Student Counseling Services Response to COVID-19
10 January 2021
The Student Affairs Department is always keen to provide the best services to the students and, among the essential services, student counseling. The student counselors support students to foster, promote, and increase interpersonal competencies and academic achievement, and they are committed to the wellbeing and betterment of our students throughout their educational journey at ADU.
The Student Counseling Unit believes that sound education involves the development of the whole student; this includes the social, emotional, intellectual, and physical aspects of students' lives. It provides various services such as Students of Determination Service, Students under Academic Probation Service, Students At Academic Risk Service, and the different counseling events and workshops.
Given the current conditions during the COVID- 19 pandemic, two new services have been launched in Fall 20-21: the "COVID-19 Infected Students Service," in which the counselors top priority is to ensure that the infected students get complete support and to involve the colleges to maintain the students' academic performance during their illness. "COVID-19 Infected Students Service was very effective, and the students appreciated it, they expressed their gratitude, and they felt more belonging to the university" Ms. Samah Abdelkader -Student Counselor AA Campus. The second new launched service is the "Student Well-Being Program," which aims to provide the necessary support for students to overcome this crisis and preserve their physical, emotional, and mental health.
Another service the Student Counseling Unit provides is the Students of Determination Service, which ensures that all ADU students with disabilities have access to educational opportunities equal to their fellow students. The student counselors offer friendly and confidential support and advice to students of determination and faculty/staff dealing with these students.
Through academic counseling, the counselors aspire to help students make successful transitions during their university life and achieve to the best of their abilities. These counseling services include "The Students Under Academic Probation Service", and the "At Academic Risk Students Service, "aiming to help students acquire the necessary skills to address their academic limitations and achieve success. A student who benefited from the student counseling sessions commented, "my GPA has significantly increased because of the At Risk-Student Service, which helped me practice the effective study skills and use the time management skills not only academically, but also in my personal life."
Due to the difficulty of conducting face-to-face workshops during the distance learning period, the Student Counseling Unit has not abandoned the provision of virtual workshops on various topics of interest to students; for example, Time Management Workshop, Overcoming Insomnia, Mental Health Awareness, etc. In addition to the "Virtual First-Year Experience Workshops" that aimed to introduce new students to the counselors and the services they provide and assure students that they are always there for them, to advise, assist and make the university life the best it could be.
This pandemic shed light on the Student Counseling Unit's importance and its unique role in the students' academic journey in ADU. Ms. Nariman Naji, Senior Student Counselor, has promised to continue providing the best students' services and added, " The Student Counseling Unit in Abu Dhabi and Al Ain Campuses conducted a total of 328 different counseling sessions during Fall 20-21, and we all are working hand in hand to fulfill the students' needs and guarantee their wellbeing and academic prosperity."