Employer and University collaboration celebrate graduation success

dawnthompsonThe first students graduated from the Foundation Degree in Substance Misuse on 11 July, at Bangor University and the course has proven to be a real triumph.

This Foundation Degree builds on an existing partnership between Lifelong Learning and CAIS - a leading Drug and Alcohol Organisation in Wales and provides close employer participation and involvement.

The interesting cross section of students on this degree course come from a range of professions, together with the contemporary and sector relevant substance misuse curriculum, has created a unique and dynamic cultural and learning experience and has raised the bar of professionalism for those working in this sector.

Clive Wolfenden, Chief Executive of CAIS said:
“Substance misuse is one of the major social problems of our age.  CAIS is proud to have worked with Bangor University in the development of this important academic programme. We are also delighted that three of our own staff have graduated as part of the first cohort”

“The success of the programme seen today with its first graduates, can be attributed to the supportive partnership of both the employer and the university and also of the students themselves, in their mutual aim to create a qualitative higher education training and educational pathway for the substance misuse sector.” Said Sheila Hughes, Academic Co-ordinator.

Staff Nurse Denzil Forsyth-Grant from Wrexham was one of the first to enrol on the course in 2008. “I returned to education to develop and enhance my current knowledge base as well as improve my interpersonal skills in my present occupation. I also wanted to update to the current views and treatments that are being developed to help people with drug and alcohol issues. It is helpful in my continuing development as a healthcare professional and the knowledge and skills from the course will improve and enhance my day to day skills with clients on the unit.”

The programme will be of value to anyone currently working in the Substance Misuse field who may have practical experience but for whom the theoretical framework would allow them to enhance their knowledge and up-skill their practice. The development of the new post graduate module starting in October this year is a further step in this collaborative process.

It is also likely that people working within other sectors who have professional contact with substance misuse issues would also have an interest in accessing individual modules in the degree e.g. those working in education, health and social care professionals, police officers, probation services, personnel officers, social workers and voluntary workers.

To find out more please contact Lifelong Learning on 01248 383668 or visit the website www.bangor.ac.uk/ll.

Publication date: 14 July 2011