Issue 3: September, 2016
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A/Prof Sarah O’Shea | | | | @Uni_FiF

Those Journeying With Us:
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FiF student experience - From the ground up
Exploring ways to foreground first-in-family ‘voices’ within the university community has been part of my OLT Fellowship. In enacting this, I have been lucky enough to have been included in the UOW SALT program (SALT = Student Ambassadors for Learning and Teaching). This program is designed for university staff and learners to work in partnership on key teaching and learning issues. To this end, PhD candidate, Lisa has agreed to work alongside me, focussing particularly on developing AV resources that showcase not only FiF students but also, FiF academics and university staff members read more here

University is not as daunting...
The Grandmother of a school student made this reflection in research that I have been conducting with the parents / caregivers of future university students, concerning respondents’ perceptions and understandings about university. The data from this research has contributed to the completion of resources on how to engage with the extended family and network of learners read more here 

Supporting and retaining the first-in-family online student cohort
In August, we welcomed 'guest blogger' Dr. Cathy Stone: Online learning has become a well-recognised part of the broader landscape of higher education. It is also proving to have a critical place in widening access and equity within this landscape. Increasing numbers of students from backgrounds historically under-represented at university are taking the opportunity to study online, particularly through open-entry and alternative pathways, with many of these learners being the first in their family or community to undertake university studies read more here 

Supporting FiF students - Without a map

Not having a ‘map’ or guide when you arrive at university certainly can have significant repercussions for the HE journey, not only in the initial stages of study but also as learners move through their degrees read more here


*  More resources targeting the family / community of learners are being made available; this is in recognition of a need to better build upon ‘family capital’ and recognise it as a key resource rather than a deficit or lack.

*  Recognising how decisions to attend HE are often embedded within family biographies but underscored by little ‘insider knowledge’ of this HE structure, goes some way to explain why this cohort may consider early departure. 

Quotable Quotes
What do others say?


Students with parents that didn’t go to college don’t have that person they can call when they have a question. They have no map. That child is lost.                                
New, J 2014
The Opposite of Helicopter Parents


If you would like to be involved in the program of activities, then please register your interest with National Teaching Fellow, A/Prof Sarah O’Shea. Sarah can work with HE institutions to develop mentoring opportunities, provide workshop sessions or partner in activities.


National Forum Program Details Finalised:

The program for the Forum Conversations about retaining and engaging FiF students has now been finalised, have a look here to see both the invited speakers and also, the Lightening Presentations on Best Practice.

We promise you a very diverse and interesting few days but please register as places are filling up fast! 

24th – 25th November 2016, University of Wollongong


I hope you have enjoyed the third newsletter for this OLT Fellowship on Engaging and Retaining First-in-Family Learners - if you would like to read previous newsletters then please have a look here.

The Fellowship comes to an end in December 2016 and I am busy finalising a range of resources for the family and community of FiF learners as well as an outreach toolkit for equity practitioners. These are all in the final design stages so check back over the coming months here and perhaps take the family quiz or test  your knowledge of university language and terminology! 

Follow this link for more about this project. Also, don’t forget to register your interest for program activities, or if you would like to share examples of best practice you can email me.

Warm regards, Sarah

Copyright © *2016* *First-in-Family*, All rights reserved.

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