, and as part of this Swansea University is assessed against criteria, which includes progression to highly skilled employment. This session is timely delivered as the Go Beyond project is progressing through with its aim to develop and implement new and innovative ideas to enhance the students’ learning. The Student Professional Development strand of the project is looking into the training for staff to enable them to embed professional skills in the curriculum. It has been suggested that staff are aligned with the students’ professional skills ‘journey development’, in order that they can engage with the student and identify actions for them to take. The Career Journey Guide for Staff provides the framework for facilitating such conversations and consolidates learning. It is based on the developmental constructionist model DOTS (Law and Watts, 1977; Watts, 2006). Working in collaboration with academic colleagues, Swansea Employability Academy Careers Advisers have developed an innovative and holistic guide to help staff support students with their career development learning and employability. The Guide which is underpinned by the My Career Journey Map for students (developed in consultation with SUSU), is designed to encourage staff throughout the University to plan and carry out discussions with students in one to one, group, formal or informal settings. By using the Guide, staff will become better equipped to support students to engage with their learning experience and track their learning outcomes through: reflection and self-awareness, understanding what they could offer to future employers, identifying actions to further develop their skills, knowledge and attributes which will ultimately increase their motivation to succeed academically. Included in the Guide are example questions to facilitate the discussions, suggested actions for the students, and employability resources related to: career decision making, CV, applications, action planning, the SEA Award etc. It comprises of 4 sections each of which makes a reference to the relevant module of the SEA Award e.g. Know Yourself, Explore the Possibilities etc. The Guide is aimed as an engagement and/ or teaching tool which can be used at any stage of the interaction, in collaboration with the students, or to be used by them independently. By using the Guide some academic staff in the college of Human and Health have provided experiential learning during personal tutoring sessions with students. Learning Outcomes (through an interactive session incorporating SEA staff and academic staff perspectives): • Understand how to use the Guide to engage students and support them in consolidating their learning and take ownership for their employability. • Share and discuss innovative practice models and learn how different disciplines have creatively used the Guide to suit their needs. • Share good practice and ideas of using the Guide as a teaching tool

Key Words

Teaching, Students, Development, Skills, Employability

Key Messages

‘The Career Journey Guide for Staff’ will increase your understanding of employability and provide you with a framework to structure, plan and carry out effective student interactions. This is your everyday tool to support students across all levels of study and engagement.

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