Supporting student wellbeing and mental health has always been important to higher education institutions, but the COVID-19 pandemic has made institutions around the world even more focused on student support. The University of Derby was especially keen on providing student support when their campus first went into lockdown on March 24th and was able to continue managing student wellbeing through the use of Symplicity CareerHub. Savannah Davis, Wellbeing Advisor at the University of Derby, said that, “We’ve been able to adapt the way that we’re providing student services with CareerHub. And it’s been easy for us to keep track of each student’s journey because all of the notes and student files are kept in the system, so all Student Wellbeing staff members have access and are able to see the whole picture when a student reaches out for support.” Davis added that CareerHub has been revolutionary to her department and that she can’t imagine experiencing the pandemic without the system.
CareerHub has been instrumental to the University of Derby due to its ease of use when it comes to the student experience. Davis said, “It allows for the students to have a very easy student experience because they don’t have to log in to multiple areas to provide information to us. Students are able to fill out and submit forms to us in the same system the staff uses. By keeping everything in CareerHub, the Student Wellbeing staff can keep track of the student journey and we can address any safeguarding concerns.” By having all the information collected in one place, any Student Wellbeing staff member can manage and keep track of students’ needs as it relates to their wellbeing.
The feature Student Wellbeing staff members have been most actively using within CareerHub since the pandemic began is the appointment module. Diary management can be tricky for student wellbeing staff working remotely but Davis said this has not been an issue for the University of Derby, even after COVID-19 closed their campus. With CareerHub, viewing calendar availability and booking appointments is easy because of the ability to view each other’s calendars. Davis recounts how helpful this is because Student Wellbeing staff members can “look through the appointment history of the student. This is key for our department as well as using journal notes to identify trends through reporting on appointments.” Appointment management has been critical for the Student Wellbeing team to ensure that every student is accounted for and receives the support they need.
Ultimately, the University of Derby depends on CareerHub for its flexibility and the ability to use the system in a way that works best for the Student Wellbeing department. “Our institution uses CareerHub for both Careers and Student Wellbeing which shows just how configurable the system is. We can adjust the system to match our exact needs and any updates to our processes as a result of the pandemic,” Davis stated, “Other than the flexibility, our student wellbeing staff greatly appreciates the support we receive from the Symplicity team. Symplicity support provides training webinars and information, as well as examples of how other institutions are using the system and what’s been successful for them. It’s been great to get ideas by seeing how others are adapting to the current situation we’re all trying to navigate.”