22 SES 08 B, Student Transitions and Graduate Employability
Heterogeneity is still the feature that best describes the orientation services at university in Europe and in Spain. There is a wide diversity in its name, organization and internal structure, dependency, instability of personnel and resource scarcity (Salmerón, 2001; Saúl, López-González & Bermejo, 2009; Valverde, Ruiz, García & Romero, 2003). Its institutionalization is characterized by the consolidation of orientation services and their consideration as a personal education process that implies long life activity. Empowerment, that is, personal growth that leads to the ability to confront constructively the control over one owns destiny, a change from choosing a career to building one (Marín & Rodríguez, 2001), is its main goal. It is focused on the establishment and development of University Information and Orientation Services (Servicios de Información y Orientación Universitaria- SIOU), which goal is the coordinated and systematic work in favor of students. Besides the SIOU, centered on providing information to secondary education students and reception of new students, and the COIE, which are directed to students in their last semesters or graduate students, other kind of Psycho Pedagogical Orientation Services are promoted. Some examples are the Psychological Attention Offices (Gabinetes de Atención Psicológica) or the Offices for the Attention of student Diversity (Oficinas de Atención a la Diversidad).
Nowadays, Spanish universities have information unities and most of the orientation services (Sanz, 2011). The principal tasks of these services are information about acceptance and enrolment, transfer of academic records and validations, internships and study organization. Frequent activities include reception of future students or those in their first semester, orientation about professional opportunities and support for handicapped students. There are two studies which show this: Saúl, López-González and Bermejo (2009) state that 68,9% (of 74 Spanish universities) include some kind of psychological orientation service. Its presence is higher in public universities (73%) than in private ones (60%). On the other hand, Sánchez et al. (2008) show heterogeneity in the name of the services and in the activities offered in 66 universities. This analysis confirms the difficulty to differentiate services centered on information activities from those focused on orientation activities. The same study shows that half of the universities (58%) have more than one orientation service, but in those cases they are not coordinated and do not collaborate.
In this context, the University Orientation Service (Servicio de Orientación Universitaria- SOU) at the Faculty for Education of the UCM, renews its activity in the year 2011-12 with more than two decades of experience. It offers information, training and guidance for students in order to assist their adaptation to university life, academic success and professional development. Its goal is to develop an involved and cooperative educational community in order to give answers to students’ needs. A radial and linked organization with six fields is created: information, mentoring, training, counseling, assessment and institutional relations (García, Carpintero, Biencinto y Núñez, in press). In the last year two more fields have been added: attention to diversity and ecology. Its challenge is to achieve the compromise and range of European services, which consist of a global university orientation, comprising academic, professional and personal areas (Watts & Van Esbroeck, 2000), integrated as transversal elements to university orientation projects.
Conscious of the importance of knowing the impact and perception their users have, an assessment of the offered services is proposed. This assessment is carried out by asking first semester students’ opinions as they are one of the core groups addressed by the SOU. Questions such as: do they know the service and its activities?, does it suit their needs?, what actions of the SOU would the improve?, are asked.
ARIAS, M., ÁLVAREZ, P., GARCÍA, M., CABRERA, J., MARTÍN, A. Y ROBAYNO, M. (2005). La tutoría como respuesta a las necesidades del alumnado universitario. Un estudio en el primer curso de enfermería de la ULL. Revista Española de Orientación y Psicopedagogía, 16 (2), 319-331. CARPINTERO, E., FONTANA, M., BIENCINTO, CH., DÍAZ, E. Y GARCÍA, M. (2013). Necesidades de los estudiantes universitarios: la respuesta del SOU. IV Seminario de la Red Interuniversitaria de Profesores de Orientación. La Laguna. GARCÍA, M., CARPINTERO, E., BIENCINTO, CH. Y NÚÑEZ, C. (en prensa). Evaluación del proyecto SOU-estuTUtor. Revista Complutense de Educación. GONZÁLEZ, M., GUZMAN, R., SÁNCHEZ, J. Y GONZÁLEZ, D. (2006). Estudiantes discapacitados en la universidad: percepción sobre las respuestas a sus necesidades educativas. Qurriculum, 19, 173-188. MARÍN, M. A. Y RODRÍGUEZ, S. (2001). Prospectiva del diagnóstico y la orientación. Revista de Investigación Educativa, 19 (2), 315-362. SALMERÓN, H. (2001). Los Servicios de Orientación en la Universidad. Procesos y desarrollo. Ágora digital, 2. SÁNCHEZ GARCÍA, M.F., GUILLAMÓN FERNÁNDEZ, J. R., FERRER SAMA, P., VILLALBA VÍLCHEZ, E., MARTÍN CUADRADO, A. M. Y PÉREZ GONZÁLEZ, J. C. (2008). Situación actual de los Servicios de Orientación Universitaria: estudio descriptivo. Revista de Educación, 345, 329-352. SANZ, G. (2011). X Encuentro de los Servicios de Información y Orientación Universitarios. Prospectiva y análisis de los SIOU. Síntesis de resultados. Oviedo RUNAE-SIOU http://www.um.es/documents/1452701/1464662/prospectiva-siou.pdf/2b49a7f3-d50f-4f52-94c1-de4e6be35518 SAÚL, L.A., LÓPEZ-GONZÁLEZ, M.A. Y BERMEJO, B.G. (2009). Revisión de los servicios de atención psicológica y psicopedagógica en las universidades españolas. Acción psicológica, 6 (1), 17-40. VALVERDE, A.; RUIZ DE MIGUEL, C.; GARCÍA, E. Y ROMERO, S. (2003). Innovación en la orientación universitaria: la mentoría como respuesta. Contextos educativos, 6-7, 87-112. WATTS, A.G. Y VAN ESBROECK, R. (2000). New skills for new futures: a comparative review of higher education guidance and counselling services in the European Unión. International Journal for the Advancement of Counselling, 22, 173-187.
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