Student Counselling Program: Is It Reaching the Masses?

Student Counselling Program: Is It Reaching the Masses?

Deepak Marandi Shubhra Pujari | Aug 27, 2018

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The Student Counselling Program is an initiative which aims at solving the problems of the freshmen and helping them adjust to the new environment at NIT Rourkela. It aims to provide a seamless transition from home to college life through academic, emotional, social and financial support.

Last year, it received a mixed response from the then-freshmen batch. Many students benefitted from the mentorship program and the remedial classes. Their mentors helped and guided them, mostly in academics and also aided them to adjust to the new environment. However, there were some who did not get the benefits of the program because their mentors did not interact with them enough or did not provide enough help to their mentees.

Team Monday Morning conducted a poll about the awareness and outreach of the SCP among the student folk in NIT Rourkela to know how much the students benefited from this program.

42% of the people voted that they were clearly aware of the schemes of SCP and had benefited substantially. It has been successful in tackling the emotional and academic issues of students. The Remedial Classes were extremely successful in catering to the academic needs of the freshmen. The Mentorship Program also helped the students interact with seniors so that they can adjust to the new environment.

Smruti Sudha Biswal, a sophomore Life Science student shares her opinion:

It has helped students. Mentors have been helpful to quite a few of the students. The remedial classes organised by SCP helps students in dealing with their loopholes and tackling issues related to academics. Few students have claimed that after attending remedial classes, they fared much better in their end semester exams.

33% people say that they know about SCP but have not attended its programs or availed its services so far. A probable reason for this is the lack of interest amongst students. Webmails are circulated regarding all the activities of SCP, yet participation isn’t very encouraging. Here it is essential to point out that the Mentorship Program did not see the estimated success last year. With a better structure in place, and with mentors chosen through a rigorous process of induction, it is expected to attain larger success this year. 

Roshan Kumar Shaw, a second-year Computer Science student, said:

Help through SCP is significant only if the mentors are willing to give time and sufficient guidance. Unfortunately, that didn’t happen in my case.

The rest 25% of the people voted that they know nothing about SCP. It may be due to a lack of knowledge among the students about the facilities that NITR provides to the freshmen. Since this number is quite substantial, it is of foremost importance that attention must first be paid to find out better ways to reach the masses.

This year, the Student Counselling Programme has aimed to work in a more structured and meticulous manner to overcome the shortcomings of last year.

Amlan Das, the Senior Coordinator of SCP, said:

We have already started with the freshers' orientation by Inspector G.P. Singh, who is the IG of Durg. That was our first step. As a second step, we are going for Bridge Courses and Remedial Classes. We have thought of merging our ideas with many clubs to bring fruitful benefits to the NIT Rourkela fraternity. Then, we are thinking of organising talks by some of our notable alumni and resource personnel. We also have planned to conduct a workshop, but that is still in the pipeline. We have thought of bringing in personnel who can advise on how to lead a healthy lifestyle.  People keep coming up with suggestions, so new ideas will be implemented if they are good.”

However, the SCP has been able to provide neither financial help nor social counselling to the students. On being asked about it, Prof. K.C. Pati, the Faculty Coordinator of SCP, said:

In the area of financial counselling, we are not doing much. It is because we don’t have the knowledge about the financial benefits and scholarships which the students can avail. These kind of problems are generally dealt with by the academic section. So, if the academic section can provide us with more information regarding this, we can guide the students.Regarding social counselling, we are not interfering with the students. We only advise the students to go to SAC and participate in extra-curricular activities.Our main aims are academic counselling and psychological or emotional counselling.

The Student Counselling Program has been helpful to many students to tackle academic and emotional problems. It helps the freshers to understand and to adjust to changing surroundings. It aims to bridge the gap between the freshers and seniors when executed correctly. 

With a more structured system in place, team MM hopes that the Student Counselling Program has a good year ahead.

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