Our new normal dictates that we approach education differently. While the rigidity of the lockdown restrictions are easing – albeit just a little – the prospects of going back to our familiar classroom environments feel like far-flung fantasies.
While online education will likely become the academic face of the future, it’s good to know that SACAP is ahead of the curve. SACAP already has a robust Online Campus equipped with experienced educators and mentors who are well versed in teaching, motivating and supporting students in an online environment. What’s more they’ve being doing so for years!
Hanna Auerbach, 23, has had first-hand experience of SACAP’s Online Campus efficiency and commitment to academic success. She began her Bachelor of Applied Social Science (BAppSocSci) at the Johannesburg Campus and then elected to complete her degree online. We asked her to share the perks and pitfalls of this transition and how she feels about both the campus and online environments of her qualification.
Suited to serve
“I’ve always been interested in the helping profession,” says Hanna. “In primary school I remember seeing the school social worker and thinking that it was something I’d like to do. Then in high school I experienced life events that made me realise the importance and relevance of mental health professionals.”
Hanna’s desire to help others has blossomed into her career goal of becoming a registered counsellor one day. Following the gap year she took after school she decided to enrol at SACAP. “I met with a student advisor who recommended I register for the BAppSocSci,” she says.
According to Hanna, the versatility of the course is what attracted her the most. “There’s something to meet everyone’s interests because the topics are incredibly diverse: from counselling modules where you learn about counselling skills and their application as well as ethics in counselling; to psychology modules where you study the foundations of psychology including abnormal psychology and developmental psychology; to sociology modules, which explore how we function in society.”
Midway through her studies Hanna migrated to virtual learning. “I decided to continue my BAppSocSci online as I wanted the flexibility of being able to work at the same time,” she explains. “I then chose to return to campus classes later on because I wished to dedicate myself properly to my degree.”
Coronavirus restrictions vanquished normal face-to-face interactions before Hanna was able to finish her course on campus. Fortunately, SACAP’s agile response to the pandemic ensured that all campus students could continue their studies online. It meant Hanna was able to make the switch back to online learning and she could complete her degree. “SACAP was exceptionally quick in putting methods in place for us to finish our degrees as smoothly as possible. Assessments were done a little differently, but they were relevant and well planned,” she says.
In Hanna’s opinion what really sets SACAP apart is the Work Integrated Learning (WIL) component of her course. “Nothing can compare to the practical experience we students are privileged to engage in throughout our WIL module,” she asserts. “Not only do we get hands-on training on how to work in the field, we also gain skills in individual and group supervision.”
Despite the practical limitations of continuing her WIL segment in lockdown Hanna says SACAP succeeded in maintaining the pragmatic spirit of the module online. “I was required to do a counselling role play, for example. SACAP really motivated us students to practise our skills so we could simulate what it would really be like working in the field.”
Equal in measure
Insofar as campus and online learning are concerned Hanna feels she’s enjoyed the best of both worlds. “I would recommend both of them without skipping a beat!” she exclaims. “SACAP’s online facilities are world class. From interactive forums and videos to being able to engage with experienced educators and receive assistance from student support, studying for my degree online has been a rich academic experience.”
Her campus classes were highlights too, Hanna says. “SACAP staff and educators are committed to exposing students to all disciplines of psychology, giving them a balanced and holistic education. Whether online or on campus the college makes psychology and counselling relevant, dynamic and applicable. It certainly encourages creative out-the-box critical thinking.”
Undoubtedly Hanna is a fan. You could be too! SACAP campuses are renowned for their limited class sizes, accredited courses, experienced educators and on-going support. The Online Campus has all the same trimmings only with built-in social distancing so that even amidst the present Covid-19 uncertainty you can get going on your career goals.
SACAP’s next intake for the online Bachelor of Applied Social Science degree is in September (Term 3) and you can register right now. Experienced online mentors will guide you through the curriculum and support every step of your academic journey. Sure, you may be studying remotely, but you’ll never feel lost or isolated. “I believe that in the current climate we need mental health workers who can reach a vast population,” emphasises Hanna. Indeed, the financial stress and anxiety of our new turbid times could unleash a tsunami of psychological issues. Our country needs warriors fighting on the front line of the pandemic, but also healers who can nurture our collective mental health. Want to be someone who really makes a difference in people’s lives? SACAP will show you how. Click here now.