Universitat Jaume I (SPAIN)
About this paper:
Appears in: INTED2018 Proceedings
Publication year: 2018
Pages: 7587-7593
ISBN: 978-84-697-9480-7
ISSN: 2340-1079
doi: 10.21125/inted.2018.1798
Conference name: 12th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 5-7 March, 2018
Location: Valencia, Spain
The Public Management and Administration (PMA) degree at the Universitat Jaume I (Castellon, Spain) (UJI) completed the first four years’ cycle, from 2011-2012 to 2015-2016; and, in 2018, it will be evaluated by the National Agency for Quality Assessment and Accreditation. This Bologna treaty degree is structured in four years with a total of 240 European Credit Transfer System credits following the Spanish statute law. The PMA curriculum is mainly focused on training professionals in the civil service and public sector, from local administrations, through the national administration, to European and world public organizations. However, the PMA graduates can perfectly develop their professional career in the private sector. The PMA annual offer of academic slots for new students is 70.

Since 2010, the UJI started the University Tutorial Action Program (UTAP –PATU in Spanish for “Programa de Acción Tutorial Universitario”) for first-year students in a few degrees as a pilot experience of institutional mentoring. The main objectives of the program are the following:
(1) To facilitate the incorporation of new students;
(2) To provide resources for autonomous learning and involvement in participation within the UJI;
(3) to identify those aspects that may be interfering in the academic development of the students and channel them; and
(4) to inform on organizational and operational aspects of the UJI. This initiative is a voluntary participation by first-year students.

Since 2012, the UTAP was introduced in the PMA degree. Therefore, the UTAP adherence average in the period 2012-2013 to 2016-2017 has been around a 60% of the total new academic enrollments, following a negative trend. The current academic year, 2017-2018, is a singularity because only the 4% of the first year students are participating in the UTAP.

The UTAP began in the 2012-2013 academic year with a very simple structure: a coordinating teacher-tutor and first-year students’ volunteers, all of them directed and supervised by academic guidance technicians of the UJI Educational Support Unit (UJI-ESU). In that same period, it was found that the student-tutor communication did not work very well due to the reluctance of students to raise their issues to a teacher. Then, in the following period, the figure of student-tutor was introduced in the program as an intermediary between the first-year student and the coordinating teacher. This figure is carried out by second to the fourth-year students, belonging to the same age group, who can transmit their experience in the grade to the newcomers. In the annual evaluations it has been proven that this last structure works better and the student-tutor communication is much more fluid.

Our objective in this work is to make a historical and critical review of the application of the UTAP in the degree in comparison with the rest of the UJI degrees where it has been implemented. Therefore, it is intended to identify weaknesses and strengths of the program in relation to the evolution of the enrollment of new students in each academic year and with the annual self-evaluation of the degree.
Public Management and Administration Degree, University Tutorial Action Program, Historical and Critical Review.