Student Academic Development
The Academic and Life Skills Development Modules (ALM) form part of the curriculum for both First and Second year Extended students across various degree and diploma programmes. While the transition from school to university is challenging for most young people, it may be even more challenging for such students who, for various reasons, find that they do not meet the minimum admission requirements of the programme of their choice. The ALM modules provide, thus, an environment in which academic support and skills development are integrated with regular academic work.
The learning that takes place is mainly experiential in nature, and fosters the skill of critical reflection. Interacting in small groups guided by a facilitator, and by means of workshops, students explore and reflect on various aspects which will equip them with the competencies and skills necessary for success at university.
The focus in the first year is, thus, on helping them to adjust to the demands and challenges of their new role of being a tertiary student, and to their new environment, and on developing academic and self-management skills. Topics such as time-management, goal setting, learning strategies, stress management, problem-solving and exam preparation, amongst others, are explored.
Students are encouraged to monitor and explore their own academic progress, by means of a Developmental Portfolio, and they are individually mentored in this process by their facilitator, who also tracks their overall progress.
The focus in the second year is on the development of intra-personal and interpersonal skills. Examples of some of the topics covered are: emotional intelligence; communication skills; conflict resolution, assertiveness and career development. Students also undertake a Social Responsibility Project which gives them an opportunity to apply these skills.
Tel: +27 (0) 41 504 1111
Fax: +27 (0) 41 504 2574 / 2731
PO Box 77000, Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University
Port Elizabeth, 6031, South Africa
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