19 April 2016
By Bryan Smyth
Chief Executive of the HEA, Tom Boland, has recognized Cork Institute of Technology’s expertise in the field of Student Engagement by selecting CIT as a lead pilot institute in the National Student Engagement Programme. “The student engagement initiatives at CIT have had a tangible impact,” says Mr Boland, “on any visit to the campus, you can see evidence of how students are meaningfully engaged in decisions affecting their learning. A number of the student retention and support initiatives that are now in place, came about directly because of suggestions made by students themselves. This is the type of student engagement that we would like to see on campuses across Ireland.”
At CIT a Strategic Student Engagement and Retention Initiative was established in September 2012. It works with academic faculty, school, and departmental staff and student services, to develop proactive and collaborative strategies aimed at improving student engagement, progression and graduation. CIT made a strategic decision to increase its focus on student engagement because of a range of factors, including greater student numbers, the increasing diversity of the student population and an awareness that better student engagement could lead to increased retention rates.
A number of student engagement programmes are run each year in CIT, including the “Good Start” induction for new students, “Just Ask!” information and support campaigns, “Get Connected” events involving students and academic staff and a peer assisted learning and support scheme which fosters cross year support between students on the same course.