Supporting student employability through integrated research exposure and a curriculum embedded professional and academic skills module

Jean Assender (University of Birmingham)
Wendy Leadbeater (Aston University)

Tuesday, April 5, 2022 4:30 PM - 5:15 PM

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Session Outline

We will present our case study for “The higher education personal tutors and advisor’s companion”. In this case study we demonstrated improved graduate level employability when real-life research experiences were embedded early and frequently into the curriculum alongside academic skills training and personal reflection facilitated by their Personal Academic Tutor (PAT). The innovation in the curriculum seemed to particularly benefit First to University and Black, Asian and Ethnic minority students. The session will highlight the key messages of the case study: (1) working closely with professional colleagues and embedding careers support is essential to mainstream careers discussion, (2) early opportunities for students to engage with and meet researchers is important to provide motivating and insightful real-life experiences, (3) embedding the personal tutoring system into the curriculum design aligned to skills development, training and reflection is essential to support student engagement, and (4) paramount for student support, is training and supporting PATs to share the values and rationale of personal and academic development. The discussion focus will be on the benefits of this integrated approach and discuss how some of these messages have since been applied. Participants will be invited to participate in a discussion on these key recommendations and their application.