The critical target group and the essence of the establishment of any educational institution is the students. All policies and programs introduce in academic environment are directly or indirectly centred on the students. A functional and effective student affairs unit is a prerequisite to any institution that aspire to prioritize student’s achievements, persistence and satisfaction. Owing to these facts, student affairs division of any academic institution can, with no iota of doubt, be regarded as the most important organ of that institution.
It is a well-known fact that the most important factors that determine the quality of education are the quality of teaching/learning as well as student support services being provided by student affairs unit. Considering the fact that students lack academic, emotional as well as social connection with the institution at first instance, it is the duty of the Division to provide effective student services that increase the diversity of student’s experience. In collaboration with academic and administrative divisions, Student Affairs Division provides programs and services which help students in achieving their academic and personal goals.
Functions of student affairs division
Although student’s service functionality differs from one institution to another, Student Affairs Division is committed to perform the following common functions of student affairs entity highlighted by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO):
On relationship with academic institutions
- Provides support and explain the values, mission and policies of the institution
- Participates in leadership and takes responsible decisions
- Evaluates the social experiences of students in order to improve programs efficiency
- Establishes policies and programs that contribute to campus safety
- Supports the institution's values by developing and imposing students standards
- Supports the student's participation in institutional governance
- Provides essential services such as admissions, registration, counselling, financial aid, health, housing and so on, in accordance with the mission and objectives of the institution.
- Represents the institutional resource to work with students individually or in groups.
- Encourages student-university / college interaction through programs and activities
- Supports and contributes to the creation of ethnic and cultural diversity
- Takes a leadership role in crisis situations
- Is active intellectually and professionally
- Establishes and maintain effective working relationships with the local community
On relationship with students
- Assists students in transition to university life
- Help students to explore and clarify their values
- Encourages the development of relationships of friendship and a sense of belonging to a campus community
- Assists in identifying financial aid resources in further education
- Creates opportunities to expand the cultural and aesthetic horizons of students
- Teaches students how to solve personal and group conflicts
- Provides special programs and services for students who have learning difficulties
TOWARDS CONSOLIDATION OF UMYU STUDENT AFFAIRS DIVISION.
In its determination to reposition the Student Affairs Division of the University so as to compete with similar division from other sister universities within and outside the country, the current leadership of the Division has poised to bring up innovations and changes that will go a long way in ensuring effective service delivery to students.
Among the innovations we want introduce include:
- Motto of the Division which would read “committed to student success”
- Vision of the Division: A vision for the Division would be introduced and it would read “The Student Affairs Division aspires to be the driving force for the actualization of Umaru Musa Yar’adua University’s vision and mission”
- Mission statement: “To be a prime-mover in nurturing a caring, civil, just and harmonious campus community by supporting students to achieve their full potentials in courteous and professional manner”.
Goals: The following are the goals of Student Affairs Division:
- To provide students with accurate information about academic progression and requirements.
- To help students in accessing University resources that will enhance their ability to be academically successful.
- To provide basic housing to all interested students irrespective of their religion, tribe or ethnicity.
- To nurture the potentials of student’s leadership skills in various aspects
- Foster leadership skill, teamwork skill, ability to manage an organisation and sense of responsibility into students.
- Plan, coordinate, implement and monitor student indoor and outdoor development programmes
- Coordinate alumni activity and collaborate closely with Alumni Association
- To provide counselling services that will promote the psychological well-being and development of the students.
- To assist students with resources to explore, choose, evaluate and implement effective career goals and objectives.
- To develop and maintain recreational opportunities, wellness activities, and physical fitness facilities in order to support the educational and student development objectives of the University.
- To help students with disabilities to successfully pursue their educational goals.
- To settle all student disciplinary cases with adherence to the principles of due process and fairness.
- To cultivate the culture of facilities maintenance in the minds of the students.
- To foster community service among the students so that immediate environment would feel the impact of the University.
The above goals will be achieved through the individual and collective functions of the following officers of the Division.
- Hall Administrator
- Student Welfare Officer
- Student Career Officer
- Guidance and Counselling Officer
- Student Support Officer
- Alumni Officer
The responsibilities of the above officers are as follows:
- Allocating rooms to interested students irrespective of their religion, tribe and/or ethnicity on first come first serve basis.
- Interacting with students in a friendly and caring manner, showing interest in the sporting and social activities of students in the Hall.
- Contributing to the conceptualisation and implementation of new strategies within the residential system
- Make effort to get to know residents and maintain a high level of visibility
- Provide programs and other proactive educational interventions to minimize behavioural issues
- Adjudicate student conduct cases, refer cases as needed, and coordinate and consult the Deanery regarding high level conduct cases or ongoing situations of concern
- Ensure staff members under his/her supervision are appropriately confronting and documenting behavioural issues and concerns.
- Ensure that regular fire, emergency and safety checks and drills are conducted in the halls
- Become familiar with and follow University’s guidelines regarding emergencies.
- Assist other units such as Security, Health Centre etc. in the case of an emergency
- Maintain essential office records including rosters, student conduct files, room inspections, etc.
- Ensure that all housekeeping and utility services are attended to by the relevant service providers in the University
- Serve on various committees as requested or approved by the Dean.
- To carry any other duty assigned by the Dean or any other superior officer.
Student Welfare Officer
- Organising orientation programme for fresh students
- Coordinating social and cultural activities that enhance the education and personal development of students.
- Helping students to develop leadership skills and individual responsibility through participation and leadership in student activities and organizations.
- Helping the students with opportunities to develop an understanding and appreciation of other cultures.
- Liaising with Sport Directorate to develop sports, recreation, and intramural programmes based on a student-centred philosophy emphasizing the overall quality of life promoting excellence.
- To represent the Deanery in any excursion, educational and recreational trips organise by students or academic departments
- To ensure students’ participation in a variety of recreational and sports activities which satisfy the diverse needs of students.
- To organise activities that ensure involvement of students in community service/volunteer activities.
- To attend all meetings, events and/or program that affect student welfare.
- To carry out any function assigned by the Dean or any other superior officer.
Student Career Officer
- Preparing the graduate of the University for the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) exercise
- Serving as the University’s clearing officer on occupations in the public, private, and non-profit organisations
- Assisting students in their career exploration and decision-making
- Developing and maintaining a career resource library that includes hard copy and electronic materials and information on occupations, employers and candidate assessment.
- Assisting students and alumni with resources to explore, choose, evaluate and implement effective career goals and objectives
- Providing vital information to a wide range of employers for Co-op, Internship and full-time career opportunities for students and alumni.
- Organising career fairs, job listings, on campus interviews and other career networking events.
- Informing students and the University community at large, about current career opportunities and employment trends
- Educating students on the proper use of social media to build and maintain their professional network.
- Organizing workshops on resume writing, employer recruiting techniques, interview skills and entrepreneurial skills
- Organizing recruitment interest sessions with specific employers during which students could explore interest in their organizations
- Creating a database that tracks employment of University alumni
- Representing the Deanery in any event or function relevant to career development.
- Carrying out any duty assigned by the Dean or any other superior officer.
Student Support Officer
- Managing scholarship and other financial aid coming from government agencies, private sector and non-profit organizations
- Identifying students with genuine financial problems for onward submission to Student Welfare Committee
- Providing counselling to students on financial aid available to them including grants, loans and scholarships
- Providing appropriate assistance to students with disabilities so that they are able to compete equally with their peers in the academic environment
- Providing individual counselling and assistance for disabled students from matriculation through graduation.
- Organising curricular and co-curricular disability awareness programs and services
- Performing any other duties assigned by the Dean or any superior off