Professional student services may offer both academic development and
pastoral support to students. The majority of students do not, however,
utilise these services. In the first instance they prefer to talk to
friends and family. It is nevertheless reassuring to students and their
families to know that the relevant services exist – even if many are
unaware of the kinds of support their HEI provides.
Student services are most effective when they are connected to the wider student experience. This includes locating of services within academic departments, schools or faculties; and providing links to services via the academic tutoring or advising system. A partnership between academics, professional services and students is key to an effective learning environment.
Liz Thomas Associates can work with you to review any aspect of your student service provision, and develop policy, staff and practice to enhance the student experience.
Woodfield, R. and Thomas, L (2012) Male students: Engagement with academic and pastoral support services. London: Equality Challenge Unit. http://www.ecu.ac.uk/publications/male-students-engagement-with-academic-and-pastoral-support-services/
Thomas, L. et al (2002) Student Services Project: Effective Approaches to Retaining Students in Higher Education. London: DfES.
Thomas, L. (2012) Building student engagement and belonging at a time of change in higher education. London: Paul Hamlyn Foundation
Thomas, L. and Hixenbaugh, P. (eds) (2006) Personal tutoring in higher education. Stoke-on-Trent: Trentham Books Ltd.
Liz has worked with a number of universities to review and revise partnership approaches to student success, involving student services, academic units, students’ organisations and others. This has included examining relevant institutional policy frameworks, exploring practical solutions and appropriate forms of staff development.