A step by step guide to writing a College Student Engagement Strategy. Stage 1 - Identify your aims. Stage 2 - Gather your evidence

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1 A step by step guide to writing a College Student Engagement Strategy Stage 1 - Identify your aims -Identify project Sponsors - Create a student led working party -Set your Vision - Draft an action plan Stage 2 - Gather your evidence - Gather Data - Map your student engagement - Consult with students and staff - SWOT analysis Stage 3 - Draw up your strategy - Identify strategic themes and priorities - Draw up actions and set targets - Write a first draft - Consult and redraft Stage 4 - Put it into action - Approve strategy - Allocate actions - Check Progress - Report annually

2 Stage 1. Identify Your Aims 1a Identify Project Sponsors To ensure your project has authority from the start you should identify two project sponsors. One of these could be a University staff member and the other could be a student. Your University staff sponsor will usually be the person that asked you to draw up the strategy. Your student sponsor should be a senior academic representative from your College such as your College reps. Ask your staff sponsor for a deadline for when they want the strategy to be completed. Ask them which College meeting will be responsible for approving the strategy when it s finished. Both your sponsors should be happy to check any drafts of action plans, drafts of the strategy and any documents you produce as part of the process of drawing up your strategy. 1b Create A Working Party The working party should be made up of students and staff from your College. It should have a maximum of a 10 people in it with students in the majority. This should include the key student engagement staff in your College and your project sponsors. The working party should meet on a regular basis to feedback on the progress you are making for your strategy. You might like to draw up a meeting schedule with your staff sponsor so the working party knows what to expect. At the first meeting of your working party you should agree a deadline for the project, discuss how you will consult with staff and students, and identify your aims. 1c Set your vision At the first meeting of your working party you should identify your vision and any specific aims your College has for your strategy. Your vision should be a short statement which identifies the overall aim of the strategy. Examples of aims would include significantly increasing the number of students standing for election to the SSLC or to run more Students as Change Agents projects.

3 1d Draft An Action Plan You are now ready to draft your action plan. This should include all the actions you plan to take to draw up your strategy, with deadlines and who is responsible for delivering each stage. The stages in this guidance document should assist you with identifying deadlines. When you have completed a first draft of your action plan you should share it with your working party to make sure they are happy with your plan. Stage 2. Gather your evidence 2a Gather Data You are now ready to collect data on student engagement in your College. Pull together all the documents you can find about student engagement in your College. Examples of documents would include College strategies such as assessment and feedback, reports from external groups like the QAA, minutes from SSLCs, Students Guild reports, data on student participation with Grand Challenges and attendance at any optional student events your College organises. You do not need to gather and read every document. Speak to your staff project sponsor for guidance on how much you should collect. You should read through these documents to identify what is happening, what is good and what needs improvement. 2b Map Your Student Engagement At this point you should attempt to map out all of the student engagement taking place across your college. You might find it helpful to identify what is happening in each academic discipline and within each professional service. Where possible include numbers to show participation levels in each activity.

4 2c Consult with Students And Staff You should now organise some activities to consult with students and staff in your College. Examples of how you could do this include organising specific focus groups, using ELE, , online surveys and dropping in on meetings but you will know what will work best in your College. When you carry this out explain why you are writing the strategy and what will happen when it s finished. Ask people what your College does, what is successful and how they can help make it even better. Humanities carried out a consultation exercise to underpin their student engagement strategy. For information on this Make sure you keep an accurate written record of what was discussed and share this was the participants afterwards. 2d SWOT analysis Using the information you have gathered carry out a SWOT analysis for student engagement in your College. Identify the areas of strength in your college, the areas of weakness, the areas where you have opportunities and the areas where there are threats. Stage 3. Draw Up Your Strategy 3a Identify Strategic Themes and Priorities Using the evidence you have gather identify around 3-6 overarching strategic themes for your plan based on your SWOT analysis. Within each theme identify a number of priorities. This will form the basis of your plan. 3b Identify Actions And Set Targets Identify actions and set targets for each priority area for your strategy. For example, if you have a priority to increase the number of change agents projects you run an action and target might be to get your student engagement staff to ensure every SSLC runs at least one project. 3c Write A First Draft You re now ready to write a first draft of your strategy document. You can either use an existing College strategy as a template or use the template provided here INSERT LINK. 4d Consult And Redraft Share you first draft with the working party and redraft based on the feedback

5 that they give you. You might also like to check your draft with some of the students and staff who you consulted earlier in the process. Stage 4. Put It Into Action 4a Approve Strategy Get your redrafted strategy approved by the appropriate College committees. 4b Allocate Actions Work with people who have responsibility for delivering the actions in the strategy to help them deliver. 4c Check Progress Check progress against all the actions on a regular basis. You might want to provide updates to the committee that approved the strategy. 4d Report annually On an annual basis you should clearly identify progress against all of the targets in the strategy and report this formally. You might want to review and amend some parts of your document as a result.

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