Tracey Ford-McNicol and Dawn Kirby - Winner Inclusive College Award

Fife College is celebrating after winning four prestigious awards at the College Development Network (CDN) Awards 2018 held in Glasgow on Thursday, 25 October.

The College was delighted to be overall winner in the Inclusive College Award Category and receive Highly Commended awards in three categories; Essential Skills, Marketing and Communications and Student of the Year.

The CDN Awards celebrate the talent, skills and achievements of colleges, their staff and learners from across Scotland, as well as giving an opportunity to showcase the innovation that exists within the sector.

The College was particularly pleased to win the Inclusive College award where it uses assistive technology to empower its learners and remove barriers to their learning. Over the last year, the College’s Supported Learning team have incorporated more course work onto the iLearn and ePortfolio platforms, which the college students use to support and facilitate their studies. All potential full-time college students undertake a year-long part-time programme called New Directions while they are still at school during which time, the team look to upskill and promote independence by teaching them about assistive technology.

Tracey Ford-McNicol, Director of Community and Supported Learning and Dawn Kirby Lecturer in Supported Learning were presented with the Inclusive College Award by award sponsor, SCQF. 

Said Tracey: “We are absolutely thrilled to receive this award on behalf of the great work carried out by our Supported Learning Team. Our assistive technology initiative is a fantastic project which is helping us achieve our goal – to showcase our students’ abilities over their disabilities.

This award recognises Fife College as an institution that practises inclusiveness to advance equality and promote diversity.

“It is wonderful to be recognised for this amongst our peers and we are looking forward to developing our work to further enhance opportunities for our students at Fife College.”

One of the key awards of the night was Student of the Year and Fife College was delighted to see its very own Carol Hunter, former student and now Fife College Students’ Association President for Education and Representation pick up Highly Commended.

Carol, who is care experienced, received her award in recognition of her dedication, drive and passion in her roles as Women’s Officer, Care Experienced Officer, volunteer with the Fife College Students’ Association (FCSA) and in her work with the Boards of both Fife College and the Adam Smith Foundation. Carol was recognised in particular for the fantastic work she has carried out on behalf of the College’s students and in particular those from a care experienced background.

Fife College’s Highly Commended award in the Essential Skills category was for its MathsLab – a pioneering new approach to improving numeracy skills in Fife.

Working in partnership with local high school, Levenmouth Academy, the Fife College project aims to close the attainment gap in Levenmouth by improving maths skills in a fun and welcoming environment.

Courses aimed at children and adults are transforming public attitudes to maths and numeracy – improving not only their numeracy skills, but also their self-confidence and future employment prospects.

The Highly Commended Marketing and Communications award recognises the College’s targeted campaign to ensure the success of the Flexible Workforce Development Fund (FWDF).

This fund was launched by the Scottish Government a year ago to provide levy-paying firms with up to £10,000 of funding to meet their staff development needs.

Fife College was by far the most successful operator of the scheme providing tailored packages of funded training using a marketing campaign using organic social media posts, highly targeted business to business activity and business breakfasts – breaking its target by over 25%.

Hugh Hall, Principal of Fife College, is delighted with the four award wins and said: “What an amazing evening – to be so successful in four award categories is a great achievement and recognises the continued drive of Fife College to provide a first class learning experience for all.

“I would like to congratulate all of the staff involved in these projects which are widening opportunities for our students, ensuring they benefit from the latest skills that mirror the needs of industry and in turn improve the Scottish economy.”