Student Learning Specialists Ana Bulavakarua (Laucala Campus) and Beneteta Raobati (Kiribati Campus).
Newly-appointed Student Learning Support specialist of The University of the South Pacific’s (USP) Kiribati Campus Ms Beneteta Raobati received intensive training in Student Learning Support (SLS) services from 31 May to 4 June 2016.
SLS specialist Ana Bulavakarua from the Faculty of Arts, Law and Education (FALE) in Laucala was at USP Kiribati Campus to conduct the training and facilitate academic skills workshops for students.
USP Kiribati Campus students during a paragraph-writing Academic Skills Workshop.
The creation of the SLS specialist position is aligned to Priority Area 2 – Student Support of USP’s Strategic Plan 2013 -2018: “The University will contribute to the success of its students by improving the quality of support services it offers the students… and offering a better experience to students, notably one that respects and promotes the Pacific consciousness and cohesiveness”.
Dean of the Faculty of Arts, Law and Education Dr Akanisi Kedrayate highlighted that providing SLS in all USP campuses is part of FALE’s plan.
“We have SLS specialists in USP Campuses in Vanuatu and Lautoka while the position in Solomon Islands is currently advertised. There is hope also for SLS specialists in Samoa and Tonga,” she said.
Dr Kedrayate stressed the need to provide SLS in the region and ensure the plan is promptly executed. There are also plans to continue facilitating focused workshops in campuses for students and SLS staff.
Mrs Bulavakarua believes it is imperative that individuals who are selected for a new position receive training, especially for those in regional campuses as they may be the only one in such positionS.
Further to this a total of 244 students at the Kiribati campus attended academic skills workshops on grammar, essay writing, time management, active reading, exam preparation, literature review, and online researching.
The evaluation of the workshops was positive, and the students were extremely grateful for the timely exam preparation opportunities.
Training included discussions on Peer Assisted Study Sessions (PASS); Senior Peer Mentoring Programme (SPMP); Academic Skill Workshops; Drop-in Services; Guest Lectures; Debate Series; and Student Seminar Series.
Mrs Bulavakarua said it was also an opportunity for the newly appointed SLS representative for the Kiribati campus’ Ms Raobati to receive training in this area.
She also noted that the study week is a great time to facilitate such workshops as students are lecture/tutorial-free to attend the sessions.
“It is also worth mentioning that the Kiribati students are very hard working, committed, and are sincerely grateful for these kinds of regional outreach,” she added.
Two students at the campus were selected and trained to be senior Peer Mentors and would begin with the mentoring programme in Semester 2, 2016.
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