Transition from Level 2 study to post-16 education and transition from school or college to Higher Education are areas of concern for many of us working in those sectors. These are so-called ‘traditional’ learners who form the majority of the undergraduate population in Higher Education. In many widening access institutions, significant effort will be placed on developing induction programmes aimed at easing the transition into HE and boosting retention. The University of South Wales works with a large number of partner colleges both in Wales and across the UK, as well as with institutions overseas to provide more flexible learning opportunities. Our partner colleges in particular attract learners who prefer to study at a local college or part-time. However, interventions for supporting these learners as they make the transition from Level 5 study in an FE setting to Level 6 at a Higher Education Institution seem to be less focused while the challenges faced by these learners are often more difficult ‘as students cope with crossing both institutional and
programme boundaries, whilst also negotiating a new academic culture’ (Pike & Harrison, 2011). This paper will present the development of a range of resources designed specifically with these learners in mind.
This study is presented as work in progress and will review the process followed to identify the target group of learners and how the resources were developed in collaboration with the partner colleges. It will also demonstrate some of the materials that have been developed. Feedback from both staff and students will also be sought.
This study is presented as work in progress. However, the initial discussions with staff and students indicate that students’ needs range from developing digital skills, as identified by Beetham et al (2013) to knowing where to get help and support with child care and financial questions. Students indicated that they wanted practical help such as finding their way around campus, transport, accommodation and timetables
The study will describe the process adopted to identify the resources required to support learners in a College Based HE Environment as they make the transition into a HE setting and will present some initial evaluations of the materials developed. The idea of developing an online area providing a hub for students to additional information and resources will also be explored.
Baker ,P & Comfort, H (2004) Responding to learners’ voices : resources for widening participation and enabling transition in FE and HE, National Institute of Adult Continuing Education
Beetham et al (2013) The Digital Student Study, JISC [Accessed 1/12/14 from http://www.jisc.ac.uk/media/documents/programmes/elearningpedagogy/expertsoct2013digitalstudentstudy.pdf ]
Angela Pike & John Harrison (2011) Crossing the FE/HE divide: the transition experiences of direct entrants at Level 6, Journal of Further and Higher Education, 35:1, 55-67,