OF THE UNDERGRADUATE STUDY PROGRAM
DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATIONAL AND SOCIAL POLICY
The Department of Educational and Social Policy invariably implements an Undergraduate Program Quality Policy designed on par with the most current developments as postulated globally within both Education and Labor Markets. Owing to this policy, the Department, over its twenty-plus years of academic operation, has achieved high standards of required qualifications provided to its graduates so that they can successfully address the needs and demands of the fields of Special Education and Adult Education. In effect, the Department of Education and Social Policy has been acknowledged and established among all stakeholders and parties as it has been involved in a multitude of challenges and actions undertaken within these two domains of critical social significance.
The goals of the Department are:
- To advance the disciplines of Lifelong Learning, Adult Education, as well as of Special Education for Individuals with Physical and/or Learning Disabilities and Special Educational Needs, through academic and applied teaching and research, optimal use of new technologies, and with due respect to the principles of cross-cultural education.
- To provide its students with educational and teaching / pedagogical proficiency.
- To equip graduates with knowledge, skills and competences for their successful scientific, professional career and development to be grounded in.
The Department of Educational and Social Policy adopts the Quality Strategy of the University of Macedonia, which constantly serves the community and the economy at the local, regional, and nation-wide as well as combined levels, through fostering the sciences and opening up its academic array to a broader disciplinary scope of economics, social and educational sciences and the arts. The department by definition pursues excellence along the lines of social sensitivity and inclusion, while cultivating an all-encompassing sense of education and culture within a dynamic and rapidly changing global environment. Quality Assurance procedures and goal-setting, recorded in the University’s Quality Handbook, undergo departmental case-by-case customization, whereby relevant, appropriate, or applicable, in collaboration with the University Quality Assurance Unit. All departmental Quality Assurance procedures are subject to review and revision held annually by the Internal Evaluation Committee and in collaboration with the Institution’s Quality Assurance Unit.
An annual evaluation report is drawn up based on the compilation of statistical data facilitated by the department secretariat. According to the Hellenic Agency for Quality Assurance and Accreditation, the Internal Report is a recurring participatory process reflecting and recording the current departmental state overall, featuring its strengths and weaknesses, formulating a judgment on the quality of performance against preset criteria and indices of common consent and general agreement. The intended objectives of the Policy are in particular as follows:
- Demonstrating a well-Informed factual account of the Department’s academic, scientific and social activities.
- Monitoring and refinement of services offered to the entirety of the Institution’s academic community by Department Members, be they teaching, research, technical and administrative personnel.
- Identifying areas in need of improvement and specifying reparative course of action.
By means of its bodies, boards and committees including the Internal Evaluation Committee (IEC) or the Board of Curriculum Design or the Erasmus+ Committee, the Department of Educational and Social Policy develops and implements suited quality assurance procedures applicable to its available services. In particular, as regards the inner workings of the IEC, as specified by rulings made by the Department General Assembly, the procedural components include:
A. End-of-semester standardized course-assessment questionnaire completed by enrolled students, and subsequent data processing.
B. Self-Inventory bulletin and taught-courses inventory bulletin completed by Research and Teaching Staff, and subsequent data processing.
C. Inventory of academic and research work, infrastructure, and assistive to administration personnel, and subsequent data processing.
Overall, the Department strategy involves the appointment of committees assigned to process an array of topics particular to the operation of the Department; such committees may include the Study Guide Committee, the Curriculum Committee, the Erasmus+ Committee, the Practicum Committee etc. For instance:
- The Curriculum Committee, on a yearly basis, updates the Undergraduate Study Programand monitors curricular course modifications in its advisory and assistive capacity. Hence, the Undergraduate Study Program is kept up-to-date pivoting on applied academic teaching, research and inquiry. In updating the program, the committee takes into account developments in scientific literature related to the department’s subject-specific interests, interdisciplinarity and emerging cutting-edge fields. It also keeps track of related studies at academic institutions both domestic and international.
- The Erasmus+ Committee commits itself to reinforcing Erasmus mobility; the Committee informs students of the prospects and supports them in pursuing the opportunities for study and/or internship at partner institutions abroad.
It is by decision of the general assembly that committees are appointed, whereby all Department members, i.e. Teaching and Research Staff, Special Technical Laboratory Staff, Special Teaching Staff, Administrative Staff, are involved and are assigned tasks within the scope of their work responsibilities respectively. For example, a member of the Teaching and Research Staff, one of the Special Technical Laboratory Staff and one of the Administrative Staff comprise the synthesis of the Study Guide Committee.
The target outcomes stemming from the Quality Policy of the Department are:
- High quality of studies into foundational and applied disciplinary knowledge specific to the field of the Department (in compliance with theEuropean and National Qualifications Framework), embedded in the spirit of humanism and solidarity especially towards target populations in need of special education and adult education expert pedagogical services.
- High quality educational process in the context of a student-centered approach ultimately looking to empower the students’ successful transition to the labor market.
- Customization of the educational process and field-of-study content to the specifications of the ever-changing scientific landscape of Special Education and Adult Education.
- High quality research, its dissemination to the community and society alike, followed by its impact assessment.
The objectives towards meeting the Quality Policy target outcomes are:
- Academic focus-on-quality, active student participation in scientific, research and social actions led by the Department.
- Compulsory student internship in Special Education School Units and Adult Education sectors.
- Program customization to the latest findings related to either one or both specializations of the Department and subsequent curricular course supplements.
- Academic publications of the Department faculty, in distinguished Greek and global scientific journals as well as encouragement of student participation, mainly postgraduate and doctoral, in conferences and student involvement in research projects encouraged by the Department.
- Department support for the participation of its faculty in national and international research conferences and / or projects.
- Collaboration between faculty members and organizations (special schools, adult education agencies, etc.) as well as social, cultural and productive agencies.
- Social contribution, for example in the form of public speeches delivered by the faculty to the community and the media addressing issues examined within the academic expertise of the department.