Better orientation navigation with Compas

Starting in the first half of 2022, the UM will recruit and train student ambassadors each year to work with local high school students, helping them to better prepare their career plans. This initiative is part of the Compas program run by Université Paul-Valéry Montpellier 3 and the Rectorat.

" Student ambassadors are the best way to reach out to high school students, because they experience their years of study first-hand and, with the right training, are able to explain their university experience as honestly as possible," explains François Mirabel, Director of the SCUIO-IP and Dean of the Faculty of Economics. With this in mind, the University of Montpellier will be recruiting and training 100 students each year to advise and support local high school students in their choice of career path. " For this first year, we are recruiting 20 students from the UM, rising to 30 next year. The remaining 70 will come from other establishments ", explains the director.

A better transition from high school to university

This action was inspired by that already put in place a few years ago, for first-year health studies, after the SCUIO-IP noted the lobbying of private health prep schools among high school students. "This was a real factor of social inequality, which also undermined the effectiveness of the free tutoring available at the UM, which often produces better results than those obtained by students in private prep schools. The UM will be extending this initiative to all courses at all higher education establishments involved in the Compas project.

Compas, for "constructing and maturing your project for access to higher education ", is a new guidance system for high-school students, run by the Université Paul-Valery Montpellier 3 and the Rectorat, in association with the universities of Montpellier, Nîmes and Perpignan, the Ecole Supérieure d'Architecture, the Ecole des Mines d'Alès and the 8 networks comprising the 127 high-schools in the Académie. This 10-year project, drawn up as part of the third phase of the "PIA 3" future investment program, has been awarded a budget of 5.6 million euros to achieve its objectives. " The central point is to improve efficiency in terms of guidance and to have a more refined and better structured relationship with high school students, head teachers, guidance counselors, etc." continues François Mirabel.

Greater efficiency for greater equality

Ultimately, the aim is to achieve greater equality for all high school students. Social equality by providing better information on existing aid schemes. Territorial equality by reaching out to the most remote high schools, if necessary with the help of digital technology. Equality between men and women, by deconstructing gender stereotypes that are still too influential in career choices. " Every student needs to find a purpose in his or her study project, so that he or she can plan for life as a student and for his or her future professional life.

To achieve this equality, each partner has offered to carry out one or more actions. "The one we are carrying out requires a significant investment, which we are happy to provide," emphasizes François Mirabel, whose department will be responsible for recruiting and training students."Theywill also be asked to produce a short video to " build up a library of testimonials for high school students over the years ". The director is even considering the introduction of a certification scheme to enhance the value of this training.

9 actions, 5 players

Paul Valéry, for its part, is proposing the production of 1,000 portraits of SHS LLA* students, as well as immersion and exchange experiences with virtual visits to establishments and "Direct-Live de l'orientation". The rectorat, which is responsible for monitoring the career paths of high-school students, will also be training and equipping guidance mediators, and setting up a digital workspace dedicated to guidance for high-school students.

While the University of Perpignan has chosen to focus on the fight against discrimination, the University of Nîmes will be responsible for the educational continuum between high school and university. A real necessity for François Mirabel, who deplores the lack of exchange between secondary and higher education " on what students expect in terms of prerequisites, aptitudes and knowledge when they enter university. Working methods, autonomy, time management... All these elements need to be discussed between teaching teams. " The LIRDEF, LAGAM and Cereq, three partner laboratories in the project, will be responsible for evaluating the actions, " an essential step to enable us to evolve, and one which must be carried out in a scientific and autonomous manner" concludes François Mirabel.

*Humanities and social sciences, languages, literature and the arts.