Although I have only been introduced to the PC3 project relatively recently, I did take part in some staff training about 12 months ago where I also invited a number of my colleagues-we all teach on the BA (Hons) Sport Business Management course at Leeds Metropolitan University.
Initially we were looking to explore new innovative ways to interact with students and given that we are all academic tutors as well we decided to explore the ‘coaching’ methods used by the PC3 programme. I guess our intention was always to embed this work with our students but such has been the staff and student uptake that we are about to start a new academic year in September 2011 and when we do the PC3 coaching strategy will be ‘up-front’ and visible across each of our degree levels.
The success of this project (PC3 within BAHSBM) has been due to the unique way in which we have been able to utilise the coaching philosophy across a suite of modules which we call our ‘Employability pathway’. This pathway includes modules such as Personal Development Planning (Level 4), Planning for Work Based Learning (Level 4), Work Based Learning (Level 5) and Continuing Professional Development (Level 6).
Our strategy was to introduce the PC3 coaching at Level 4 in the PWBL module and this was first done in 2010. Those students have now progressed to L5 students and next year as L6 students they will begin to introduce a new variation of the strategy…to work closely with and coach their peers-new L4 ‘freshers’.
Our students currently coach each other in the PWBL module but significantly this element of the module is linked to an assessed piece of work and because of this we have found that the students have to get engaged with the process and once they do they enjoy the camaraderie and start to develop a rapport with their coach or coachee. Our planned development for 2011-12 will be to have L6 students coaching L4 students across a host of possible situations that are not tied to assessments and we believe that this ‘buddying’ system will also assist us in reducing student drop-out rates at L4 and help with the students’ integration into the course.