SU's online onboarding programme for provisionally accepted students to launch on 1 February
Due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on Grade 12 learners' academic year in 2020, Stellenbosch University (SU) has decided to proactively assist students with their transition from school to university.
To this end, an onboarding programme for all provisionally accepted students will be available online in February 2021. The programme aims to enhance first-year preparedness by offering students various opportunities for growth. With the official welcoming programme and classes only scheduled to start in March, February is an ideal time to engage with provisionally accepted students while awaiting their National Senior Certificate (NSC) results.
The programme has been designed on SU's learning management system, SUNLearn, and is set to go live on 1 February. Students should log in with the username and password they received during the application process. Support will be available to resolve any problems or queries.
To derive optimal value from the programme, students should engage with the various modules at their own pace. A mind map of the onboarding journey has also been drawn up for students to orientate themselves and select which information they would like to engage with when. Access to the programme will continue to be available after registration at SU.
The onboarding programme consists of a generic module, which is intended for all students, and modules specific to the different faculties. Cross-referencing allows swift navigation between modules.
The generic module starts with a short overview of SUNLearn and of the onboarding programme. Videos from the Maties 101 campaign (including a virtual campus tour) are also available. In addition, provisionally accepted students will have access to video recordings of current SU students sharing their experiences of transitioning from school to university.
Other topics dealt with in the generic module include the following:
Making the most of my 24 hours (time management)
Rocking university life (success and well-being)
Go with the flow (stress management)
Ace your studies (exam and study skills)
Money matters (financial literacy)
Read like a pro (academic reading)
Be the best student you can be (I-FlourishWell4Life programme)
In an extended question-and-answer section, students will be able to search for answers to many of their questions about SU, and even post their own questions. Information for this section has been enhanced by a survey in which senior students were asked what they wish they had known before coming to SU. Videos of current students sharing ways to cope at university as well as details of available support are easily accessible. Students will be able to connect with some of SU's mentors as well.
The content for the faculty-specific modules has been crafted by faculty representatives themselves. This includes information on the various programmes in the faculty, the available faculty-specific support, and who to contact for any questions.
Students and their parents will be informed about the programme via SU's official communication channels. In addition to text messages and social media posts, all provisionally accepted students will also receive an e-mail on 1 February, inviting them to access the onboarding programme on SUNLearn and providing both an overview of the programme and information on who to contact for support.
SU's chief operating officer, Prof Stan du Plessis, announced the launch of the programme in an official communication on 19 January 2021. “It is important that all SU staff are aware of the programme, as they might be asked to clarify issues in response to students' questions," explains project coordinator Mrs Claudia Swart-Jansen van Vuuren, senior advisor at the Centre for Teaching and Learning. “I am excited about this project, particularly also the enthusiasm of representatives from all the faculties and student support divisions, who worked very hard to put the programme in place. It is truly a team effort."
Enquiries may be sent to Claudia Swart: firstname.lastname@example.org