Enhancing Employability Through a Multi-Disciplinary Approach to Graduate Attributes: Embedding Engagement and Developing Self-Efficacy in Pre-Honours Undergraduates

Swingler, M., Bohan, J., Hendry, G., Curry, G. and Puligundla, R. (2017) Enhancing Employability Through a Multi-Disciplinary Approach to Graduate Attributes: Embedding Engagement and Developing Self-Efficacy in Pre-Honours Undergraduates. Horizons in STEM Higher Education Conference: Making Connections and Sharing Pedagogy, Edinburgh, Scotland, 29-30 Jun 2017.

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There is increasing emphasis on the importance of making Graduate Attributes (GAs) explicit to students as part of their degree programme and the role of students themselves in proactively developing GAs (HEA 2015). However, it can be challenging to engage students in non-core activities in large pre-honours classes, and the success of employability activities are also subject to efficacy beliefs and personal qualities (Yorke & Knight, 2007). A further issue is how we embed employability whilst accounting for the specific needs of the subject discipline and linkages with university careers services (O’Leary 2016). The aim of the present project was to work in partnership with careers professionals and students in reflecting on how curricular and extra-curricular activities can develop graduate attributes throughout the degree programme (Daniels & Brooker, 2014). To this end we extended our work with psychology undergraduates (Swingler et al., 2016), by developing and evaluating short-self-reflection in class exercises for pre-honours psychology, earth sciences, and business school undergraduates, which asked students to reflect on their curricular and extra-curricular activities and how the practical skills gained from these activities are linked to graduate attributes. Class activities were followed by discipline specific careers workshops and alumni events, focused on gaining confidence in communicating graduate attributes in an interview context, and the benefits of engaging with professional networking sites. Analysis of our quantitative and qualitative data will focus on: 1) students’ levels of self-efficacy in specific GAs before and after the in-class exercises; 2) Contrasting self-efficacy in specific GAs between subject disciplines; 3) the relationship between self-efficacy in specific GAs and academic self-efficacy (Yorke & Knight, 2007) and self-esteem (Rosenberg, 1965). 4) Student intentions to further develop their GAs after attending the careers workshops and alumni events. The findings will inform participants about the benefits and challenges of embedding GAs and employability in the pre-honours curriculum and include perspectives from students and staff.

Item Type:Conference or Workshop Item
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Bohan, Dr Jason and Curry, Professor Gordon and Hendry, Dr Gillian and Swingler, Dr Maxine
Authors: Swingler, M., Bohan, J., Hendry, G., Curry, G., and Puligundla, R.
Subjects:B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > B Philosophy (General)
College/School:College of Science and Engineering > School of Psychology
College of Science and Engineering > School of Geographical and Earth Sciences
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2017 The Authors
Publisher Policy:Reproduced with the permission of the Authors
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Project CodeAward NoProject NamePrincipal InvestigatorFunder's NameFunder RefLead Dept
Where am I now and where do I wnat to be? A roadmap for Graduate AttributesMaxine SwinglerUniversity of Glasgow Learning and Teaching Development FundUNSPECIFIED