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ASPIRE Associate Student Magazine
Why choose to become an Associate Student? Student Support Meet the Staﬀ FAQ’s Answered Student Stories
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Welcome Associate Students Staff Spotlight Student Support Settling In College Partners FAQs
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Welcome to our ﬁrst ever newsletter for the Associate Student Project! This newsletter is designed for you, to give you an insight into the project, the staff, and Edinburgh Napier in general. We know doing something different can be a bit daunting, but we’re here to help make the transition as easy as possible for you. First off: you should know you’ve made a good decision. As an Associate Student, you’ll have access to everything that Napier has to offer, from the library to the sports facilities to guest lectures. More than that, you have taken a positive step for your career: your course will help you become more employable when you finish your studies, as well as helping you develop key skills that are essential to succeeding in a working environment. You You can read more about this on page 2. You don’t have to take our word for it either - who better to tell you than someone who’s already been there? A former student, Derek, can tell you more. Turn to page 6 to read his honest account of settling in at Napier as an Associate Student. If you need support of any kind while you’re with us, we have a fantastic team of people just for that purpose. Find out more in our ‘Student Support’ section on page 4. There’s also a section on upcoming events and some FAQs. I hope it both inspires and reassures you that you’re in good hands. Don’t forget - this newsletter is for you. If you have any suggestions or topics you’d like us to cover, let us know. We’re here to help and support you, so get in touch. Best wishes, and good luck!
Debbie Meharg Debbie Meharg Lecturer & College Liaison School of Computing Edinburgh Napier University [email protected]
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Being an Associate Student: What does it mean for you? you? The Associate Student scheme has been created to help you make a smooth transition from college to university. As an Associate Student, you are beginning a new and exciting part of your four-year journey, from college, to a linked degree course. The skills you acquire during this degree will equip you for the working world, and can help you make choices about the right career for you. We’re thrilled that you’ve chosen to become an Associate Student at Napier, and we want to help you get the most out of it. Among other things, this means making sure you have access to our resources essential for getting the degree you want. It’s important to us that you feel supported in the work you do, and that you feel able to make confident decisions when the time comes. And we want you to enjoy it too!
What will Napier staﬀ provide? Staff will provide: ►Tutorial support ►Guest
What facilities can I use? You will also have access to the same great facilities as all University students, including:
t y versi t y Uni ve
Library services - for all your studying needs ►Moodle – our online learning environment ►Student support services ►Sports facilities at ENU student rates
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Staﬀ Spotlight “The Associate Degree program helps bridge the gap between college and university” We have formed great great partnerships with colleges in Scotland, which allows us to help more more students get access to to a degree course course that suits them. Read on to ﬁnd out about a tutor at Edinburgh College, Margaret Clark, and to see why she thinks the Associate Student Project is so important. On leaving school I studied at Glasgow College of Technology (now Glasgow Caledonian University) on the first ever HND Computing course in Scotland. I worked worked as a senior programmer in the banking sector for 10 years and in that time I completed a BA in Mathematics. I had always been interested in teaching and moved from the banking sector to become a computing lecturer at Edinburgh College where I achieved my Teaching Qualification in Further Education. I am CCNA certified and have been teaching the CISCO Networking Academy Program for 10 years at Edinburgh College. I am also a DSA (Disabled Students Allowance) assessor and am experienced in assessing and supporting students with additional support needs.
very interested in the emerging field of cybercrime and I have recently started an MSc in Advanced Networking and Cybercrime at Napier University. I think the transition from college to university can be a big step for students to take. take. One of the benefits of the Associate Degree program is that it helps bridge the gap between college and university by preparing students for university life. life. For example, while at at college, students attend lectures given by Napier university lecturers, which gives students the chance to meet the Napier staff and experience university lectures. Students will then know what to expect at university and this will help them to settle in more easily and quickly and hopefully make them more successful with their studies.
My main subjects are: Relational Databases, SQL, JAV JAVA A programm programming, ing, Team Working in Computing, HCI and Networking. I am also
Margaret Clark Margaret Clark Education into Enterprise Coordinator Edinburgh College Sighthill BA MBCS CITP CCNA
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How Napier University supports its Students. At Edinburgh Napier we have a strong support network in place to assist you with whatever help and advice you may need. Whether you need help with searching for funding, ﬁnding somewhere to live, careers advice or a conﬁdential chat with a qualiﬁed counsellor, counsellor, we have somebody to help you. Dedicated support is available to students with disabilities and learning diﬃculties through our highly experienced Disability & Inclusion team. Aileen MacLean, our Academic Support Adviser, answers some commonly-asked questions.
Do you oﬀer any careers advice? We have a dedicated Careers service, here to help you become as employable as possible. First, it’s probably a good idea to visit us for a 1-1 Careers support session or to get a checkup from the CV Doctor. As a Napier student you also have access to to plenty of online careers information including options with your subject, finding graduate jobs, help with CVs, applications and interviews and more. more. You could also take part in one of our many career, personal and professional development workshops, and
register with the Vacancies Site to access access over 500 live graduate vacancies. And if you wish to increase your employability skills in a structured way, our Confident Futures programme is free and a great opportunity for all students. What’s more, you can use our expertise and advice for up to three years after you graduate, so there’s need to panic about what happens when your course ends!
I’I’m m a bit worried about the cost of studying. Can you help? Of course! You’ll You’ll be surprised at just how much financial support is on hand for students. For instance, did you know that Scottish and EU students studying their first full-time degree will have their tuition fees paid for by SAAS? All you have to do is apply. apply. http://www.saas.gov.uk/
Our Student Funding team is here to help take the financial worry out of study study.. They can point you in the direction of a huge range of funding opportunities - both free and repayable. repayable. And remember - our Careers service are always on hand to help you find a part-time job to support yourself while you study.
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What support do you oﬀer students with disabilities or additional needs? At Napier we're committed to supporting all students on the basis of their merits, abilities and potential - regardless of any disability, health condition or learning difficulty. Come and speak to us for specialist help, advice and information on support available. We can talk through your options, which may include help with arranging specialist funding, eg. Disabled Students' Allowance; diagnostic and DSA Needs Assessments; exam adjustments such as extra time, scribes, readers, or use of a PC; assistance in arranging British Sign Language interpreters, study skills support advisers, proof readers and other non-medical personal helpers;
assistive software training; library support; and loan equipment. We can also liaise with others on your behalf if you wish, and refer you to more sources of support for your own needs. These can include academic support advisers, counsellors, funding advisers, Napier Students' Association, personal development tutors, school disability contacts and student mentors. There is also a wide range of non University-based support which we are happy to put you in touch with, for example Lead Scotland, a charity which provides information for disabled people applying to post-16 education.
What if it gets a bit much for me? No one is a study machine. Being at university can bring up a range of issues and create stresses in your personal life. But you’re not on your own. Our Student Wellbeing team is on hand to help you get the services you need, including confidential counselling, to allow you to talk through any difficulties you’re having. We know that many students find university challenging, and we have lots of support in place. However, If you want more informal support, it may help you to have a student mentor. A student mentor can offer friendly and advice to help you get to grips with life as
a student. All of our mentors are trained students who have been studying with us for at least one year. They have already experienced university life, and are able to share their experiences with you. They are people from a wide variety of age groups and backgrounds who understand the challenges you are facing when entering university from school, college or the workplace. Whether you need help settling in, writing assignments or getting ready for exams, your mentor can help you - after all, they’ve been there!
As an Associate Student, I’ve been told I can use the library and other resources. Where do I start? star t? We have excellent library and computing facilities on each of our three campuses to make sure you get the best from our extensive information resources. We have librarians that are always more than happy to help you get to grips with the resources and find what you need. Just ask!
Aileen MacLean Aileen MacLean Academic Support Adviser School of Computing Merchiston Campus
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Napier student Derek describes how he settled into University. How I got here: Before returning to full-time education I enjoyed a few different career paths, including working as an electrical engineer for 10 years. In my spare time I began building simple websites as a hobby and realised I would need to get recognised qualifications if I were to pursue it as a career. My three years at college were interesting and a great starting point for me in my goal of studying at degree level.
How I found it: The transition from college to university (year 3) is quite a significant one; at first it can seem s eem quite daunting and a bit of a whirlwind. One thing that became very apparent apparent was the pace of the course - within a matter matter of weeks I was submitting my first piece of coursework for grading. I have now completed my 3rd year and the pace has been consistent throughout.
What it’s like: What is very clear at Napier is that hard work work is rewarded. The staff within the School School of Computing support you in every aspect of university life and from day one they encourage you to be the best you can be, to get the best degree you can and to ultimately get the best job you can. Following my three years at college and first year at Napier University I can pass on the following advice from my experience:
Before you start: ►Prepare
well. Spend time reviewing the the courses at Napier and the modules within them. Visit our site for more details: http://www.modules.napier.ac.uk/ staff, attend open days and and ask questions. ►Research, research, research. Speak to Napier staff, ►Have a think about where you want to be at the end of your degree. From day one you will be encouraged focus on your future career.
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“Napier are not just here to get you a great degree, Napier are here to get you a great job!” Once you’re here: ►Take
all the help and and support you are offered. offered. Lecturers in the School of Computing Computing have immense expertise and their knowledge knowledge is invaluable. If you’re not sure - ask! activities to get involved in outwith outwith your course. ►Grasp opportunities. There are loads of activities the campus and you can’t help but be ►Feed off other students. There is very much a positive ‘vibe’ around the inspired. structure as quickly as possible. In Year Year 3 virtually every mark ►Understand the assessment and grading structure you get will determine the level of of degree you can achieve. Unlike college, it’s not just about about passing - it’s about passing well! find it a very ►Use the facilities on campus. The Jack Kilby Computing Centre is like my second home and I find motivational place to to work. It is open almost 24/7 and I often end up here at the weekend weekend too. The library also has fantastic facilities for working and studying.
AND MOST IMPORT IMPORTANT… Don’t be scared - enjoy the experience!
Derek Hendry Derek Hendry Napier University School of Computing Web Design & Development BSc (Hons) Year 4.
Did you know?
94% of Napier graduates go on to employment or further study.
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Napier University College Partners. New College Lanarkshire New College Lanarkshire combines what were Motherwell, Cumbernauld and Coatbridge Colleges. Colleges. The size and scale of the College allows it to operate more effectively with a firm focus on the social and economic well-being of Lanarkshire. For more information visit:
Edinburgh College Edinburgh College is the largest college in Scotland and one of the largest in the UK. They have the strongest single student body in Edinburgh and their key commitment is to put students at the centre. For more information visit:
Before you start:
West Lothian College West Lothian College is an award winning provider of further education based in Livingston, West Lothian since 2001. West Lothian College’s vision is “To be a high performing and creative College within a national reputation for excellence in demand led learning and skills development” and in fulfilling that vision provides an invaluable resource to the people of West Lothian and beyond. For more information visit:
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FAQs Answered Main diﬀerences between modules at College and University? Essentially they are the same in the sense that that you have to pass them to progress. The main difference is that each module is graded with a percentage which is used to calculate your overall degree classification. Every % of your grade is important!
How do I get access to the University computing and library facilities? After you have registered, complete the Introduction to Computing and Library for Off Campus Students module, so that you are ready to use our online services for your course work.
How do timetables diﬀer between College and University? At college you are typically issued a full weekly timetable covering your course modules. At University you create your own timetables timetables based on what modules modules you select for your course. In general, a module module may have 2 lectures, 2 tutorials and perhaps 2 practical sessions (this varies depending on module type) listed at different times throughout throughout the week. Students are requested to select a suitable lecture, tutorial and practical practical to attend in conjunction with classes from other m odules.
What books books do I need to buy? You will be given reading lists for each of your modules during the first couple of weeks at University. University. The Library stocks copies of books on the reading list for you to refer to and borrow. borrow. The Library also has an extensive collection of e-books for you to access on-line anywhere. It is also worthwhile buying second hand books which are often sold by the previous years students through dedicated Facebook pages.
How do I pay pay my tuition fees and gain information on funding? Our Fees & Funding pages on our website contain all of the financial information that you’ll need to know as a new student to the University. You can find out about your tuition fees, the living costs of being a student, what bursaries are available and how to access student loans. http://www.napier.ac.uk http://www.napie r.ac.uk/study/fees-funding/Pag /study/fees-funding/Pages/Fees-funding.aspx es/Fees-funding.aspx
What would be a typical working week at Napier University? Typically you would have 12 contact hours within Typically within the university in a typical week. This would cover your 3 modules within a trimester. trimester. The general expectation is that for for every 1 hour a student spends in a lecture theatre/classroom environment they should continue with an additional 2 hours’ study in their own time. For example, if a module requires you to attend 3 hours of classes in a week then you should be prepared to work an additional 9 hours (minimum) on that module in your spare time. Remember – you get out what you y ou put in!
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Upcoming Events What?
Associate Student Open Day (1st Year)
Napier University Merchiston Campus
25th September 2014
Napier Open Day
Napier University Merchiston Campus
4th October 2014
Study Skills Sessions *Research Skills
Your College Campus
w/c 6th October 2014
Study Skills Sessions *Referencing Skills
Your College Campus
w/c 20th October 2014
Study Skills Sessions *Report Writing Skills
Your College Campus
w/c 27th October 2014
Drop-in Lectures 1st & 2nd Year
Napier University Merchiston Campus
3rd November 2014
Half-day Un University vi visit
Your Co College Ca Campus
w/c 24th November 2014
Questions & Suggestions: Debbie Meharg Lecturer & College Liaison School of Computing Edinburgh Napier University Merchiston Campus Edinburgh EH10 5DT 0131 455 2927 [email protected]
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