What PATs do
PATs are a member of the university's academic teaching staff, support staff or Learning Centre manager. It is normally expected that a PAT would be educated to at least one SCQF level above their module responsibility or be a member of the Higher Education Academy or hold a TQFE or equivalent qualification. Some university partners may not be able to provide PATs with these qualifications and if this is the case academic the partner may be asked to confirm a PAT is sufficiently experienced in providing academic support to students.
PATs are often:
- A member of academic staff, support staff or Learning Centre manager acting as a PAT for a number of students who are studying a number of subjects. This is often the case in smaller Academic Partners who provide HAP facilities for a number of students but are not directly responsible for teaching the courses. In the latter instance signposting students to programme leaders for specific academic queries may be required.
- Lecturers on the students programme in question or a related subject area.
Whilst a PAT will often be a subject expert in their students' programme of study a PAT is not expected to bring that subject expertise to bear for all modules on the course. When subject specific questions arise, the PAT's agreed responsibility is to refer the student to the Module Leader, co-deliverer or Programme Leader if appropriate. A PAT's responsibility tends to fall into four broad areas of student support:
- Academic advice to students
- Signposting and referral
- Online module selection
- Student withdrawal
The following sections will look at each of these areas in turn and provide guidance and resources for you and for the students you provide support to.
Erika Sutherland, MLitt Archaeological Studies at the Orkney College UHI campus