The overall point of departure of the CSCD is based on the internationally recognised well-being approach, which is currently applied at more than 70% of the American institutions of higher education.
Our programme, which focuses mostly on first year students, is known as the ALFA-programme (Academic Guidance and Facilitation for Adjustment).
Our programme, which focuses primarily on rounding off the period of study (in other words, mainly aimed at senior students), is known as the OMEGA-programme (Development Mechanisms for rounding off Degrees effectively). The aim is to help students to prepare maximally for the realities, demands and challenges of the occupational world. The services of the Careers Office support the aims of the OMEGA programme.
The functions of the CSCD can be divided broadly into seven services:
- Academic counselling;
- Occupational guidance and development;
- Individual and/or group pyschotherapy;
- Contemporary developmental workshops;
- An Office for Students with Special Learning Needs;
- Training and supervision of intern psychologists.
The specific details will be explained below, but the CSCD is proud that we offered the above services to 16,078 students (first year students to senior students in their fourth and fifth year), in 2004.
Feedback shows that students generally appreciate our services: We received an average performance mark of 79% for our individual services, while students attending our development workshops rated us at an average of 83%.
It is clear that many students use the services offered by the CSCD and that they are very satisfied with what we offer them!
In 2003, an acknowledged and independent auditor evaluated the Centre and afterwards awarded us an overall performance score of 80%. In June 2007, Prof Mark Watson of the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University (NMMU) conducted a follow-up evaluation of the Centre and increased the overall to above 81.4%. The first formal and independent audit was repeated in 2009 with an overall outcome score of 84%!
The staff of the CSCD work very hard throughout to ensure that the Centre remains up to date, dynamic and at the cutting edge of developments (please see the vision of the CSCD below).
All services are free for registered students (a small fee may be charged for certain workshops to cover printing costs). Prospective students pay a modest consultation fee. All services are offered by registered psychologists, and strict confidentiality is guaranteed.
The broad objectives of the Centre are to:
- render a scientifically responsible psychological service to registered and prospective students that is up to date, student-centred and dynamic;
- focus on optimising existing potential, counselling (including career development), preventing problems and providing psychotherapeutic assistance;
- train and undertake supervision to intern psychologists in accordance with the prescriptions of the Health Professions Council of South Africa (HPCSA), and in accordance with recognised scientific standards/strategies;
- act as consultants for university committees and the academic staff;
- initiate, execute and publish relevant and pertinent research; and
- acquire national and international recognition.
The six objectives above are realised by means of the following eight functions:
- Present developmental and counselling programmes that would lead to optimising the existing potential of students and empower them to confront contemporary challenges and problems successfully on their own;
- Provide information and guidance regarding effective career development, choices and entrance to such a career;
- Make information and guidance regarding academic matters, such as tuition programmes and choices of modules, available;
- Provide confidential psychotherapeutic services;
- Provide an office for students with special learning needs;
- Make a confidential 24-hour crisis service available;
- Provide consultation services to university committees and academic personnel;
- Initiate, execute and publish research related to the main functions of the centre.