This post is co-authored by UTS students Hudson Taylor-Blair (Bachelor of Science (Biomedical science)) and Vaishali Raja (Master of Interaction Design).
Hi! We are Hudson and Vaishali, First BASE coaches at UTS. From our own experience as new students, we know that starting university can be a difficult time. The transition to a new environment can be both sudden and daunting to new students, and it can be hard to know where you should go to get support or help.
BASE stands for Belonging, Agency, Support, Engagement – read on to learn more about how we support students who are new to UTS.
A personalised support coach
The First BASE Program offers support to students who are new to UTS. The program helps students settle into studying at UTS and sets them up with the knowledge, skills, social connections and access to support needed for holistic success.
A key feature of First BASE is the individualised and flexible support offered to students via weekly 1:1 catch-ups with experienced UTS students who are trained as a First BASE Coach. Students book in for a 30 minute catch-up with a Coach and can talk about anything related to their first year at UTS.
As coaches, we’re in a valuable position to work directly with students and put them in contact with relevant support at UTS. Our ongoing role and connection helps new students become familiar and comfortable with new systems and environments, whilst sharing both the highs and lows of starting uni.
Bridges to social spaces and support
The problems that weighed really heavily on students were something they felt was lifted off because we bridged the gap to help them access support at UTS.
The program also offers a social connection which gives students an opportunity to find community and interact with other students having similar experiences. Students can enjoy free snacks and games along with social interaction with their peers. As this is facilitated by coaches, the students feel comfortable to walk into the space knowing someone who could help them feel much more relaxed to socialise on their terms.
Some of our big wins have been having students come back to us the following semester, not because they need help anymore, but because they loved staying connected. Some decided to continue their uni degree because they felt they could take the chance and if they ever needed it, they could fall back on us for support, from help accessing financial and legal support they didn’t know UTS offered, to finding a way to reschedule their timetable.
Do you teach first year subjects?
First BASE offers 1:1 appointments with coaches who are experienced students or recent graduates and social catch-ups every weekday from 12-1pm. Students can sign up via the First Base website or drop in to the UTS Careers Space (Building 2, level 4), next to the lifts near the entrance up the stairs from Alumni Green.
If you teach first year subjects, or know someone who does, please feel free to include this information slide on First BASE in your lecture or on Canvas. Alternatively, email First.Base@uts.edu.au if you would like our fantastic coaches to do a 60 second pitch at the beginning of your lecture! First BASE is a great place for students to go if they need support, but they are not sure who to talk to.