Case Study

How UCC will ensure every student is equipped with the core competences, attributes and values to thrive throughout their careers

University College Cork

Potential.ly chosen as the platform to deliver University College Cork, National University of Ireland, Cork (UCC)’s ambitious Graduate Attributes Programme for all 20,000 plus students.

The UCC Graduate Attributes Programme (GAP) is a key part of the University’s current 4-year academic strategy to ensure every student is equipped with the core competences, attributes and values to thrive as graduates into the new economy and for the rest of their careers.

This initiative will advance the development of students’ academic, specialist and technical competencies, equipping them with transferrable skills that can be applied in different environments. With a focus on developing core values and graduate attributes, GAP initiatives will integrate with the academic curriculum, taking a holistic educational approach to develop character, professionalism and the capacity for critical and creative thought. UCC graduates will be recognised as well-rounded, curious, self-aware, individuals who continually learn new skills, are open to new ideas, and make things happen.

As an experienced technology provider to Universities delivering graduate attributes programmes and career readiness award programmes, the Potential.ly digital platform will support a key part of the graduate attributes strategic project.

Indeed, the programme and engagement with Potential.ly has become ever more so important given the global uncertainty relating to rapid technological developments in the world of work, now compounded by the Covid-19 crisis. The assurance of the value of graduate attributes to employability and citizenship is more important than ever for our learners, educators and universities.

Students will engage with Potential.ly at annual registration completing an exercise to determine the extent to which they have developed the ten identified UCC’s values and attributes through their educational and life experiences thus far. Each student receives a valuable feedback as result that then illustrates a recommended starting point across each attribute and value. Each student is then directed to further ways to develop their core values and attributes, as relevant to their self-assessment.

As the programme develops, students will then be able to continue on a journey of self-development, engaging with resources and activities with opportunities to reflect and re-evaluate how they are improving. The Potential.ly platform also provides tools for students to capture, record and reflect on their everyday learning experiences or ‘moments’ that can be connected to the values, attributes and competences known to valuable to success in their future careers. These can be optionally added to a public portfolio.

“The goal is to help students capture, showcase and share to peers or future employers the thousands of moments of professional development experiences from throughout their time at university which wouldn’t have otherwise been remembered or evidenced” – Head of Graduate Attributes Programme, UCC

Background

In May 2020 a significant amount of research was done between the Graduate Attributes Programme and Dr. Mike Murphy, School of Applied Psychology to establish a series of brief questionnaires which allow for measurement of each of the UCC values and attributes as part of the Student Self-Assessment Tool. The purpose of the study presented was to develop items which might contribute to such questionnaires. The views of staff (Academic, Research and Support Staff) and Students’ Union officers were canvassed as to behaviours or characteristics which they felt reflected each of the values and attributes. Their responses were subjected to a qualitative analysis, and a series of potential questionnaire items were generated from the data.

A simultaneous project took place to procure a digital platform to provide the best supports for students as they transition through university where  “Potential.ly” was selected. Each student on completion of the self-assessment will receive an auto-generated feedback report (spikey profile) that will be personalised based on the responses given by the student for each question. The report will be configured with diagrammatic charts illustrating their level of competency across each attribute. The report includes feedback and next steps across each attribute and comprises an e-Portfolio to record personal achievements.

Potential.ly is designed to be a simple engaging interface powered by a sophisticated continuous learning and personal development platform that allows UCC to deliver unlimited questionnaires or diagnostics that connect with the resources, events, curricular and extra-curricular activities offered to students. Each student development is personalised based on what they do and how they are improving. 


Strategic impact

Support understanding and address the needs of students at every level, across all Colleges to inform our decision making.

Help to embed the Graduate Attributes Programme across all Colleges.

Align support for our diverse student body with changing needs.


About the University:

University College Cork, National University of Ireland, Cork (UCC) was founded in 1845 and combines a rich tradition of teaching, research and scholarship. Its degrees, conferred by the National University of Ireland, are internationally recognised. UCC enjoys an international reputation, which draws more than 3,300 students from 100 countries across the world. The University employs over 2,800 staff.
UCC is considered Irelands leading research institute and has been awarded Irish University of the Year 5 times by the Sunday Times, most recently in 2017.
UCC was the first university in the world to be awarded the international Green Flag for Environmental Friendliness.

About the Graduate Attributes Programme:

The Graduate Attributes Programme was established in response to UCC Academic Strategy 2018-2022, Priority no.4: “Facilitate students’ development of core values and graduate attributes”  (Link to Academic Strategy https://www.ucc.ie/en/registrar/theconnecteduniversity/academicstrategy/ ).

Potential.ly supports the goal to enable a successful student journey and to prepare students for their future.  Enable further resource development to equip graduates of the future with the essential skills and attributes to respond to the needs of our enterprise, public service and community sectors, both locally and globally.

This initiative will advance the development of students’ academic, specialist and technical competencies, equipping them with transferrable skills that can be applied in different environments. With a focus on developing core values and graduate attributes, these modules will integrate with the academic curriculum, taking a holistic educational approach to develop character, professionalism and the capacity for critical and creative thought. UCC graduates will be recognised as well-rounded, curious, self-aware, individuals who continually learn new skills, are open to new ideas, and make things happen.


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