Off Campus Connection is here to help
Today we have a guest blog written by Kylie Campbell, an Off Campus Connection Facilitator! Kylie will be telling us about the Off-Campus Connection program that aims to connect with first year students who are living off campus (either in Guelph or elsewhere!). Enjoy!
If your student lives off-campus, and is having trouble adjusting to university life, Off Campus Connection (OCC) is here to help! OCC, run by the Centre for New Students, is a program designed to help your student feel connected to the University of Guelph. The OCC team is comprised of 4 upper-year student facilitators (Nicole, Shannon, Kylie, and Jessica) whose job it is to support off-campus students by promoting a feeling of inclusiveness on campus, as well as in the larger Guelph community.
How do we accomplish this? We check-in periodically with students who are living off-campus over the phone and via email to see how they are doing throughout the year. We are able to help students find solutions to their questions, challenges and concerns, by connecting them with various resources on campus. For example, if, during a conversation over the phone, a student were to mention that they were having trouble studying for finals, we could direct them to the Learning Services website that features online tutorials about effective study strategies. We also let students know what events are happening on-campus, as well as provide them with an opportunity to have a friendly chat with someone who will actively listen to them. We are similar to Residence Assistants who support students living in residence, only we support students living Off-Campus!
We have our own blog where we post information concerning resources, events, and tips that are relevant to Off-Campus students. Also, every month we send out a newsletter that outlines lots of different events happening on- and off-campus throughout the month. We are even planning on running events of our own; however, plans are still in the works! Melanie will post information about these events on her blog and we’ll post information on our blog so your student is sure to know about it!
It is important to mention that your student’s degree of participation in the OCC program is completely up to them. They can sign up to receive check-ins from us over the phone and via email, or only emails, or only phone calls. Whatever works best for your student, works for us!
If you think this program would benefit your student, make sure to ask them if they signed up for OCC at the Off-Campus Kick-Off during Orientation Week in September. If they didn’t, and they are interested in signing up now, tell them to email firstname.lastname@example.org and we will make sure to get in contact with them!