Armed with sticky notes and butcher’s paper the Student Life at MelbPoly (SLAM) team invited students to tell them what they wanted from their campus experience.
In a series of fun morning tea events, SLAM asked what students wanted, didn’t want and what they wanted more of.
SLAM took their answers on board and responded quickly in the areas of career readiness, Auslan interpreting, live music events and access to sport equipment.
Team leader Shane Lawtey says ‘We did a series of face to face morning tea workshops across our seven campuses in May.
‘Our student cohorts are very diverse and very different on each campus and even different each day on each campus, but there were some trends that came through.’
Shane and his team analysed the results, highlighting some things that they were already doing, improvements that could be made and new initiatives.
They found that a lot of students wanted career preparation support and career readiness information, so they moved quickly to help community service students to find placements, even putting one student in the SLAM team as part of their studies.
SLAM team members discussed the results with the different teaching departments too and have developed a career-ready program, running workshops in writing a resume, cover letter and key selection criteria, as well as practising interview skills.
Shane says a careers section has been added to the Melbourne Polytechnic student app Thrive, putting links to all those resources at the tap of a screen.
Asking students what sort of events they wanted to see on campus resulted in Auslan students at the Prahran campus saying they wanted sign language support at big events.
‘SLAM team members have since done some basic finger signing training and we are still exploring having interpreters at large welcome events,’ Shane says.
‘Other events that we looked at were students want live music on campus so we reached out to our music department and they are establishing a gig office where students can register and other students then book acts to play.
‘Our Reorientation events in July and August had all student performers.’
Shane says sporting events were also discussed: ‘It’s a massive challenge to get people to take time out of classes to participate but our response has been providing sporting equipment that students can loan on campus.’
Thanks to those scribbled notes and student suggestions there are now career readiness workshops, placement support, Auslan training, a live music register, sports gear loans and more links on the Thrive app.
And Melbourne Polytechnic students will soon have another chance to have their say – the annual student survey is about to roll out
Find out more on SLAM here.
Lots of students pull the pin on their course due to these short-term stresses and challenges that present themselves, often living to regret their choice in later years.
But it doesn’t have to be this way...