STAARS Project

The Centre for Academic Success successfully executed one of this year’s Student Academic Partnerships, STAARS. Influenced by the slogan, “Reach for the Stars,” the initiative is designed to give students a more prominent voice during their academic journey, in order to promote greater student engagement which will ultimately boost progression and retention rates across multiple faculties.

This dynamic and inclusive programme, Student Targeting Active Academic Resources for Students (STAARS), enabled an ongoing partnership between students, academics and the tutorial staff from the Centre for Academic Success. Professional staff along with two student academic partners engaged over 200 students across all faculties, with the exception of Health.

Investigative methods included:

  • 1-to-1 student led discussions
  • Coffee breaks/elevator surveys
  • Online survey via student emails
  • Paper-based questionnaires
  • Observation of workshops/seminars provided by the Centre for Academic Success
  • Testing accessibility of available resources such as: 1-to-1 tutorial bookings, workshop timetables and study guides

Key findings:

  • Students’ lack of awareness about the Centre for Academic Success and its range of academic support services.
  • Lack of visibility/publicity
  • Branding and recognition issues
  • Accessibility issues with: The Centre for Academic Success Moodle page, iCity page and the ‘Insight’ online tutorial booking system.

Developmental outcomes:

  • Increased communication with academic staff, academic skills tutors and students
  • Creation of a dynamic communication network
  • National and International awareness via the Learning in Higher Education (LiHE) publication on ‘Student Engagement’
  • Design of student led tutorials and workshops
  • Providing opportunities for students to become ‘the face’ for the Centre for Academic Success
  • Active promotion of the Centre For Academic Success and its resources/services e.g. Open Days and Applicants’ Days
  • Active support and encouragement of Peer Learning in order to bridge the gap between students and Learning Development