Angie Bartoli, Sue Kennedy, Tedam Prospera
In response to the growing numbers of African students on the social work qualifying programme at the University of Northampton, three senior lecturers undertook a small-scale study in 2008 to evaluate African students’ particular learning experiences. This trend of increasing student numbers reflects the national picture as indicated by the General Social Care Council (GSCC, 2009). The African student experience is different and therefore different strategies are needed to ensure that learning and subsequent employability are maximised. The research identified two significant outcomes. The first was the need for a peer support group, which was set up in September 2008. The group named itself PADARE, a Zimbabwean term which means: meeting place. The second was the need for a qualified social worker as a mentor to support the students’ transition from academic learning into work-based learning and practice. This paper will focus mainly on the rationale and potential of these two initiatives from both an educator’s perspective and that of the students themselves drawing on relevant contemporary literature in the areas of Mentoring and Peer support groups.
The Journal Enhancing the Learner Experience in Higher Education can be found at: http://journals.northampton.ac.uk/index.php/elehe/index