Academic Study Skills and Mentoring Manager
- Centre for Student Life, Park Place, Cathays, Cardiff, CF10 3BB
I am responsible for leading and managing the Academic Study Skills and Mentoring Service, which supports students with their university transition and academic development.
Academic Study Skills
The role involves leading and managing the Academic Skills and Mentoring Service, which supports student transition and success. Our service offers a wide range of Academic Study Skills classes for all undergraduate and postgraduate taught students on topics such as starting your studies, reflective writing and critical reading and thinking. Classes are delivered weekly within the Centre for Student Life, but more recently we have been focusing on collaboration with academic schools to enhance their curricula. Through this our team helps to develop good academic practice and cultivates independent learners among the student body. We have recently launched a new class called 'Starting your Studies' to support with the academic transition as well as another new class to support students with interpreting and implementing assessment feedback.
Student Mentor Scheme
Whilst we acknowledge the transition into university can be exciting, it can also be overwhelming for some students. This is where our award-winning Student Mentor Scheme comes in to support. Every first year student has the opportunity to access a student mentor from their school. Our second and third year students are trained to support first year students with their transition into university life. Student mentors are matched with students from the same degree programme and share advice about their course, academic school, university and city. During 2022/23, 73% of our students who had a student mentor said that being part of the mentor scheme helped them settle into and feel part of the university. We have recently celebrated 10 years of the scheme and are proud to say that over 4,500 student mentors have supported almost 40,000 first year students by providing 15,000 mentoring sessions.
In 2017 after 10 years working in the sport industry, I embarked upon my career in Higher Education by joining Cardiff University as a Project Officer for the Academic Skills and Mentoring Team. Here I was responsible for teaching the suite of Academic Study Skills classes as well as managing the recruitment, training and supervision of our student mentors across six academic schools. Within this role, I gained great insight into how fundamental student support services are, working closely with students and staff.
Following this, I moved to Cardiff Metropolitan University to become a Careers Consultant. This enabled me to focus more specifically on my teaching practice as I worked closely with academics to embed careers related lectures within the curriculum as well as explore 1:1 careers guidance. I also completed a Postgraduate Certificate in Career Education, Information and Guidance in Higher Education at the University of Warwick, proudly being awarded a distinction. Being determined to demonstrate the importance of student support services within learning and teaching in Higher Education, I then became a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy in 2021, where my application was also highlighted as exemplary.
Alongside the above roles, I have also lectured sport and employability related modules at Cardiff Metropolitan University and the University of South Wales. This provided me with valuable experience in managing the curriculum, a marking team, moderation and providing student support. Module leadership particularly enhanced my understanding of learning and teaching and I always signposted students to support services such as Academic Study Skills within assessment feedback. Having worked both within a teaching and student support role, I understand how critical it is to work closely together to provide students with a positive experience.