What is the SET Model?

This page provides an overview of the model and how to map it against different lengths of study.

The Student Experience Transitions Model is a framework that ‘interlinks’ academic, welfare and support activities at faculty/department/school/course and university level to support the student throughout their university journey. It helps Practitioners navigate through the maze of student diversity across all levels of study determining what to deliver, how to deliver it and to whom.

The Student Experience Transitions Model is made up of six stages and five themes.

The six stages of the model are:

  • First Contact and Admissions
  • Pre-arrival
  • Arrival and Orientation
  • Induction to Study
  • Reorientation and Reinduction
  • Outduction

The five themes in the model are:

  • Curriculum and Assessment
  • Pedagogy
  • Support
  • Finance
  • Employment

The flexibility of my model is that it provides a framework within which colleagues can use other specific theoretical models. For example, managing student integration throughout the SET model is a requirement so Tinto’s ‘Student Integration Model Revisited’ can function within the framework (Tinto, 2012). Within the Pedagogy theme, colleagues can use Race’s ‘Ripples on a Pond Learning Model’ within each stage (Race, 2010).

Which students does it apply to?

The Model can be applied to any student whether they are studying part-time or full time; on a distance or work-based learning course; studying at a partner institution; undertaking an undergraduate, taught postgraduate or PGR degree or studying for a one or two year qualification at university.

Practitioners need to make sure that these stages are mapped to the length of a student’s anticipated study time and that each stage links to the next one. All students must undergo every stage regardless of the level at which they enter. I use the term ‘level’ instead of ‘year’ in the SET Model as I feel that it more accurately describes the position of the student in their academic study. A student maybe in their second year at University but still studying at Level 1 because they are a part-time student. All students will undertake the stages of First Contact and Admissions, Pre-Arrival, and Arrival and Orientation at the same time. The Introduction to Study at University (referred to as Induction to Study hereafter), Reorientation, Reinduction and Outduction stages will be mapped to the length of the course (see below).

Example one – A student on a one year course

A student on a one year course will complete Introduction to study by the end of semester 1 or term 1; undertake Reorientation at the start of semester 2 or term 2; Reinduction through semesters 2 and 3  and will start Outduction just after the start of semester 2 or the beginning of term 3.

Example two – A student on a three year full-time degree

A student undertaking a full-time degree consisting of three academic levels over a three year period, will undertake Introduction to study during Level 1; Reorientation at the start of Levels 2 and 3; Reinduction during Levels 2 and 3 and start Outduction midway through Level 2 and complete it in Level 3. 

Example three – A direct entry student into Level 2

A student entering Level 2 as a direct entry student will undertake Arrival and Orientation alongside Reorientation with the students who have progressed into Level 2. Their Introduction to study will run alongside or be incorporated with Reinduction activities aimed at returning students.

The knowledge and skills gained by students in each stage should be carried over to the next. It is essential that colleagues are aware of what should have been gained and achieved in the previous stage and ensure that it is linked to the presently undertaken stage.

Who manages the SET Model?

In my experience, students tend to identify with their home unit (where their subject ‘lives’) when applying for a course or studying at university. Students tend to identify with the university after graduation unless they have undertaken a professional degree such as law or medicine the graduate. They continue to identify with their home unit. The home unit acts as a first port of call in the provision of academic, welfare and support (e.g. Student Support Officers, Course Administrators and Academic Personal Tutors). The home unit acts as a gatekeeper referring students on to other key central university services when necessary. As a result, it is important that the home unit is key in managing the Student Experience Model. For students, SET provides a map for their study journey knowing what each level of study will entail.