Student Support Overview

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Annie: And as an online student at Hofstra Law, you will have student support during your program journey. So, Kim Jo is here with us who is the team lead with over 13 years of experience being a student service professional and has your success in mind. She will go over her role and the team services – 

Kim:I want to begin with who I am in terms of a Students’ Services Advisor because not everyone is familiar with role. I’m here in the same way that you would’ve walked into a campus office and spoken with a live person, it’s just that you come through my phone or my e-mail in order to connect with me and I’m here to support you. We say no question’s too small. I think you’ve heard that from Annie in terms of just this presentation, but we say that all the way throughout your program. I’m here to support you all the way through to graduation through timely advising. It may be sending things to you, you know, whether it’s communicating, registration information, text books. That may be the part of me that you’re familiar with so I’m affirming that that’s part of my role but the bigger part of my role I’ll say is the success planning, advising and coaching. For that we want to make sure that as a Hofstra student, you’re connected with all the resources that are available to you and I know that Venus mentioned many of those resources.

It could be the Writing Centre, the library, Westlaw resources. You’ll be using APA format so we want to make sure that you’re well prepared for APA. So, all of those things. We want to make sure that not only do you have access of them, know how to use them, but if you encounter any sticking point as you go through any of the processes of getting ready for school or as you go through school, we want you to be supported and that’s where I come in as the support person. The ways that you can connect with me, I mentioned the phone and e-mail, but you also have direct access to my calendar using a tool called [Zisida]. Zisida allows you to look up what times that day or the next day or sometime in the next week I’m available and look at your calendar and just schedule a time and mention what we’ll be talking about. I will then reach out to you and we’ll have that opportunity to connect voice to voice.

So, that’s a little bit about me in general but I did want to go into the success planning, advising and coaching because sometimes when you say those words people are like “Okay, I don’t know what that means” or “Oh yeah, I know what that means” and yet they haven’t gotten to the depths of it. I know that Venus talked about quite a few things so it may be time management, it may be that you’re coming from a background that maybe has done online before and you don’t need that much guidance. Or, you may be coming from a background that has never done online before and it’s all brand new to you. In either scenario, as much or as little as you need me, I’m here to help to walk you through. It could be you’re learning how to fit your fulltime employment life with school and family all together and you’re just figuring that all out and as you shape that, and it is a process of shaping – it doesn’t happen in a day, it happens over a week or two, maybe even across a couple of courses. Maybe throughout the whole program you make the adjustments. I can definitely help to support you in that process.

There might be tips that I have from students who’ve previously done online or it could be just something specific or unique to you, given your unique circumstances. It could be test taking as well; I know Venus mentioned some adjustments that she made in terms of understanding her learning style versus her daughter’s. So, things like that, you know, given your learning style, what is it that we can do to help to support you as a learner. Given that the type of test that you may be taking and the results that you got; where they good results? Not being fearful to think that the first results, if they weren’t as good as you wanted them to be, are exactly how things will end up at the end of course. We can actually help you to review that, make the adjustments and that way you can get some better results as you go along and be able to be successful. You will be – in terms of text books, you’ll be using the [Bandello] Book Store as one of the options you have but you definitely have the option of purchasing your books anywhere else as long as you pay attention to the edition or ISPN number.

So, there again, you want to know your learning style because if you are the type of person who does well with online materials, you might want to do an eBook or, if you like a printed copy, like highlighting, you might want to do a physical copy. If you are not attached to your books, you might want to do a rental text book. So, you have some options there as well. So, how we start our relationship – and I call it a relationship versus anything else because it does grow. I know Venus and I have grown to know each other over time and it will continue to grow as she goes through the rest of her program. How we start our relationship is what’s called a welcome call and that welcome call is an orientation. It’s a 15 to 30 minute orientation to who are your support team, what are the resources that are available to you. A little bit of an overview of what to expect and what your checklist for preparing is. So, we do all of that and then you have an orientation course as well that is in the core site. So, we call that the learning management system; it’s in the core site. It’s about a 90 minute or less orientation that will get you acclimated with how to use the different features in the online course so that you can get used to using those well before you actually have to take your first course.

So, it’s many different things like that that we will be supporting you in as you go forward in your program. I did hear Venus talk about, you know, not being fearful and allowing yourself to make adjustments and to ask questions and to be supported and really, the best way to use me is exactly that. I’m here, I’m never judging you, I’m never judging your questions, I’m never judging your needs. I was an online student myself so I really know what it’s like to be – I did my Master’s online. I really do know what it’s like to be an online student from a visceral integral perspective. So, I really want to make sure that everyone knows that I want to return the favour so to speak because I happen to have someone in a role similar to my one when I did my online course. So, really and truly whether you start off knowing exactly how to do online or whether you need extra support, we have lots of resources here for you. And yeah, that’s my introduction. So, Venus mentioned that I do proactively reach out to students usually during the first week of class and then when you start getting grades back and usually every semester and we were committed to doing that so that we can hear your experience along the way. Maybe there’ll be some timely advice that we can give to you as you go through your programs or even tips about upcoming courses that we can share with you so that you can have the best experience in those as well.

So, that’s why you would’ve heard Venus mention that I show up in her life every now and then. So, I am the first point of contact for students for non-academic matters and of course, the professors are the contact for academic matters and there are many other support members that we will share with you as you embark on this journey. But, this conversation is really an invitation and I look forward to answering any questions that you may have about my role.