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Widening Access Outreach Mentor

Listed by Widening Access Strathclyde

Applying

Application deadline: Sun 16 Jun 2024 23:00
To apply, please send a CV and covering letter detailing your suitability for the role to wideningaccess@strath.ac.uk. Please ensure that your application directly addresses what would make you a good Widening Access Outreach Mentor, including any relevant experience you may already have. Your cover letter should demonstrate that you meet each of the bullet-pointed criteria in the ‘who are we looking for’ section below. Full training on programme delivery elements will be provided to the successful candidates. Successful candidates must also pass a satisfactory PVG check plus provide evidence of their right to work in the UK prior to commencing the role. The vast majority of events which Widening Access Outreach Mentors work on take place at the University of Strathclyde’s campus in Glasgow city centre, although occasionally the opportunity to work at events taking place elsewhere (e.g. in partner primary/secondary schools; at other educational campuses) may arise.

Rate

from £12.30

Hours

The hours for this role are variable depending upon which projects are running and how many outreach mentors are required for staffing each event.

Interview

Week commencing 1st July.

Job Duration

The role is for one year.

Details

Working on an ad-hoc basis, the mentors engage with pupils of a variety of ages – from primary school through to secondary school – facilitating interactive workshops and discussions on all things related to Higher Education, such as: the range of courses available; clubs and societies; funding opportunities; and career prospects.

 

The Widening Access team manage a variety of projects. Widening Access Outreach Mentors will find that their input will primarily be in one or both of the team’s key outreach projects:

  • FOCUS West
  • Young Strathclyder

Successful candidates will be appointed to the position of Widening Access Outreach Mentor and then subsequently invited to work on relevant events at the discretion of the project leads. Full training will be provided for each relevant programme prior to work commencing.

Working Hours of the Role

The hours for this role are variable depending upon which projects are running and how many outreach mentors are required for staffing each event. 

The hours for shifts on the programmes are as follows:

FOCUS West: 9:30am - 2:30pm

Young Strathclyder in-school: 8am – 3pm

Young Strathclyder on-campus: 9am – 3pm

Shifts usually take place on a Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday (although occasionally a Monday or Friday shift may arise)

Successful candidates are not expected to work every single shift; instead, towards the end of each month we will email all mentors with dates of upcoming shifts and mentors then let us know which shifts they would be available to work. We expect mentors to only say that they are available for the shift if they are definitely available for the full length of the event (e.g., they do not have any university studying commitments during the hours of the shift). Once we have received everyone’s availability for the forthcoming month, we will then email them to formally allocate shifts. It is important that you do not say that you are available to work a shift if you are likely to cancel for foreseeable circumstances, as that would mean we may not be able to run the event, which could risk damaging relationships with partner schools.

Ideally, we are looking for candidates who would be able to commit to at least 2 shifts per month, bearing in mind the normal shift patterns detailed above.

Why are the Shifts Not Fixed Dates All Year Round?

We work with schools and part of the process is negotiating suitable dates for teachers to bring their pupils out of school and onto our campus. This can be complex and cannot happen at times when pupils have exams, tests, or highly important teaching days. The schools also have to identify which pupils to select to take part in the event, and then get their parents to sign consent forms. This process can take some time, which means we are only able to confirm which events will go ahead roughly one month in advance.

What is ‘Widening Access’?

Widening Access (WA) is a strategic priority for the University of Strathclyde, the Higher Education (HE) sector as a whole, and the Scottish and UK governments. WA seeks to minimise/remove barriers to HE for under-represented groups, including (but not limited to): those who live in the 40% most deprived areas of Scotland; those who have spent time in local authority care; those who attend schools where traditionally few pupils progress directly to HE.

FOCUS West

FOCUS West is a 5-institution WA partnership and part of the National Schools Programme, an initiative funded by the Scottish Funding Council. The Strathclyde element of the programme is the “Campus Experience”. As a Widening Access Outreach Mentor on the FOCUS West programme, you will work primarily with S4 pupils on Strathclyde’s campus and introduce them to a range of different studying techniques. You will boost the confidence, ambition, resilience and awareness of participating pupils, with a goal of aiding them in their eventual success in their National school examinations. You may also have the opportunity to work on the S3 programme which has a focus on HE myth-busting and general education about the breadth of university study available, and student life. When FOCUS West shifts become available, they are normally on a Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday; and the working hours of a shift are 9:30am until 2:30pm. Mentors are expected to be available to work for the full hours of a shift.

Young Strathclyder

Young Strathclyder is the University’s new WA Schools Outreach programme. Working with primary school pupils and also secondary school S2 pupils, Widening Access Outreach Mentors raise awareness of HE opportunities, support attainment, and offer exciting learning opportunities for young people from disadvantaged backgrounds. Through the different levels of the programme, you will guide pupils through a series of interactive activities representing the four different faculties at Strathclyde.

 

Who we are Looking For

These positions are only available to current students of recognised Scottish Further/Higher Education colleges and universities which receive funding from the Scottish Funding Council. Candidates who are not current University of Strathclyde students will be required to provide proof of their student status at an eligible college/university.

The University of Strathclyde is a socially progressive institution that strives to ensure equality of opportunity and celebrates the diversity of its student and staff community.  Strathclyde is people-oriented and collaborative, offering a supportive working culture with a deep commitment to equality, diversity and inclusion.

It is important to us that our team reflects the varied nature of the student body and provides role models from all sections of the community. We strongly encourage applications from people from diverse backgrounds including gender, identity, race, age, class, and ethnicity and candidates from lower socio-economic groups and care-experienced backgrounds. We would welcome applications from candidates who may have had personal experience of outreach activities whilst they were school pupils and from PG-R students who may find that the hours of the shifts may fit in well with their learning/studying commitments.

We are looking for:

  • Enthusiastic, dynamic students with a passion for Higher Education.
  • Students who are friendly and approachable, whilst being able to set and maintain age-appropriate professional boundaries.
  • Dedicated students who are mature, responsible, and good at working with children of all ages from a range of backgrounds.
  • Committed team members with impeccable time management skills.
  • Candidates who have a sound working knowledge of the current Scottish primary and secondary education system.

 

Contact

Informal queries about the role can be sent to wideningaccess@strath.ac.uk. In any email communications, please make sure to be clear about which role you are referring to as there may be different opportunities available simultaneously.

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