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UCL Arena for Professional Services enhanced my CV: Helen Pascoe

Helen Pascoe, School Manager from The Bartlett School of Construction and Project Management, explains how gaining Fellowship enhanced her support to students and her own professional development.

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6 November 2018

If you support students in a non-teaching role, the UCL Arena for Professional Services offers you the opportunity to gain recognition for your work supporting their learning with a UCL Arena fellowship, accredited by the Higher Education Academy (HEA).

For staff in learning support roles, including:

  • Teaching Administrators
  • Lab Technicians
  • ISD/Digital Education
  • Central services, and;
  • Librarians

Helen explains why she applied for UCL Arena Fellowship and how it has helped her:

Which Arena pathway did you follow and where did you hear about it?

I heard about UCL Arena for Professional Services from my UCL mentor.

I achieved Associate Fellow of the Higher Education Academy in 2017. To support my application, I attended sessions specifically for Professional Services:

  • introductory session, 'Gaining Fellowship for Professional Services: introduction to HEA Recognition’
  • after you've attended an introductory session, sign up to one of the regular ‘Developing your Professional Services HEA application’ 

(see our Upcoming events calendar for dates - you can filter the calendar by choosing 'Professional services' in the Subject filter). 

What was your motivation? 

I was particularly motivated by CPD and my own career development.

What was the most useful element?

I enjoyed writing the case studies; they allowed me to think through the cycle of recognising a problem, finding ways to improve this and gaining feedback to rework the solution as needed.

How has Fellowship changed your role?

It has reinforced the need for student involvement in admin processes, and the importance of these processes to the effectiveness of Higher Education. 

How do you think your students have benefited from you taking part?

I have a new job at UCL!

I believe that this qualification enhanced my application, not only in terms of CV material, but in terms of thinking through projects I have completed and being able to demonstrate my skills through examples at interview.

How much of a commitment was it for you? 

Once I had thought through my case studies, it really didn’t take that long to write.

Having support and a sounding board from Leigh Kilpert from UCL Arena Centre, really helped.

What did you need to do to apply?

Fellowship is awarded on the basis of your successful experience of supporting students’ learning or leading an aspect of education at UCL and you demonstrate this through an application. 

Your application will include 'case study' examples of your work to support students learning. UCL Arena support your application through the workshops. 

What would you say to someone considering working towards a UCL Arena/Associate Fellowship (AFHEA)?

You do so much more than you think you do!

Once you start thinking through your role, you will come up with numerous case studies!

Top tips for Professional Services who are thinking about Fellowship

  1. Work with the Professional Standards Framework (UKPSF) right from the very beginning. Take time to write down everything you do in your role and map these to the UKPSF. 
  2. Schedule fewer, longer sessions to write your application. If you can do two, five hour sessions - go for it! 
  3. Never underestimate how long it takes to get your references. Aim for a deadline set by UCL Arena and don't forget to complete a full draft of your application prior to requesting references.