A study center with the aim of giving you access to and completing your studies
TExAS is a study center that for several years has worked on the model Supported Education, a working method with the aim of providing the conditions for people with neuropsychiatric functional variations and/or mental illness to qualify for, be integrated into and complete studies at secondary school, VUX, folk high school or College/University.
TExAS started as a learning project to find optimal individual study support for people with neuropsychiatric functional variations (NPF) and/or mental illness. TExAS Study Center is located in Urkraft’s premises on Campus Skellefteå and wants to improve the opportunities for the target group to qualify for and complete studies at different levels. This is done in the form of a customized study environment with associated support in close collaboration with various educational organizers.
It is extremely important that you as a participant are involved in the process and we always start from what the individual needs, not what others think he needs. We have seen that there is a tendency to over-dimension the efforts when, in fact, much less support is sufficient – only the right support is provided. Too much help and support where it is not needed is as inhibitory as too little support, and too much effort can sometimes have the opposite effect. In this context, it is also very important that the support is offered directly when requested, not two months later.
The idea of the project was a common learning in the process of arriving at what an open study aid should look like. After working on this for a few years, it became clear that Supported Education is the model that confirmed our experiences. European Minds conducted an evaluation and final report after the project continued for about 3 years, interviewing both participants and staff at TExAS, training organizers and other collaborative partners. What you could see was that the need for this support was greater than you thought, and the following success factors:
- The individuals in the target group can complete their studies if they receive just the right support.
- Collaboration produces results.
- It is important that the school responds quickly and offers support. To think that there is a possible solution.
- It is important for the target group not to have to “queue”, they must know that it is possible to arrange.
- It is important to have openness, individuals can always come.
- It is important to be able to offer a different environment than the school environment.
- It is important to be able to offer lessons in smaller groups or even individually.
- The importance of individual support, to call home, visit, support, message, email.
- The proximity to the campus makes it easier.
- Knowledge and experience from the work in TExAS can be applied in our own operations.
- Greater knowledge of the educators about the disability and that there are possible solutions/techniques.
Collaboration has been a key factor in TExAS. Good relationships and collaboration with, among other things, Vux, secondary schools and other educational providers as well as with Attention, the Social Insurance Office, support and habilitation, psychiatry and study guidance have made the support both smoother, less time-consuming and helped the students to create better control over their own study situation.
Other factors that have been highlighted are the importance of openness, that you are always welcome to us, individual support in the form of SMS, conversation and time with supervisors as well as proximity to Campus and a vibrant study environment. It is also important that people who are thinking about studying are welcome to prepare for the studies, as many have had negative school experiences in the past. The idea is more to create a safe study environment that is not characterized by the school as an institution, with the possibility of being able to study in groups or individually in study rooms. Many of the participants also have a need to structure their studies and need to set up short-term goals, for example in the form of weekly schedules. The structure also includes the continuity, that you can always book time with a supervisor to constantly follow up and feel that you are in control of your studies.
TExAS Study Center as a project went on between 2012-2014 with ESF support, but has today been implemented as ordinary operations at Urkraft. Together we have created an accessible study environment for students with NPF and mental illness and a way to reach people who stay at home. The study center has since 2018 been a collaboration between Urkraft and Skellefteå municipality.
There is also an interest from other places of study to share our experiences. We at TExAS have received visits and calls from people who want to know more and hear how we work together and we have also participated in various forums to share our experience.
Want to know more about TExAS Study Center? You are always welcome to us at Urkraft! We are located on the Campus area in Skellefteå (House K) or contact us by mail or telephone.