South Lanarkshire College has a strong commitment to engaging with its students and uses a wide variety of methods to facilitate feedback from students and applicants. The College provides a blend of College and SPARQS training for all student representatives.
Learner engagement has a key role in the development of active citizenship skills and all students are encouraged to develop their understanding of democracy and representation through their engagement in the different processes: with programme design and with wider involvement in college life.
Personal Learning Plan (PLP) & Student Handbook
The PLP folder contains essential information for students to assist them in planning their own learning and their next steps when they complete their course of study. The PLP folder and Student Handbook contain information on relevant policies which assist students in communicating with College staff, including how to appeal an assessment decision, how to make a complaint, the Student Association and class representation etc
Representation on Student Committees
1 Student Association
All enrolled students are members of the Student Association and are actively encouraged to participate in Student Association activities and to participate in / stand for election to the various executive committee posts. The Head of Student Services acts as returning officer for all Student Association elections; attends at least three meetings per session of the full Student Association Executive Committee; and supports the work of the Student President in particular and the Executive Committee members in general.
2 Student Association Executive Committee
The SA Executive Committee are the senior representives of the student body and are responsible for representing student views at appropriate College committee meetings or as advocates at meetings with College staff. Elected posts include: Student President, Vice-president, Treasurer, Secretary, Mature Student Officer, International Officer, Women’s Officer and Entertainment Officer. The College supports the work of the Committee with an annual grant.
Representation on College Committees
1 Student Governor
The Student President is a member of the College Board of Management and participates with the Quality Enhancement Group in the review of the College self-evaluation. The Student President is mentored in this role by a Board member and the Head of Student Services.
2 College Committee Members
Those serving on the Student Association Executive Committee are invited to participate in College committees including the Equality Group, the Sustainability Group and the Information and Communications Technology Group.
3 Course Team Review Meetings
Each class group elects a class representative who attends 3 course team review meetings during the academic year with the course team leader and course lecturers to represent the views of their class group. This forum is also used to feedback on actions from previous meetings. The contribution of the student members informs the Course Team self-evaluation.
Here’s a link to some useful information for class reps: http://www.sparqs.ac.uk/index.php
4 Faculty Management Meetings
Class representatives attend three Faculty management meetings each session. This forum is also used to feedback on actions from previous meetings.
1 Focus Group Meetings
These lunch time and evening sessions are led by the Quality Unit and involve groups of class representatives and Student Association executive committee members. Early in the year, these meetings seek feedback on initial experiences and impressions on issues such as induction. Following the College self-evaluation process, a number of focus groups look at how the College can improve programmes and learning and teaching. Later in the session, the focus is on qualitative feedback on services to help the College understand the issues from a user perspective and to improve the services to students.
2 Question Time
Once a year, the Quality Unit arrange a panel meeting between the Principal, Depute Principal, Heads of Faculty, Head of Student Services and the Facilities Manager with a large student audience to answer questions from the floor. This forum is also used to feedback on actions from previous meetings.
3 Student Survey
Twice a year, a student survey is undertaken via the College VLE. The survey covers all aspects of college life and the results are presented to the College Management Team and the Academic Board for review.
4 Feedback Forms
The It’s All About YOU leaflet outlines the College’s commitment to our students and encourages them to participate in giving feedback and submitting suggestions for improvement. The leaflet contains a feedback form which can be deposited in the box on the reception desk and signposts our Making a Complaint to the College leaflet.
5 Making a complaint to the College
Information on how to make a formal complaint to the College is issued with the Personal Learning Plan folder and signposts the Scottish Public Services Ombudsman.
Feedback to Students
In addition to feedback on actions to address any isues raised at previous meetings, the Quality Unit run a series of posters under the heading “You said . . . We did” to highlight some of the actions which have been implemented as a direct result of engagement with learners.
Students who submit an individual feedback form are contacted personally if they have indicated they wish to discuss an idea or issue in more depth.