Category 6 ~ College Course Rep of the Year

Winner:

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Dionne Netherington ~ Perth College UHI

Dionne acted as class rep for Perth College UHI’s ‘Moving On’ course, a programme designed for students aged 15-17 facing a ‘difficult transition’ to allow them to benefit from smaller class sizes, as well as learning employability and personal resilience skills.

Dionne undertook her representative role in a very dedicated way. She was extremely effective in assisting college staff to understand her classmates’ views, which they might have had difficulty articulating to teaching staff on their own. In addition, Dionne displayed empathy, leadership and dedication in helping the more vulnerable members of her course. The submission notes one example where she went above and beyond the expectations of the role in supporting and advocating for a peer who was facing numerous challenges. Dionne also secured a funding grant that allowed the Moving On students to participate in the duke of Edinburgh Award.

Overall, Dionne combined huge commitment to the role of course rep with the “empathy and understanding associated with strong leadership”.

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Runners-up:

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Andrew Smirthwaite

During his time studying Applied Computing at Forth Valley College, Andrew has been a course rep for three years. In that time, he has worked creatively and resourcefully to ensure the role of course rep benefits those on his course and other students in the college. Andrew’s course is an integrated degree, during which he and his classmates study at college level for two years followed by two years at a university. This format presents unique challenges and students must consistently feedback to curriculum leaders and lecturers on the course content to ensure that the transition from college to university happens smoothly and consistently.

Three years of being a course rep in this environment has allowed Andrew to “perfect his skills” and emerge as a student leader. He helped establish a robotics and coding society – this acts as a safe space for students to raise issues and concerns and Andrew is adept at signposting them to the Students’ Association or correct staff member or department for appropriate support. Andrew’s continuous engagement has helped improve the representative relationship between the Students’ Association and integrated degree students, and improve the student experience college-wide.
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Robert Laurie ~ Dumfries and Galloway College

Robert has been a class rep for two years, during his time studying computing at Dumfries and Galloway College. He took on the role knowing that it carried significant responsibility, as well as the opportunity to tackle problems for current students and improve things for future students.

Robert found himself acting as class rep during a particularly challenging period, in which he was representing students on a course that was suddenly under threat of cancellation in its final year due to low numbers. He had to gather and communicate ideas and suggestions for how the course could continue to run, and convey them between college management and his course colleagues. Utilising his course rep training skills, Robert acted with great diplomacy and sensitivity to follow appropriate procedures and negotiate using the correct channels. His tenacity paid off, as the college decided to run the course as planned. As Robert says, “This is just one example proving that Class Reps can and do make a difference in the college”.
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Sam Small ~ South Lanarkshire College

During his time as a class rep at South Lanarkshire College, Sam has been instrumental in supporting his fellow class students to ensure they all feel valued and included.

Following feedback from peers, he worked closely with the college to improve the accessibility of the canteen for the Learning Development students. This had a hugely positive impact for the students – they felt their social space was improved, which in turn made college life easier and better. In addition to his role as a class rep, Sam also acts as the Students’ Association Voluntary Student Officer representing Learning Development students college-wide. He is passionate about equality, diversity and inclusion in the college and is keen to contribute to a culture that makes sure every member of the college community feels included.

Sam has worked tirelessly to support delivery of a wide range of events, allowing his ability to engage with a wide range of staff and students to shine through.

Student Engagement Framework
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