To meet the evolving needs of employers, South Eastern Regional College (SERC) developed and embedded a project based learning (PBL) model within Catering and Hospitality.
SERC’s innovative model comprises three interlinked mechanisms: a 12-stage PBL process facilitating multi-level and interdisciplinary working; a two-week student ‘Enterprise Experience’ of real world challenges with potential to develop into student companies; and investment in teacher training through intensive workshops and pedagogy peer mentoring.
The greatest impact has been on the students’ skills development. The initiative has facilitated better workplace preparation through active engagement; employability, professional knowledge and technical skills development; learning from working with students from different qualification levels and curriculum areas; and increased confidence through interaction with employers, experts and the public.
The model implemented within Catering and Hospitality is embedded college-wide. Over 300 full-time teachers have received training, with 78 programmes receiving pedagogy mentoring; and all full-time learners are challenged with PBL scenarios during the ‘Enterprise Experience’ which are linked to the curriculum and often run for the academic year.
SERC’s PBL approach has inspired the students to develop employer critical transversal skills, and has benefitted the teachers, the college, employers and the community.