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Meet a Student Success Advisor

3 July 2017

One of the benefits of studying online with Southern Cross University is the amount of support you receive along the way. Once you enrol into your online postgraduate course with the assistance of a Student Enrolment Advisor, you will be put in touch with your own dedicated Student Success Advisor who offers on-going advice and guidance from a non-academic perspective.

Meet Sarah: she’s one of our long-standing advisors. We recently sat down with her and chatted about her role and why it’s so important.

What are your responsibilities as a Student Success Advisor?

We work as an extra pair of eyes and ears for our student, ensuring that they’re on track with their assessments, enrolled in the correct units and don’t miss any important key dates. Most importantly, we are a listening ear and a key motivator, helping students get over the finish line when life gets busy.

The most important part of my role is to support a student from the beginning of their study journey until graduation. I reach out to students and ensure they are on task for their assignments, that they are logging in and managing the work and that I’m there to support a student who might be struggling.

I like to think of my role as being a ‘one stop shop’ for students with non-academic questions about their course, from ‘How do I get my text books?’ to ‘Is it ok for me to take holidays?’

What are the skills that make a great Student Success Advisor?

I think a desire to really help people is essential. Students start their course with a goal and a certain level of motivation, but this fluctuates as they juggle life’s responsibilities and their studies. You need to be able to assist students in a variety of situations and calmly advise them while keeping the student’s best interest in mind.

Interpersonal skills are important, along with the ability to think quickly and on the spot, as each student is in a completely unique situation. Emotional intelligence is also important – sometimes, if a student is struggling, you have to be able to look for the signs that might help you get to the core of the problem; that means being able to have really honest conversations with students, too.

Why do you believe your role is important?

Studying online is still a very new experience for most students. Students feel reassured knowing that they have a dedicated advisor who is there with them from the beginning and can assist them with a variety of enquiries. We are a major support for our online students, and I think this helps students stay on track.

We also gain important insight into the student lifecycle; we hear it all directly from the students themselves – and that is key knowledge! We can then provide direct feedback to help improve the overall student experience.

What do you enjoy most about your role?

It’s an incredibly rewarding role! You’re literally experiencing the students' highs and lows – and celebrating the wins and motivating them through the challenges. Online learning is constantly evolving, and I love being a part of that growth – which is essential in ensuring that SCU continues to be a leader in the online education space.

Read here how Sarah has assisted one of her MBA students to succeed in her online studies. To learn more about Southern Cross University’s online student support services, give our Enrolment team a call on 1300 589 882.