By Jason Head
A Murdoch University student is working towards improving support services available to his fellow students.
Isaac Fullarton is completing a double degree in psychology and criminology, as well as conducting research on campus as a part of the Students as Change Agents in Learning and Teaching program.
He hopes his research will fill the gaps in the current support framework.
“We’re looking at peer support and mentoring on campus, which already exists in some way… but it’s a bit all over the place,” he said.
Fullarton said mentoring services are proven to be effective, but should go beyond the academic level and helpt to build social circles and understanding that assignments are just a part of the bigger picture.
he believes a major issue is students don’t know about the services available to them. Fullarton’s research under the SCALT program aims to create a centralised place to learn about them and find mentor-based help.
“Students should take every single opportunity and resource offered to them that is available.
“To not do so would be to not get the most out of university,” he said.
Program coordinator Sarah Rasmussen said that the SCALT program, run and funded by Murdoch University, allows students to put forward a range of projects that relate to the university experience and develop that idea with the help of staff mentors.
“Essentially it’s a program that provides students with the opportunity to propose, lead and implement ideas that create change at the university,” she said.
Although project ideas don’t always continue beyond the research stage, she said it provides both staff and students with a better understanding of each others’ perspective.
“Some projects have been more sustainable than others so some of them have been carried on as research projects by staff, others have been running a one-off event,” Rasmussen said.
“To be an undergrad that can do research, for example, to put out a report and to make a proposal to the university… it’s amazing that the university offers that to people,” said Fullarton.