At the start of the year, you should have received a student handbook which lists all of the different services available, if not, you should browse through your college’s website which should list the services they have available. Below is a list of the most common student services but it’s important to bear in mind that not all of them may be available in your college.
Some colleges provide a full-time counselling service while others only a part-time one. For many 1st year students, college can be a stressful and lonely time; counsellors are trained to help students cope, and you should not be afraid to avail of their expertise. You will more than likely need to make an appointment with the counsellor so check before knocking on their door. Some counselling services also offer additional support such as bereavement counselling and run stress management workshops.
Link: MindMates – Learn about how students can support each other to promote positive mental health.
Most colleges have a Careers Service office and have dedicated careers advisors who can assist you individually with preparing your CV, interview skills, job seeking, career planning and advice. They may also run various workshops throughout the year such as employer talks, career days, CV workshops etc …
If you have not done so already, introduce yourself to the careers advisor and inform her/him of any facilities or arrangements that you may require in order to access careers information and services. It is important to remember that in some colleges the Careers Office may not be wheelchair accessible; in this instance the careers advisor will normally arrange to meet the student at an alternative venue.
Some Disability Services in college have their own dedicated careers advisor who understands barriers people with disabilities may face in the workplace and also may run career development workshops for students with disabilities.
As a student, you may be on tight budget, however, it shouldn’t mean your health has to suffer, so it is worth checking out what type of health services your college offers. Some colleges have full on-campus health centres with an attending doctor and nurse and visiting dentist whilst others may not. They may charge a nominal fee for consultations, tests and prescriptions however, there can be financial assistance towards the cost of routine dental work, ophthalmic treatment and physiotherapy. Check with your health centre or your student union for more details.
Every college has a Student Union which is the representative body for the students of the college. You automatically become a member when you first registered with the college. Depending your college, the Student Union can have two full-time officers, the President and the Vice-President (who can act as the Welfare and/or Education Officer), and a range of part-time officers from Disability Officers to Equality Officers.
What do Student Unions do?
As the students’ representative body, the Student Union is involved in many student issues concerning both its own college and students’ rights in general. The Student Union is also a valuable source of information on many issues ranging from accommodation to financial or welfare advice and often run awareness weeks. As a student of the college, you have the right to run for election and to vote for Student Union officers, thereby having a say in how the union represents your interests.
Most Student Unions have their own dedicated website or social media page so make sure you check them out to stay updated with the latest events and news.