Students get life resources services to help them navigate the challenges of modern life
The stresses associated with being a non-traditional student juggling schoolwork, family life and professional responsibilities can cause even the most committed and ambitious student to falter.
Realizing that students need help working through the complexities of modern life that extend beyond academics, University of Phoenix took steps to give students an outlet. To prevent issues such as finding a babysitter or managing finances from negatively affecting motivated students from earning a degree, the University began providing life resources services to students in 2009.
In particular, the University wanted to provide resources for students who are juggling the demands of earning a degree, holding a full-time job, managing a family, and trying to find time for life in general. And with numerous students attending classes online, the University also wanted to ensure that these students had an avenue of support.
“That’s what we’re here for. We’re here to help [students] achieve their goals. If we’re just targeting one area, then we’re not addressing all the needs of our students as they work toward achieving their goal of completing their degrees,” says Nancy Cervasio, Sr. Vice President of Student Services and Operations at University of Phoenix.
“In order for [students] to be successful, we need to provide access to resources that help them balance the other aspects of their lives,” she adds.
What the Life Resource Center provides
The Life Resource Center provides students with more than 5,000 resources including webinars, podcasts, as well as articles and assessments on careers, health and wellness, and family/life issues. Students can also get help managing their finances, figuring out their futures with the assistance of a career coach, or working through personal issues with the guidance of a professional counselor.
“I think it’s an excellent resource and a benefit that a lot of other institutions don’t offer,” says Cervasio. “It also makes a statement about how we feel about our students. We care about them as individuals as well as their success as students. We are trying to provide the best resources we can to support them.”
Given the tough economy and the budgeting needs of students, the University hopes students will take advantage of the unlimited financial consultation available to them. Students can get help over the phone and online with issues such as understanding credit, managing debt, buying a home and preventing bankruptcy.
“This really allows us to take a comprehensive look at the needs of students,” she says. “With such a large population of students, it is certain that there will be times of crisis for someone. We are happy that we can provide support when those times arise.”
Students have praised the program for helping them deal with situations like a family tragedy, think more positively, and focus on their education and career goals, Cervasio says.
“Our ability to provide a comprehensive student support program is critical to the success of our students,” she says. “Through this program, we are providing an additional avenue for students’ personal growth and we’re impacting our students’ lives in a new and meaningful way.”