St Mary's College has an excellent reputation for providing high-quality student support to its student members. The College is aware that students can face difficulties during the course of their studies – be it physical and/or mental health problems, financial issues, bereavement, relationship difficulties, academic concerns, or many other challenges that life throws in our way. The Vice-Principal has responsibility for the Student Support provided in College and this support is offered in a range of ways:
The College Student Support Office
Often the first point of contact for many students who find themselves in difficulty, the Student Support Office comprises the Vice-Principal, the Senior Student Support Officer and Student Support Administrator. The team is very experienced in helping students, and can help you to access further support in your departments and/or with the specialist support services within the University if necessary.
St Mary's has many avenues available for students to engage with pastoral and personal development support but the main way is through its College Mentoring Scheme.
All students are allocated a College Mentor in their first year. Your Mentor will meet up with you informally but on a regular basis to help you settle into University life and find the right route for support should any difficulties arise. Mentors will also encourage you to make full use of the opportunities available to you whilst you are here, opportunities that will allow you to develop vital life and employability skills such as leadership and teamwork. Our Mentors consist of academics, members of University staff, senior postgraduates and members of the local community and business, and Mentor groups consist of students from all disciplines and years.
The Chaplain is available to all members of the College community, whatever your need (spiritual or otherwise), on a personal and confidential basis.
JCR Welfare (WAM)
The JCR Welfare Team (known as Welfare at Mary’s) offers peer-support to students who are facing difficulties. They run weekly drop-in sessions to make it easy for you to access their help and they can also sign-post you to other support available within College or the University. In addition to the peer-support that they offer individuals, they also organise events to help you de-stress, particularly around exams, and they run awareness campaigns on a variety of different welfare issues.
As part of the work that the JCR does to help our new students settle into College life, second, third and fourth year undergraduates volunteer to become College Parents. New students are introduced to their College Parent(s) during induction week, and they will help you settle in and adjust to student life in the first few weeks. Where possible new students are assigned to a College Parent who is doing the same or similar course, so that they can also give you more specific advice on your course and department.
The College Community
The truth is that, as a community, we are all looking out for each other. Whilst we have a dedicated Student Support Office that students facing difficulties are encouraged to access, in reality, students can approach any member of staff - cleaners, porters, member of the catering team, librarian Bursar or Principal – all of whom will do their best to help. If they can’t resolve the problem they will know someone else in College who will be able to help. And we encourage our students to look out for each other too and come forward if they have any concerns. We aim to create an environment that encourages people to seek help should they need it.
If as a prospective student you would like to discuss a support issue before you come to St Mary's College please contact email@example.com.