Personal Development is key to our students' successThe School of Business supports personal development through unique coaching, demonstrating their continued focus on student success
Being a young adult can be challenging. Being a young adult facing university for the first time can be even more so, and the journey new undergraduates face is immense.
Personal Development is key to our students' success. Student expectation is that the relationship with their university will enhance the rest of their lives by aiding their personal development and improving their future earnings.
Therefore, at London South Bank University School of Business, we support personal development from point of entry onwards via a structured approach that recognises that each student will have a different set of aspirations and requirements.
With this in mind, we have embedded a personal coaching approach into the student support structure. This is a proactive approach to student development that aims to draw out our students' potential through a procedure of change facilitation. Developing students via a structured process of self-analysis, reflection, planning and action enables them to discover and decide what they need. Our students get the opportunity to explore their values, take a good look at what is blocking them from achieving their dreams, and coach one another to create a deeper understanding of themselves and connections with one another.
As a consequence, students can gain further qualities, such as a positive mind-set, integrity, humanity, ethics and emotional maturity on an ongoing basis.
We have introduced coaching skills as an embedded part of the curriculum and aim to fulfil two clear purposes:
- To develop coaching skills within the students which they can use on themselves and each other that will allow them to be more resilient to the many personal and academic challenges that students face on entering university.
- By embedding coaching within the curriculum at level 4, we are enabling transformative education which is required to allow a student to be more “… inclusive, discriminating, open, reflective, and emotionally able to change” (Mezirow, 2003).
We have designed a module that has woven an ethos of coaching throughout, a strategy which has been shown to have very beneficial effects on students within secondary education (Devine, Meyers, and Houssemand, 2013).
The development of the module has been a significant undertaking. We have partnered with Graydin, a company specialising in coaching in education, to develop the programme and train staff; and we have invested significant time and money. However, the emotional investment needed to enable the cultural shift necessary to deliver the coaching ‘from the heart’ has been our biggest challenge.