Counselling and orientation in the first year of study
The sub-project "Beratung & Orientierung" (B & O) [Counselling and orientation] has two main focuses:
The newly appointed B & O counsellors are extending and intensifying the academic subject-specific counselling in the faculties. Their work is directed towards both prospective and first-year students.
The Student Advising and Counselling Service (ZSB) is coordinating the introduction of the service across the faculties while pursuing the goal of a sustained professionalization.
"Beratung & Orientierung" has three aims:
- Prospective students should be able choose a course that fits them individually. This requires the best possible information and advice from B & O counsellors.
- First year students should get off to a better start in their subject thanks to an orientation process in which they are supported by B & O counsellors.
- The B & O counsellors give early advice to first-year students who get into difficulties with their studies or who wish to change subjects. This should enable (or increase the probability for) students to successfully continue studying in either their chosen or a new subject.
The B & O counsellors advise secondary school pupils, other prospective students, and first-and second-semester students personally, by email, and in group settings. They coordinate this work with the existing student and academic student counsellors. They network their counselling services with further central university and faculty-specific services. They also cooperate with external institutions such as schools or the state employment agency.
The following features characterize the B & O concept:
- Services have a low threshold.
- B & O counsellors are easy to reach both personally and online.
- Contents are tailored to fit the student. The B & O counsellors are very well-informed about the demands of each study course and the particular challenges and hindrances at the start of studies.
The B & O counsellors carry out an intensive survey of their faculty in order to identify the existing conditions. This serves as a basis to develop counselling and support for first-year and prospective students. In consultation with the existing student counsellors, they develop a counselling concept for their faculties. They also give feedback on any study problems in their faculty that prove to have structural causes.
The B & O counsellors receive further training in the scientific foundations of professional counselling, in interviewing, email counselling, and so forth. They exchange information with counsellors in other faculties and receive supervision.
Eleven academics in eight faculties are working in the sub-project "Beratung & Orientierung" . The two coordinators of the sub-project belong to the Student Advising and Counselling Service (ZSB).
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