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How we’re working with adult learners

How we’re working with adult learners

We recently published a blog about our new pre-16 programme with schools, so this time we’re focusing on the other end of the age scale: our adult learners.

For the most part, we’re an organisation that helps young people to make confident and informed decisions. But that’s not to say we exclusively work with young people. Mentoring can benefit people at any age and at any stage in their journey, which is why we created a programme with Make Happen to provide inspiring mentors to adult learners.

Make Happen, a Uni Connect based at the University of Essex, worked with colleges in the local area to recruit adult learners. We identified that the mentors must be adult learners themselves – or have experience of adult learning – and used our existing pool of over 4,000 volunteers to find them.

The aim of the project was to help adult learners transition to their next steps after college, whether that’s university or a career. We found that the learners, aged between 21 and 41, asked for more emotional support than young people, as they already have the research skills to find information for themselves.

The things they wanted support on were:

  1. Advice about imposter syndrome
  2. Balancing family life and full-time study
  3. Fitting in with younger students

Mentees and mentors engaged well on the project and Make Happen felt it was a success. The adult learners appreciated having someone to work with and saw the mentoring conversations as a help, not a chore.

Here are some snippets from conversations between mentees and mentors on our platform:

“What you said about preparing to study again is a really good point, I will try to adjust to looking into study tactics and also the courses you sent me will be really good to get me up to scratch! Thank you.”

“I am glad you have experienced a long course as its good to see how it’s been going for you! Yes I am sure it will be an amazing experience and all worth it at the end!”

The learners who responded to the evaluation all recorded a positive change in knowing what to expect from student life and being motivated and excited to start higher education.

Find out more about the different types of programmes we run here.

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