How can we help long-term students (students exceeding the specified course duration) rediscover their self-esteem? The umpteenth resit of an exam and an ever increasing study backlog have a devastating effect on a student's self-confidence. In collaboration with the Inclusive Education research group, we have initiated the PowerHouse project to develop active learning communities in which educationally vulnerable students learn to overcome their limitations.
An important objective of the Sustainable Talent Development research group is inclusiveness: Talent Development4all. To develop inclusive learning environments which result in the professional and personal growth of all those involved. In the PowerHouse project, long-term students have been able to strengthen their social, cultural and psychological capital. With much greater self-confidence than they had at the start of the project, the students were able to graduate and enter the job market.
The project, which has now been completed, has had an impact on the entire University of Applied Sciences — and it continues to do so. After all, its results have been included in three publications, of which especially the book “PowerHouse, the road to symbolic mastery” is important for every lecturer in universities of applied sciences education who works with long-term students. This project garnered a lot of publicity, both within the Netherlands and abroad. In 2016, for example, it received an award for innovative knowledge and information sharing at the European Access Network Conference in Dublin.