About the centre
The Academic and Skills Development Centre aims to improve the student experience by assisting with the transition to university and enhancing academic study skills.
The Centre has two principal functions; the first is to co-ordinate and manage a Student Mentor Scheme to first year undergraduates students coming to Cardiff University. The scheme is still relatively new to the University and currently has 6 participating schools. Broadly speaking it is an opt-out system whereby first year students are assigned a Mentor before they come to Cardiff. This allows Mentor and Mentee to meet in those first few weeks when assistance with orientation, fielding queries and establishing how the scheme operates can all take place. First year students who wish to opt-out of the scheme are permitted to do so. Mentors are assigned a group of mentees and they meet as a small group on a weekly basis to discuss academic, pastoral and transitional issues. All Mentors are given full training for and support in their role and work within the boundaries of that role and the regulations of the University. Although the role is a voluntary one Student Mentors appreciate the employability skills it gives them and consider it to be an enjoyable way to enhance those skills. Many Mentors also like the idea that they are "giving something back" and enjoy helping first years through some of the issues they themselves may have struggled with.
The Centre's second function is to provide academic and study skills classes to Cardiff University undergraduates. Although many first year students may have to adapt to new learning and teaching methods and so find the classes a valuable resource, continuing undergraduate students also find the classes useful as they strive for top grades and become increasingly aware of the standard of transcript and degree they want at the end of their time at university. The classes stretch across year groups and disciplines and are therefore dynamic and engaging. Students are expected to contribute to discussions and tasks often working in pairs or small groups. Names of those attending classes are not divulged to schools, hence the classes provide students with an open and impartial place to discuss academic queries and build on study skills.