Arrangements for academic guidance

Center for Individual and Academic Development Unit (CIAD)  provides an integrative environment where several student support services work in collaboration with each other and with other related units of the university. 

The transition from high school to university life is in itself a challenging process. Unlike high school, university students are able and indeed called on to decide on many aspects of their education themselves, such as which classes to take and which program to major in. To ensure success throughout their university years, students are expected to develop various academic and individual skills. CIAD helps students acquire these important academic and individual skills, thereby facilitating students’ adaptation to the university experience.  CIAD’s mission is to encourage students to strengthen the skills, strategies and behaviors required to participate in society as self-reliant, independent individuals, who are always open to learning.

The Foundation Development Year (FDY) is the initial stage of the university experience for students who are accepted to the undergraduate program, but need to further develop their English language proficiency. During this time, instructors at the School of Languages and the FDY Guidance Unit assist students with their academic studies and their adaptation to university life.

The interdisciplinary design of the academic programs offered by Sabanci University, as well as the opportunity to declare a major after the first two years, enables students to make an informed decision regarding their area of study. Throughout this process, CIAD helps students discover their area of interest and make the right decision about their major.

All students experience a two-tier common program that exposes them to a broad variety of disciplines and approaches. The University Courses in the first tier familiarize students with the undergraduate programs to assist them in their choice of a major at the end of the second year. Foundation Development Program Advisors play an important role in assisting students with this decision-making process and guiding them to the right support services at the right time.
University Courses can create a challenge for students who come from different backgrounds and at this stage Academic Support Program (ASP) becomes important. In addition to providing an environment that makes learning fun, ASP helps students develop learning skills and improve the effectiveness of their study skills. The most important feature of this student-run program is that students both conduct sessions as well as manage administrative and executive functions.

Diploma Area Advisors work with students who have already declared their majors, assisting them in aligning their academic development with their professional goals.

The Academic Success Monitoring and Counseling Program provides counseling and support for the students of Sabanci University who face situations that hamper their academic success.

In order to help students improve the Turkish and English proficiency skills required for their academic work, the Writing Center offers workshops, study groups and tutorials. Preparing project reports, presentation skills, professional and academic career advising, as well as interview techniques are just a few examples of the wide range of services provided by the Writing Center.

The Individual Counseling Program is open to all SU members who experience difficulties related to themselves, their family or others.  Counselors operate in accordance with the confidentiality principle.

In addition to these support services, Course Evaluation Surveys are conducted at the end of each term in order to enhance learning effectiveness, as well as improve education and training quality by providing course instructors with feedback from their students.

Academic Support Program (ASP): Academic Support Program is a student focused program, developed in line with Sabancı University’s academic goals and interdisciplinary educational approach. The Program differs from conventional support programs considerably in terms of structure, aims and modes of function. Taking peer influence and the effectiveness of peer instruction into account, the Program captures the basis for various “active learning”methods. This is accomplished through demonstration of good examples, as well aspeer moderation and coordination. Student involvement through engagement in management is emphasized.

The structure and functioning of the Program is centralized around and framed by the principle of “learning to learn,” and this principle is applied in all activities. In the Program, students are basically encouraged to benefit fully from the university environment and facilities, as well as to acquire the required knowledge from reliable sources. Information societies gain their strength from the value they attribute to learning, creativity, culture, and the generation of “genuine” knowledge. Fostering creativity and culture, Academic Support Program encourages the formation of a learning culture constructed and perpetuated by students who respect one another and who cherish ethical values.  The programs offered are projects based on the active participation of students. The common denominator in all programs is that they aim to enable internalization of the culture of learning and sustain a healthy academic environment.

The core of the Academic Support Program is formed by Active Learning Sessionsbased on Peer Study and Discussion Sessions. Within these sessions, an atmosphere is created which seeks to develop crucial student-related and individual learning skills.  Student ability to study efficiently is increased and we assist students in discovering and realizing their potential. A setting which encourages students to utilize their individual talents in conjunction with their newly acquired skills is provided. This core serves as the focal point of all programs.

In terms of content, Academic Support Program designs sub-programs for students with varying interests and knowledge bases, and supports them during the period of adaptation to the university environment. This is supplemented by seminars and workshops aimed at raising student awareness to both local and global matters. Such activities are designed to help individual learners define their personal goals, and select the course which best serves their needs.

As a multi-faceted program, Academic Support Program strongly encourages student participation and peer solidarity. The sessions held, run parallel to the University’s Undergraduate Program, and require the input of all faculties and units, as well as the support and collaboration of faculty members. Active student participation is encouraged, and those students who play an active role in the Program, are given responsibilities at all levels in directing and managing the Program. 

Academic Success Monitoring and Counseling: This program was created to support SU students who encounter academic difficulties. University life is challenging for many students, as it coincides with  the period of transition from adolescence to adulthood, as well as being a starting point for new experiences and preparation for adult life. ASMCP provides psychological and academic support to the students for whom this period is particularly difficult. 

For more information, please visit CIAD's website: http://ciad.sabanciuniv.edu/