Staff:Student Consultative Committee

Staff:Student Consultative Committee (SSCC)… Make your experiences work for you

Would you like your voice and the voice of your fellow students be heard?  Would you like to have a say in your module, course and the environment in which you study.

Why not put your name forward to stand on the Staff:Student Consultative Committee.  All students are entitle to stand and are elected on annually.

If you want to gain experience of democratic structures, governance arrangements, committee work and debating, membership of the SSCC is an ideal choice.  The Learning Development Service offers formal training sessions for course reps that will hone and consolidate these skills and will assist in accreditation to Degree Plus.  Attendance at statutory meetings and meetings of any sub-committee of the SSCC to which members are elected is required.

Queen’s places a high value on the feedback provided by students about quality of the education they receive.  Course representatives on Staff:Student Consultative Committees (SSCC) are just one means Queen’s uses to gather feedback from students.  The student reps themselves play a vital role in the process and procedure and their participation is fundamental to the success of these feedback and representation mechanisms.

The SSCC may be School-wide or there may be separate ones for different subject areas.  An SSCC is made up of equal numbers of academic staff and students, with the course reps being elected by fellow students early in the first semester each year.  SSCC allow students to give feedback about programmes they are being taught, encourage the quick resolution of problems and give students a sense of involvement with the management of their programme.  There is however considerable variation across the institution in terms of the organisation and operation of SSCCs.  A SSCC – Course Rep Handbook has been written Staff:Student Consultative Committee (SSCC) handbook here. The handbook aims to assist in good practices in relation to SSCCs and students representation across the University. 

The reasons for SSCCs are:

  • Facilitate open and transparent elections rather than selecting reps or canvassing for volunteers.  This will require organisation but will enhance the profile of the role and the consultation process.
  • Encourage student reps to publicise themselves and get themselves known by their student peers.
  • Allow for meeting time either within a core module on the programme or at the start or end of a session so that student reps can discuss issues, canvas opinion or make announcements.

As a course rep you will have opportunities to develop the skills graduate employers are looking for – these include leadership and diplomacy, communication skills, problem-solving, team-working, negotiation, lobbying, advocacy, report writing , presentation and public speaking and committee skills.  You will also be able to demonstrate to employers that you have interest outside of your degree programme, that you are motivated, responsible and interest in helping improve things for others.

Business and organisational skills which will be learnt during the period of course rep are:

  • Being aware of organisational culture, policies and procedures and processes
  • Ability to communicate (orally and in writing) within a formal context.

Profession attributes/attitudes which include

  • use of transferable key skills such as the ability to work with others in a team or committee, to communicate (both orally and in writing) in terms of preparing motions, reports or submissions, ability to influence, negotiate and resolve conflict
  • displaying interpersonal sensitivity, global and cultural awareness, moral and ethical awareness and being able to adjust behaviour accordingly, in order to ensure that the business of Council is conducted in an appropriate and respectful environment
  • demonstrating confidence and motivation to start and to finish the job and, adaptability/flexibility, creativity, initiative, leadership, decision-making and negotiation.

For further information contact your school.