Advice for professional staff
As a professional staff member at FedUni, you are likely to have contact with students on a daily basis. The interactions that students have with you has a direct impact on their student experience and on their decision to stay or go when things get tough. There are a number of things that you can do to ensure that each time you interact with a student they walk away feeling positive. Some of these are:
1. Be student-focused
Having a student-focused culture in our organisation ensures that all students that attend FedUni feel welcome and supported throughout their journey. Our business is dependent on students and their successes. We can develop a student-focused culture by:
- Prioritising students; a student in need is more important than anything else,
- Understanding which times through semester students are more likely to be stressed, for example, when assignments are due or at census date; and
- Knowing when major events such as FedReady, international orientation and enrolment days are happening.
2. Be aware and take notice
There is more to being aware than simply knowing that students are there. Being aware means to take notice of:
- Body language;
- Tone in a student's voice; and
- Facial expressions.
If a student is upset and struggling or even just lost and confused, it is generally quite evident in the way they act, talk or look. Students won't always admit that something is wrong or even seek help. By simply taking notice of the students around us we can easily identify and more readily assist a student who is in need. If you suspect a student is suffering from a mental health issue, refer them to the Student Support Services or directly to the counselling services.
3. Provide end-to-end service
When you are assisting a student in need, there are a few easy things that you can do to help make their experience a positive one:
- If someone is lost or unsure where to go, and it is possible for you to do so, walk with them to their designated location, or at least part of the way;
- Understand what support services are available to help students and provide this information to students; and
- Make calls to other areas of the uni, as appropriate, to check before referring a student somewhere else.