Transition to post secondary education is going to be very different from your previous transitions within the school system. What is sometimes called the orientation period to these education settings can in fact be formal and informal in their function. You need to think about the possibility of a very large campus, the number of buildings that you may need to access and how you will organise your day. The following list can help you to prepare for your orientation to campus life.
First of all how will I get there:
- Will I be taking public transport
- What public transport goes to the campus
- Will I be driving to the campus
- How do I organise parking and which parking lots can I access
- What percentage of time will I actually be on campus
Second, how big is the campus and where is everything:
- Locate a building map to identify my lecture rooms
- What other facilities are available on campus: eg bank, doctor, bookstore
- When can I walk around campus when it is not busy so I know where to go
- Familiarise yourself with the campus layout
- Familiarise yourself with the lecture and tutorial rooms, find the best place for you to sit in these spaces
- Introduce yourself to your lecturers and disclose your needs if you choose to do so
- Locate and discuss my needs with a student support worker
- Identify what percentage of my course is available online
- Do I understand the online portal and if not who can help me with this
Once you have organised how you are going to get to the campus it is a good idea to go there before your classes start. This way you can move around the campus when there are not a lot of people there and get to know where things are. During the orientation period and before this it is a good idea to start preparing for this next transition.
Post secondary environments are places where you will meet and interact with a lot of people. Some things you need to think about and be aware of are listed below.
- There will be a lot of social events on campus
- How do I interact with people I don’t know
- How do I talk to my lecturers about my units of study
- Is it appropriate to ask questions in class
- If I am not living with my family how do I manage looking after myself while studying
- Will I have a part-time job and how do I manage this with my study timetable
- Will I be living in shared accommodation and if so how do I manage this
Post secondary education is the start of what you planned with your career or transition teacher in secondary school. The campus will be very different to that of your secondary school and you will meet many different people. The lecturers will be different from your teachers at school and may have a very different style of teaching. You may have very large numbers of students in your classes and they will be of all ages. There will also be tutorials where there are smaller groups of students working together. Remember you have managed many transitions before and there are people in student services to help you and may also be able to provide support in classes if you need this.