Mark Howland is the Learning Support Manager at University for the Creative Arts (UCA) in Canterbury.
His career in art education included teaching and management in universities and colleges, as well as teaching students with SEND.
Mark works as part of a wider support team based in Gateway Services, the central point for all student services at UCA.
Here we find out a little more about Mark’s role:
“As the Learning Support Manager at UCA, I want students to know that the team’s aim is to provide the specific support each student needs to help them succeed and importantly, to become more independent in managing their studies. Support is individual to each student, and the support they had in place previously at school or college does not stop because they arrive at university; in fact, quite the opposite happens.
Students can access learning and wellbeing support at any time on their course. Many students benefit from contacting UCA for support before they arrive. This helps students have support in place before they start and can also help secure student accommodation, support Disabled Student Allowance (DSA) applications, and to start preparing support plans and annual reviews for those with an EHCP.
The wider support team at UCA is a super-friendly, knowledgeable, and incredibly supportive team of professionals. The support team includes Inclusion Assistants, Librarians, Dyslexia Advisors, wellbeing staff and counsellors, Student Finance Advisors, specialist dissertation support and Careers Advisors.
Within my role, I often use my previous classroom and management experience to work with academic colleagues creating differentiated course resources to meet the needs of as many students as possible.
An example of this was working with our dyslexia advisor to produce a series of support videos on how to use artists’ research effectively with examples of students’ work. Working with the dyslexia specialist and the support team, we made sure that the formal language of art and design was explained in an accessible way for all students and in particular, our autistic students, who benefit from the clear use of direct and unambiguous language.
Many support materials are available on the university course web pages, often including videos of technical workshops, artists’ research and lectures to help students access and revisit content.
Working with a wide range of neurodiverse and disabled students at UCA and seeing them succeed on a daily basis is definitely the most rewarding aspect of this role for me.”