Rooted in engagement and equality College Connect are leading the way in Community Needs Analysis (CNA). This style of research is peer-led and gives ownership to the community at the centre of the research.

In 2019 College Connect carried out an action research project with the Pathways Education Centre for Prisoners and Former Prisoners. The aim was to find out how to better support people with previous convictions to progress to college. A group of former students from Pathways, supported by the College Connect researcher Sarah Meaney, conducted a CNA with people with previous convictions.

 “This was exciting because it was peer-led research, so the team from Pathways brought their knowledge and expertise and my job was to support that and to help communicate what they found out.” Sarah Meaney, Researcher at College Connect

College Connect uses creative and art based approaches to inform the research. This includes visual art and the spoken word. This approach provides a powerful way for people to communicate their personal stories in their own words.

These are stories that highlight the College Connect ethos, that college is for anyone and that opening alternative access routes to college has the power to change lives.