College support improves outcomes for Higher Education students with learning difficulties and/or disabilities
7th December 2023 – Tags: Degrees and Higher Education
An evaluation of the support provided by our Higher Educational Tutorial Supervisor (HETS) role, has found ‘strong evidence’ that the HETS role makes a contribution to closing continuation and attainment gaps between students with a self-declared learning difficulty and/or disability (LDD) and their peers.
The evaluation study, Supporting Students with Self-Declared Learning Difficulties and/or Disabilities: An evaluation of the Role of a Higher Education Tutorial Supervisor, was carried out by Lisa Collyer, Alex Guy and Simon Rhodes from our School of Higher Education.
Working with Transforming Access and Student Outcomes in Higher Education (TASO), the authors used a contribution analysis approach, an evaluation methodology that is suitable for use with small cohorts.
The college introduced the HETS role to help tackle identified gaps in continuation and attainment between students with a self-declared LDD and their peers.
The role of the HETS aims to do this by:
- Raising awareness amongst students and academic staff of the support available.
- Identifying undisclosed (at the point of entry) support needs through a student survey.
- Holding 1:1 tutorials with students with a self-declared LDD to identify any support needs / areas for concern.
- Signposting students to additional services
- Supporting students to apply for academic support
- Organising Study Skills workshops where appropriate to support academic performance.
- Supporting students to apply for additional financial support through the HE Hardship Fund.
- Working with support teams and students to ensure the effectiveness of policies.
The evaluation study found ‘strong evidence’ that suggests the HETS role makes a contribution to closing the observed gaps between students with a self-declared LDD and their peers.
The report includes reflections on the use of this Small-n methodology within this context.