Engaging Alumni at Newcastle Sixth Form College

Mark Carton, Marketing Manager at Newcastle Sixth Form, tells us about working with Future First and engaging their alumni community.

Newcastle Sixth Form College is a state of the art £23m facility dedicated to A levels in the heart of Newcastle City Centre. We offer a broad range of A Levels and Access to Level 3 qualifications, and work with students across the region from Teesside to North Northumberland with a focus on clear career progression into HE, Degree Apprenticeships and Employment.

Each year we have opportunities for former students to come back and share their experiences with current students. We wanted to see if we could track the destinations of our students beyond university and HE into employment to see what the eventual career paths of our former students were. The Future First portal provides an organised, slick and professional means to engaging with former students and arranging those opportunities for them to return to their old school.

We are just about to hit a milestone of 100 former students signing up for the network. We have built the network through engaging e-marketing activities and social media posts. The network will offer us an amazing opportunity to build a bridge between existing and former students. We run HE events throughout the year, and often bring a large number of universities to speak at our events; we will be able to complement this by inviting former students who are currently experiencing university and HE whose insights and experience will be invaluable for our existing students.

We have always had a clear focus on progression and destinations for our students. The alumni network will offer us an opportunity to show that this progression is real, and provide an authentic voice to the concept that studying at NSFC can lead to a positive HE outcome, and career development.

We are holding our first event on 26th June, featuring alumni members in a speed dating style event for existing students to meet and chat with former students. We are also looking into having an ‘alumni representative’ on our board at the college which would be a significant opportunity for a former student to apply for and have an impact on the future development of the whole college. Over the next academic year, we want to invite alumni back as guest speakers, and mentors for our various creative writing, computing and business related outreach programmes for 2020.