Award Crest
York College

Introduction

York College’s mission is to provide a life enhancing educational experience, through inspirational teaching, working in partnership and helping individuals to be the best they can.

‘York College: Where everyone matters and a successful future begins.‘

York College’s ambition [vision] is to be truly outstanding in all that we do The College wishes to become outstanding for students, employers, its community and staff; we wish to stand out from the crowd for the quality of our provision. The aim is for York College to be an outstanding place to learn and work. York College’s values are summarised by the following statement:

As a way of fostering learning, York College values:

  • All our students and their individual achievements
  • The commitment and professionalism of our staff
  • The highest standards in all that we do
  • Working together to meet the needs of our college and the wider community
  • Effective, efficient and appropriate use of resources
  • Respect, equality and honesty

The College has, strategically, taken an inclusive approach to the work of engaging with individuals and groups of individuals with protected characteristics (as defined by the Equality Act 2010). As the major provider of education and training in York and North Yorkshire, delivering from pre-entry through to Honours level, we have implemented a differentiated approach to the support needs of our further education and higher education students. One very important aspect of the work of the College is to stimulate and support progression at all levels.

The college HE strategy is focused upon the development and delivery of high quality, vocationally relevant programmes to support internal progression, widen participation and to meet and external demand. There are four key priorities within this strategy.

  1. Provision for internal progression
  2. Focus on local and regional priorities
  3. Employability and skills development
  4. Creating a high quality, differentiated HE experience for students

Recruitment

Recruitment to HE programmes at the college is supported by a number of strands of activity which are designed to widen participation.

  • Programmes are designed to facilitate flexible delivery. This enables those in work to attend on a part time basis for 1 day per week. Full time delivery is also planned so as to cluster activities so that students are not required to attend across a number of days. This again means that students are able to work and therefore maintain an income
  • The college offers a range of Access to Higher Education Qualifications to support those who are returning to education and need knowledge and skills to facilitate study at a higher level
  • Taster sessions are offered to applicants throughout the year so that they get the opportunity to attend the college in advance of enrolment and discuss any potential concerns or support needs. Applicants are also able to experience the welcoming environment and small class sizes
  • The Schools Liaison Team introduce the concept of Higher Education during school presentations and taster activities for all ages
  • Progression routes are mapped from many internal vocational programmes which have not previously attracted UCAS points for example NVQs and Apprenticeships. In some areas this includes the provision of bridging courses to ensure that students have the necessary academic skills to succeed at higher levels.

The entry criteria for all higher education programmes at the college include ‘non-standard’ options so as to encourage applications from those who have not followed a standard route and may not have UCAS tariff points.

IAG and Student Support.

The College has a comprehensive central Student Services operation. From the moment any prospective student considers joining the college they will be able to access support with:

  • Accommodation
  • Course Information and Enrolment
  • Travel and Transport
  • Health
  • Welfare and Funding
  • Careers
  • Counselling
  • Learning support
  • Accessibility

If any prospective student is looking for assistance or support to help them make that journey into education, then the college support services are able to offer impartial Information, Advice and Guidance on a full range of services, including specialist staff to advise and support prospective HE students. Student Services provide IAG and support to complete application forms for Disabled Students Allowance. The Learning Support Team support both FE and HE students on programme and in transition to other courses and into employment. Student Services are recognised as part of the Matrix Standards awarded to the Team.

Support for students comprising pastoral provision through tutorial programmes, additional learning support for students with LDD, ESOL and/or basic skills needs, central Student Services and the Learning Centre is a strong feature of the College. In addition to the cross college support services, higher education students have a dedicated Head of Studies to oversee their pastoral support and to ensure that individual needs are being met.

Higher York

Further widening participation activities are facilitated through membership of the Higher York Consortium. As a founder member of the Higher York the College has actively led and contributed to the range of initiatives. The College, alongside other partners, has indicated a commitment to the sustainability of Higher York following the end of the HEFCE funding period. This currently involves a financial contribution as well as significant in-kind contributions from a range of staff who contribute to the management and leadership, and collaborative work of the partnership.

Activities include bespoke university visits and visits to schools by FE and HE institutions. This has recently been extended to include the creation of a single point of contact for information, advice and guidance about progression into higher education and outreach opportunities as part of the Higher York Network for Collaborative Outreach. Higher York also produce a specific ‘Mature Students’ Guide to Higher Education’ and links with a range of local employers.

The College has also been an active partner in the Green Apples project since its inception in 1998. The project engages with schools and colleges to support students whose families have not traditionally moved into FE and HE. This work is now embedded within the college and continues to develop through networking and sharing of good practice to benefit students’ opportunities to move into further and higher education in all education institutions in York.