Have you ever wondered about the role of student affairs in higher education institutions? How do they play a role in impacting the student and university as a whole? At a university, the student affairs team has several key responsibilities and functions, such as advising and counseling, student activities and organization, student development, student success and retention, and community engagement.
To delve deeper into how the student affairs department functions, especially at an online university, this article will give you an insight into the student affairs team at Parami University.
Starting in the fall of 2022, Parami University has over 140 undergraduate students attending its two online bachelor's degrees in Philosophy, Politics and Economics (PPE) and Statistics and Data Science (SDS). As the university community is gradually growing, student affairs professionals at Parami University have become even more imperative to assist students in academic and non-academic aspects.
Student affairs as a vehicle of student success
As learning does not only happen in the classroom, the student affairs team is dedicated to bringing different exciting opportunities for further learning and development and positive student-student interaction.
A variety of student services are available for the students at Parami University. In the 2022-2023 academic year, the student's support team provided 10 guest speakers sessions, 10 Edtech support workshops, 208 Tutoring and advising sessions, and several mental health counseling sessions. Apart from providing support services for the personal and academic life of the students, the team also organized four skills development workshops, four internal events, and 47 online and offline activities in the 2022-2023 academic year.
Student affairs as a medium to promote a sense of belonging and community
According to the team, supporting students to maximize a sense of belonging and community can also create impactful learning in physical and online classes. Once students feel a sense of belonging to a class community, they have a more natural tendency to become active and engaged in completing coursework, group presentations, and projects. Moreover, they feel comfortable and motivated to voice their opinions in the discussions and provide feedback to facilitate improvement.
"We believe that these activities can provide mental and emotional support to avoid loneliness, to bring them close together, and to promote peer-to-peer support not only in classes but also outside the classroom." ⸺ Htet Aung Hlaing Myint (Pedro), Senior Student Affairs Officer of Parami University.
Numerous on-ground activities were organized where Parami University students are located in Yangon, Mandalay, Taunggyi, and Chiang Mai. The on-ground activities include In-person Gathering, Visiting Naung Taung, Rubbish Picking Activity, Chiang Mai Old City Sightseeing, Joining Beam Conference, Mae Wang Field Trip, and Hiking Activity. Spring Recess Field Trip, Women's History Month Celebration, 2-Day Exchange program, Knowledge Sharing Session (Sexual Abuse Protection), Debate Competition, and In-person Meetup Celebration.
The student affairs team continues that regular and efficient communication is critical to ensuring that the students are in an environment where they feel supported and experience positive personal growth. With different online learning tools, students need to be supported in various ways to adjust and develop in a short period of time via orientation sessions, emails, and phone calls.
The hard work and dedication of the student affairs team to student development are commendable.