Background to SCQF College Ambassador programme
The College Ambassador Programme aims to encourage colleges to engage with the SCQF in a range of different ways to raise awareness and understanding of the Framework among a wider audience. This will enable college staff to cascade their knowledge of the benefits of the Framework and credit rating across the college with the full support of the SCQF Partnership Executive Team.
It is anticipated that the programme will maximise the impact of the Framework, ensuring that it is perceived as a vital tool for progression; facilitating Senior Phase learning pathways and supporting the aims of the Developing the Young Workforce agenda. It will also ensure that the benefits of the Framework are being communicated to staff and learners right across the college landscape.
Background to the College
Fife College has five campuses in Dunfermline, Glenrothes, Kirkcaldy, Levenmouth and Rosyth. The College offers a wide range of SCQF courses from Scottish Highers, Foundation Apprenticeships, HNCs and HNDs with clear progression routes to honours degrees that can be studied at college on either a full or part time basis. The variety of programmes range from engineering and the built environment through to childcare or digital technologies with each course having a clear SCQF progression route on the college website.
The College is committed to its students and has signed an official College Student Partnership Agreement with the Students’ Association and has two commendable projects in the pipeline concerning digital improvements and a lifelong health toolkit for students and staff.
Can you tell us about one way in which the college has successfully used the SCQF?
The College, in partnership with Glenrothes High School, developed an alternative model for the delivery of their SCQF levels 5 and 6 in Business and Administration. Through innovative teaching and assessment the School-College Partnership with Glenrothes High School created opportunities for the pupils to complete National Progression Awards (NPAs) at SCQF level 5 and 6, alongside the National 5 and Higher awards. This offered a wider range of pathways and gave pupils the opportunity to gain additional SCQF credit rated SQA qualifications.
The NPA in Administrative Studies at SCQF Level 4 was delivered during the school exam study leave period. This permitted pupils the opportunity to gain an internationally recognised qualification at SCQF level 4 during the break, consolidating and building upon the knowledge and understanding they have. Fife College and Glenrothes High School have now developed progression pathways in Travel and Tourism at SCQF Level 5 to enable these candidates to progress to College at SCQF level 6 courses in this key sector.
Pupils are also studying SCQF Level 7 courses in S6 where they have gained Highers (SCQF level 6) in S5 to allow them to continue the learner journey at an earlier life stage. The college has made a clear commitment to learners offering flexible entrance requirements which incorporate NPAs.
And what have the benefits been for learners, the college, partners and any other organisations/third party organisation?
The School-College Partnership agreement has supported 98 NPAs being achieved so far, and will continue to support pupils in the region to achieve an SCQF qualification appropriate to their capabilities and needs, to ensure that as many pupils as possible can achieve their full potential. Many pupils had started to study 5 SCQF qualifications but through this partnership have now achieved 6 including National 5, Higher and NPAs. The additional learning in the NPAs allowed the pupils to enhance the knowledge of their current National 5 and Higher Courses through vocational learning. The experience of ‘College’ learning allowed many of the pupils to sample college life before making their next step in education. As NPAs are not assessed by examination, anxiety levels amongst pupils were alleviated. The transition to college was also smoothed with the pupils having gained additional SCQF qualifications and expanding their choices at the next level of study.
Pupils studying SCQF level 7 qualifications now have the opportunity to ask for Recognition of Prior Learning onto appropriate programmes of study using their SCQF credit towards the next steps in learning.
The partnership agreement has supplementary benefits to the school and college including a greater knowledge of each other’s curriculum and has been an excellent staff development opportunity.
As an SCQF College Ambassador what are your future plans for using and promoting the SCQF?
The College is now looking to expand the joint delivery courses to other schools in the region further developing the pupils’ pathways and widening access and choice of education in Fife. The College is also keen to continue to build on their progression maps and include reference to the SCQF in all their publications and digital media that refer to qualifications and levels. This will promote a platform for easy comparison and understanding of the wider portfolio of qualifications on offer to applicants, students and stakeholders. As part of the School-College Partnership curriculum offer the College is aligning the course choices to SCQF level and not to the school pupil year. This will become even more important with the development of the new Dunfermline Learning Campus where a highly integrated programme of learner pathways is planned to be delivered with the two co-located schools.