Standing by to help
Many resources for academic and personal achievement available on campus
Many post-secondary students in Alberta report feeling anxious, stressed and overwhelmed, and by October the pressure of managing coursework, employment and extracurricular activities is getting high for many.
You are not alone. There are a number of resources in place to help you navigate through personal and academic challenges.
One-stop support for all aspects of life
Early Support helps prevent small issues from turning into big problems.
“If a student is struggling with academic or non-academic concerns (including finances, mental health and more) and they don't know where to start, Early Support is a great place,” says student success coordinator Sarah Rude. “Students can refer themselves online and get help navigating the resources in a confidential and non-judgmental environment.”
Missing an important deadline, such as paying full fees or adjusting registration, can result in serious consequences. Stay organized and on top of Mount Royal’s critical dates by following the critical dates calendar. The calendar also lists University closures, final exam information and semester changes.
The team at Academic Advising Services is on-hand and ready to help you reach your educational goals. Advisors will answer questions about all things related to courses and programs, as well as how to address academic warnings, add, drop or withdraw from classes and manage deadlines.
“Academic advisors create an environment of shared responsibility with their advisees, helping them to understand themselves and their expectations as well as their educational program and journey,” says Shea Ellingham, manager of Academic Advising Services.
Support from a fellow student
Mount Royal’s Peer Learning Program is your study-buddy source. Meet with fellow students who recently completed the course for which you are seeking help and receive friendly support, a wealth of subject-specific knowledge and study strategy ideas.
“The Peer Learning Program is a great opportunity to work with other students to tackle a difficult course,” says Peer Programs supervisor Kristin Fulton. “It's free and it really helps.” This is more than tutoring; it's like a personal trainer for your academic life.
Tech help for students
START is students helping other students take the stress out of using technology. The team offers support for a variety applications, such as Adobe software, Microsoft Office, MyMRU, Blackboard and Google’s suite of tools.
“We are about making the use of technology easier,” says START media trainer and communications lead Bree Smith. Drop by the START lab in the Riddell Library and Learning Centre (room EL 2230) between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. on weekdays.
The Harry G. Schaefer Mentorship Program matches students with a professional in industry or post-graduate programs to discuss career paths and gain new perspectives. It is available to students from all programs. “The program helps students navigate the transition from university life to career life, or post-graduate studies,” says mentorship supervisor Courtney Warren. “Students in the program are often introduced to various facets of industry that they never knew existed, which broadens their horizon and results in a truly transformational mentorship experience.”
Meet with your subject librarian
The Library has a team of experts called subject librarians who are on-hand to provide instruction and guidance for a specific assignment or project. Students can also access subject librarians to work through questions around a particular project or topic, reinforce instruction and help students with their research skills. “Librarians offer expertise on how to find the information students need for coursework and research projects,” said Library content and communications coordinator Isha Thompson. “Book a personalized research consultation with them on our website, or get help online with their guides that cover a wide variety of subjects and programs offered here at MRU.”
Accessible, equitable and inclusive learning
Accessibility Services is in place to level the playing field. The team will provide students with a mental or physical impairment the tools necessary to succeed academically.
“Accessibility Services provided service to 1,294 students last year,” says Patricia Pardo. “Eighty-five per cent of those students experience disability-related barriers that are not visible.” Accessibility Services can make University life a little easier by providing reasonable and tailored accommodations and support.
Students at Mount Royal benefit from an extra week of support outside the classroom with a fall term reading break. The four-day reprieve runs from Oct. 9 to 12 this year. “We feel strongly that the timing of this break will be extremely beneficial to students’ mental health and well-being,” says David Docherty, president of Mount Royal University. This time is ideal to book some time to connect with instructors and support services. Reading Week takes place early enough in the semester to course correct if necessary.
Withdrawal from a course
In most circumstances, withdrawing from a class is better than receiving an F, and students are encouraged to meet with their professor or an academic advisor to discuss the consequences of withdrawing versus receiving a failing grade. The last day to withdraw from courses in the fall semester is Friday, Nov. 16. Withdrawing will not impact one’s GPA.
Individual counselling and workshops
Wellness Services offers individual or group workshops for personal, career or educational counselling. This service is provided by a multidisciplinary team and is free for MRU students. Appointments can be booked over the phone or in person. Be sure to have your MRU ID on-hand. This team is respectful of privacy and counselling sessions and records are confidential.
“Student counselling supports students when they struggle with personal concerns, and we help students who face barriers with their educational and career goals,” says Mirjam Knapik, a registered psychologist at Mount Royal and chair of Student Counseling. “We encourage building resilience, and help students to increase their capacity to help themselves and others.”
The Ask a Counsellor blog is also in place for students to anonymously submit questions related to personal, educational or career concerns. Each week, an MRU counsellor will select a question, give a response and post the entry. Call 403.440.6362 to make an appointment.
Long Night Against Procrastination
Wednesday, November 14 from 4 to 10 p.m.
Mark your calendar and come participate in an evening of supporting yourself academically, spiritually, emotionally, physically and socially. Attend a Long Night Against Procrastination and try a variety of activities designed to help students thrive in the last weeks of the semester.
No registration required. Just show up. Follow @mountroyal4u for event details as they become available.
Oct. 1, 2018 — Rob Petrollini