Or another possible title (Pilot - we're cooking on gas!)
It's been a seesaw of emotions today as we tried to find possible volunteers for the pilot. At the last meeting we mentioned that the numbers on the Foundation Degrees have been dropping (from 45 at the beginning of the year to 36 now!), and today we discovered that our pet student/employer were going the same way. We had been relying on the MIS data to tell us which students were paid for by their employers and we could only find one. We talked to the FD tutor today to ask if this employer might pilot for us only to find out, to our horror, that the student is likely to fail and be withdrawn!
But then we were told by the tutor not to rely on the data (so I take back everything I said at the last meeting about the state of our data). Our tutor Nick keeps records in an Excel spreadsheet of all of the students whose employer pays for their course. And then, bless him, he named the perfect candidate and his local architect employer, and he's going to see them next week, and he's going to ask them if they would be willing to take part in the pilot. So right now we are hoping for 1 pilot learner, 1 pilot tutor, and 1 pilot employer. We asked Nick to ask the employer if they would accept in principle and to reassure them that it would not be onerous. We told him that the pilot would run for a year and he reminded us that it will be a very short year since the semesters are only 12 weeks each.
Today we also started the data mining operation. We have meetings planned for Monday and Tuesday next week with the MIS data manager and with the Head of Quality & Curriculum who has overall responsibility for HE in FE. We are very hopeful that he will attend the next project meeting with us.