Students Support Program to Provide
Access to AU Students with Disabilities
January 29, 2004
On behalf of Athabasca University students, the Students’ Union today presented a cheque for $2,000 to AU’s Access to Students with Disabilities Program (ASD). The new annual donation from the Students’ Union will provide assistive technology to AU students who require it to help them manage and complete their course work.
“By initiating this annual donation, we are demonstrating the commitment we share with the University to removal of barriers for students,” said Debbie Jabbour, President of Athabasca University Students’ Union (AUSU). “The donation will help students in need receive special software, computer hardware, or other technology, ” said Jabbour.
According to Brenda Moore, Coordinator of the University’s ASD Program, AU has a somewhat unique population of students with disabilities, many of whom enroll for the sole reason that AU’s flexibility allows students to achieve their educational goals without the difficulties of attending on-campus classes.
“The AUSU donation represents students helping students,” said Moore. “The ASD Program staff and the students we serve are very grateful for the donation.”
Contact: Debbie Jabbour, President, AUSU – firstname.lastname@example.org
Shirley Barg, Vice-President, AUSU – email@example.com
Athabasca University Students’ Union
The AUSU Mentor Program, developed by Students’ Council in 2003 and launched in February 2004, fosters relationships between new Athabasca University students and more experienced students. The program encourages and develops one-on-one interactions between AU students, and helps new students learn how to enjoy and harness the diverse and challenging aspects of distance education.
Whether a new AU student is fresh out of high school or is a mature student looking to change or supplement a current career, the questions they have about adapting to education at a distance are similar.
With these concerns in mind, the AUSU Mentor Program was created to put students who are unfamiliar with distance education more at ease by letting them know what they can expect, and how to find the resources they need. Although the Mentor Program does not offer counselling services to AU students, it provides a way for longer-term students to share their experiences of successes they achieved and obstacles they faced. The volunteer mentors are able to guide new students to appropriate University departments and people, and help new students navigate through to completion of their first distance education courses.
Becoming a volunteer mentor is easy. The only requirements are a willingness to help fellow AU students, and successful completion of at least three AU courses. Being a volunteer with the AUSU Mentor Program offers numerous benefits. It gives students an opportunity to take an active part in campus life and meet fellow students from varied backgrounds. The Program also gives mentor-to-mentor support so volunteers can learn from each other.
The AUSU Mentor Program was created with students’ needs in mind. The contributions and input of experienced AU students are important to the success of this program.
To become a volunteer mentor or, for new students, to be partnered with a volunteer mentor, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Stacey Steele, Chair
Mentor Program Committee
AUSU provides tutor bios on the AUSU website, so that you can learn more about the person on the other end of the phone.
Tutors are selected for inclusion on the Tutor Bio pages by nomination from students, If you have had a tutor that you want to know more about, write Mac on AUSU council lat email@example.com and tell him who you want to see featured next.
AUSU IN PERSON DISCUSSION GROUPS
Getting together physically with fellow AU students adds to your university experience. Other students will be able to understand and relate to the joys and frustrations of distance learning. It’s also a way to stay abreast of information relating to AU and the Athabasca University Students’ Union.
See the Coffee Groups web page on the AUSU site, at http://www.ausu.org/coffee for a list of groups.
Anyone interested in starting up a group in your area (anywhere in Canada, from small towns to major centres) please contact SANDRA at firstname.lastname@example.org.
CHAT WITH AUSU ONLINE
If you have a question for AUSU, or would like to get to know your council, drop by the chat-room [accessible through the ‘Message Forums’ option on the AUSU home page http://www.ausu.org. You will need an AUSU web site account.] Times are MST
Mondays at 8:00 PM Councillor Karl Low