In a presentation given to staff at Hibernia College this morning as part of its monthly QA workshop series, Declan Treanor (Trinity Disability Service, Trinity College Dublin) explored how, where and why to support students with disabilities, particularly though not necessarily only for those on professional courses.
Entitled “Supporting students with disabilities on professional course”, the talk began by looking at the legislative background to compliance before moving on to a deeper consideration of the data and evidence underpinning the design of policies (incl. reasonable accommodation, fitness to practice, and fitness to study), while also exploring effective practice (e.g. recording of lectures).
21st century Higher Education is clearly adapting to the needs of its students and this presentation is not only what might be termed a ‘good news’ story regarding the efforts being made in our sector, it offers practical guidance and ideas to support all of our students, particularly those with disabilities.
Sincere thanks to Hibernia College for extending the invitation to attend these monthly meetings, this morning’s offered a lot of food for thought, as one of those attending attested, but it also exemplifies the effective and practical application of our QA network! 🙂
Faculty Induction Day presents the opportunity to orientate new/recently arrived academic staff, to introduce them to colleagues from within their own location and from across NCI, and to draw their attention to established practices and systems. But, induction should never be seen as a one-off event, done well it is always an ongoing and iterative process which takes time and effort. Indeed, the rewards can be profound for the individuals directly concerned, as well as their colleagues and, in turn, their students.
The Quality Assurance presentation, typically delivered in a one-hour slot after lunch, not only gives us the chance to discuss what we do in our area of expertise with these new colleagues, how we support them in their work, etc. It also offers us in QA the opportunity to reflect upon what it is that we think we are doing, to consider more deeply how we might best offer the backing required, etc. But, most importantly of all, it is about creating a connection.
Just as the new colleagues had questions today and, even more significantly, will have more queries as they crop up individually/collectively long into the future, the same applies to our students. Thus, a key role in induction is not just addressing immediate entreaties, it is about equipping and supporting people to provide/look for/find the answers beyond induction day.
Knowing that those with (at least some of) the answers are accessible, supportive, and open to learning themselves is just one of the functions of those facilitating and helping to fulfil Faculty Induction Day. After all, we were each that new colleague on our first day too.
Run by Sinead O’Sullivan (QA Director) and Maurice FitzGerald (QA Officer), we will use this resource to share effective practices we encounter, to follow developments in the sector, and to signpost people to resources we develop.
We want this QA@NCI blog to act as an accessible and interactive Quality Assurance (QA) tool for staff and students at National College of Ireland (NCI), as well as allowing us to project our work to colleagues working in similar circumstances at other institutions or associated bodies.
The National Student Engagement Programme is a collaborative initiative which aims to develop student capabilities and institutional capacity to enhance engagement at all levels across the higher education system.