Why Student Services are stronger together
Published August 30th, 2017
You’ll probably notice a stronger presence for Student Services around college this Freshers’ Week. That’s because Dr Alison Oldam is on a mission.
Alison, Student Services Director, wants all students to know about the services that are available to support them and ensure that they are easy to navigate.
At her previous post in Newcastle University, she saw first-hand the benefits of having a suite of student-focussed services that were housed in their own distinct Student Services building. While Trinity can’t currently offer this, there are still ways in which the providers can come together to improve their offering.
“It’s easier for students to recognise a strong, unified Student Services identity. It makes it more likely that they will know about what’s available to them,” says Alison.
Greater visibility will come from a new student services landing page, which went live in August 2017. It will act as a central hub from which information on all the six services can be accessed.
New this year too is a distinct Student Services booklet, which will be distributed to new students from September.
Although the six different areas have worked well together up to now, in order to foster a Student Services identity, Alison has spearheaded ‘getting to know you’ sessions for staff across the different areas.
The sessions, the first of which took place earlier this year, are designed to provide staff with an occasion where they can share what they do, thus helping to build knowledge about what each of them offers, as well as build a common voice.
“We need to make sure that each of the 150 or so staff know about all the services – not just their own. So Trinity Sport knows about the Day Nursery and what Academic Registry provide. In this way students can be better directed to the services they need.
“For example, a student with a mental health difficulty can benefit from pretty much all services – they are likely to be registered with Disability Service, use the Health Service, use Academic Registry, Counselling, Trinity Sport – by taking a streamlined approach we make sure that when a student accesses any one service they are made aware of the other supports available to them, giving them the best possible level of service.”
The other piece of the puzzle of course is Oisin House, which is due to come on stream in 2019. This newer, more modern space will be home to the Disability Service – which is currently located across a number of locations across campus – the Health Centre and some sports facilities such as squash courts and a rifle range.