A developmental evaluation of the role of faculty-based Student Support Coordinator

Rhona Sharpe, Frances Deepwell, Patsy Clarke

Abstract


This paper evaluates the role of the faculty based student support coordinator (SSC) over the first two years of their roll out across all faculties in a UK university. The intention was that SSCs would provide a one-stop shop for students, handling enquiries on a broad range of issues, answering them where they can, offering support, and acting as a referral service. The benefits to students should be an accessible and responsive source of faculty based advice and information. One of the challenges of implementing this new system was expected to be ensuring that all those involved understand their roles and help students to make use of them appropriately. Data were collected as part of a wide-ranging evaluation, both from the SSCs themselves and staff they worked alongside via interview and attendance at meetings. Data were also collected from students via interviews and surveys. This paper uses these data to ask how the SSC role is working in practice, what are the realities and tensions of the role and what has been the impact to students? The evaluation was commissioned by the main university teaching and learning committee and its results have had a tangible impact. It clarified and protected the role of the SSCs and uncovered aspects of their role that had not been foreseen. The feedback from students showed an increasing awareness of the service offered by SSCs over time and a high level of satisfaction.


Keywords


student support, developmental evaluation, student experience

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ISSN: 1759-667X