Future Focus +
Supporting Adult Learners into Higher Education
Why is it needed?
There has been a significant decline in adult learners entering higher education and with an increasing unemployment rate, and a need for employees to up-skill and re-skill, the importance of ensuring adult learners are accessing higher education is at a high.
Adult learners are more likely to discontinue with their studies compared to their younger peers, and are less likely to achieve a first or a 2.1 in their degrees.
Adult learners are also more likely to be disabled, come from more deprived areas, or have caring responsibilities.
How it Works
Our programmes are focused on working with adult learners across the stages of the student life cycle where they appear to experience the most challenges:
Working with adult learners to identify and challenge barriers they experience when considering entering higher education.
Ensuring adult learners start their HE journeys with confidence and resilience.
Continuation & Attainment
Working with adult learners to overcome challenges that might lead to discontinuing with their studies and facilitating them to identify the support they want.
The Association for Coaching defines coaching as an intervention that provides a means of facilitated, dialogic and reflective choices to an individual (positively impacting the way they think and behave).
Coaching is non-directive, meaning the emphasis is on helping individuals identify their own resources and find their own answers and solutions. In this way, coaching differs considerably from interventions such as mentoring.
As coaches, we do not give our story, we do not share our opinions, nor do we give advice on how we or others have overcome obstacles or achieved outcomes. Our job is to facilitate individuals to find the answers that are right for them, drawing on the knowledge, strength, and experience that they already have.
This non-directive element of coaching means that the coachee is the agent of change. Seeing the progress made across a series of coaching sessions increases self-efficacy and confidence: with each step forward a coachee’s connection to their future possible self becomes stronger and more achievable, which in turn increases motivation.
A proven success rate
As highlighted in the review of evidence of the impact of interventions for widening access to HE by TASO and the Education Policy Institute, coaching interventions have been proven to be successful in increasing confidence, self-efficacy and achieving higher rates of HE engagement.
Our programme evaluation has shown that after completing our coaching programmes, coachees reported increased levels of confidence, resilience and self-efficacy. They also reported a greater sense of clarity and connection to the future they want and the careers they wish to pursue.
Coaching interventions have been proven to be successful in increasing confidence, self-efficacy and achieving higher rates of HE engagement.
Since 2010-11, the number of UK Undergraduate adult learners has decreased 19.2% (Office for Students, 2021)
When we are concerned about not being ‘good enough’ or ‘not fitting in’, we can become closed off to finding the solutions to more practical problems. Therefore it is important that adult learners are given the opportunity to address their mindset and limiting beliefs, so they can receive further information, advice and guidance from a more objective space.
Online study programme
Our online self-study programme facilitates adult learners to explore some of the limiting beliefs that stop them moving forward. The programme consists of a series of video, tools and workbooks, which cover a series of modules: which will support participants to:
Clarify and connect with their possible future-self.
Understand what ‘Imposter Syndrome’ is, and how to challenge it.
Re-frame previous stories and experiences of education.
Identify and challenge limiting beliefs that have been holding them back.
Examine the concept of ‘identity’, what labels we carry and how we change them.
The programme comprises of 6 core modules that participants can work through at their own speed. It is supported by an online community where the participants can access additional resources, post reflections, find peer support and get their questions answered. There is also the option to compliment the programme by providing one-to-one or group coaching.
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"I feel like I have more control over my life,
I can make the decisions that are right for me.
I am learning to trust my own judgment"