4S (Smart Student Support Scheme)

The Initative Team

Initiative Lead
Waterford Institute of Technology

Primary Contact
Peter McLoughlin

Initiative Budget


Initiative Type


This initiative is designed specifically in response to student feedback. It utilises the feedback themes outlined below from Waterford Institute of Technology survey data (studentsurvey.ie 2013-2020, QA3 2017-20) to target an area for improvement, to clearly demonstrate that the Institute is listening and acting on student opinions. A core element of the initiative is the use of data analytics to identify students at risk plus measure intervention impact.

• Teaching and Learning Theme:
Effective Teaching Practices and Learning Strategies (studentsurvey.ie)
This initiative will deliver a sustainable support infrastructure informed by data analytics to identify first year students who are at risk of leaving their programmes. The delivery of supports will be in small groups and enabled by academic staff, postgraduates and postdoctoral researchers.

• Learning environment:
Supportive Environment (studentsurvey.ie)
This initiative will, in a very targeted and practical way, provide a supportive learning environment for first year students. The small team approach plus the use of both face-to-face and online support will facilitate learner participation.

• Student-Faculty Interaction and Quality of Interactions (studentsurvey.ie)
This scheme will facilitate student interaction with a range of faculty in the School including academics, postdoctoral researchers and postgraduate students.

• Engagement:
Effectiveness of communication (QA3)
The initiative targets those in most need of support with an emphasis on enhancing communication with students. An engagement co-ordinator will meet with students identified through the use of analytics on a regular basis over the semester. These meetings will facilitate discussions on subject engagement but also enable a broader discussion on student needs.