Students Affairs breadcurbsep Current Students breadcurbsep Support and Guidance

Support and Guidance

Assistant Dean for Academic Affairs Office

The Office of The Assistant Dean for Academic Affairs is mainly for students advisory services. It deals also with all routine students’ enquiries. Problems, which cannot be dealt with by the Assistant Dean, will be referred to an appropriate person in the College.

Academic Guidance

All new students should have academic (personal) tutors. The new students are grouped into 20 – 30 students groups and each group is assigned to an academic staff member who is their academic tutor. The students remain with the same tutor till their graduation. The tutor deals with all routine undergraduate inquiries, advises for academic registration at the beginning of each semester, and any other raised problems. However, problems, which cannot be dealt with by the tutor, will be referred to the head of the Department, the Dean of the College, or to an appropriate member of academic staff. The academic guidance is available on specified dates in the terms, and any advisory service offered by the Assistant Dean for Academic Affairs is available daily to all students (including both morning and evening programs students).

Time: 08.00 AM to 04:00 PM Saturday to Wednesday during term,
Venue: Room 223 (for morning program students)

Time: 16:00 PM to 18:00 PM Saturday to Wednesday during term,
Venue: Room IT 223 (for evening program students)

The advisory service offers advice on departmental and College matters and helps with anything that concerns you, whether in your studies, in the Department, in the College or in your life outside the College. Each of the staff in their offices is available with knowledge of the Department and College and who is willing to listen and help with whatever you bring. Note that

  • All visits to the advisory staff offices are strictly confidential.
  • If you have difficulties with material on particular course units you should normally first approach your tutors (or lecturers/project supervisors). You may also consult your tutors on matters that are more general but you can equally well call in at the Office of Assistant Dean for Academic Affairs.
  • If you have health problems, you are welcome to consult an advisor in the Department but may prefer to go directly to the College Clinic.

Feel free to make use of these services at any time on any matter.

Students Affair Department

Confidential, individual counseling on any matter affecting personal well-being or effectiveness is available at the Oman College of Management & Technology Students Affairs Department. The Department sees well over a hundred students a year and gives expert advice on problems such as low motivation, personal decision making, relationships, and anxiety and family difficulties. People there, are willing to help in finding fresh ways of coping with the emotional and personal aspects of problems and seeks to do so in a collaborative, straightforward and empowering way with the individual concerned. Advice is available concerning referral to other services, helping others and dealing with common student problems such as exam anxiety.

The Department is open from 8.00 AM to 4.00 PM, from Saturday to Wednesday throughout the year and appointments can be made by calling into the office of the Head of Students affairs. All inquiries will be treated confidentially.

Tutoring Arrangements

Some of your course units will have tutorials, where you can discuss topics on a course unit and run through exercises. Usually, the lecturer of the course unit runs the tutorial. There will be an opportunity for you to ask questions on matters you do not understand.

As you have a personal tutor from the beginning of your college life, your tutor is here to help you in your way through college life. He/she will watch your progress and offer help and advice wherever necessary. If you get into difficulties, you should contact your personal tutor or visit the Assistant Dean for Academic Affairs at the earliest possible opportunity. Do not let things slide until it is difficult to retrieve the situation, especially if you are getting behind with your work. Your personal tutor will also advise on your choice of course units, on departmental or College procedures and will provide references for jobs and other purposes.

Course lecturers are always available to discuss questions or problems with the course unit material. Each lecturer fixes at least three office hours on his timetable, which is fixed on his office door. You can call at these hours. For any reason, if these lecturers could not see you at these office hours, they may arrange an appointment at another time. It is important that any matter that affects your ability to work is notified to the Department - through your personal tutor, through the Assistant Dean for Academic Affairs or otherwise. The following are examples of matters that may affect your work: illness, personal or family difficulties (including illness in the family) or financial problems. In assessing your performance, the Department has a policy of trying to compensate for difficulties you have encountered whilst studying. We can only do this if we are notified of difficulties and have some idea of their extent.

Student Progress

Work and Attendance. The College regulations governing the Work and Attendance of students are given in this Student Guide for 2008/2009. Full attendance is required at all lectures, laboratories, and any tutorials, which may be scheduled. Completed laboratory work should be handed in on time. Attendance at laboratories and at many lectures is monitored and attendance registers kept. Please note that the expectation is that students will be required to undertake approximately thirty six hours per week of study i.e. an average of two hours private study will be required for every scheduled hour of lectures, laboratories etc. and some students may require much more time than this.

Being a student is a full time occupation! Absence for holidays is not permitted in term-time. The experience of the College confirms that lack of attendance leads to study problems and any student with problems should consult his/her subject tutors or personal tutor. In addition, failure to attend can result ultimately in refusal by the College to allow a student to sit in the examinations. The duty of the lecturer is to keep continuous review of the work and attendance of the students with whom he is concerned. If the rate of student absences, in a course unit, is more than 15% (or 25% for students representing the College in sportive or cultural activities) of the completely accredited hours and the student has no acceptable justification, then this student is excluded from that course unit. If the Dean of the Department accepts the justifications of absence, then this student is mentioned as withdrawn without refunding the registration fees. A formal process is defined to tackle the problem of any student whose work and attendance appear unsatisfactory. Direct approaches by lecturer to solve the problem are as follows: He may choose to issue an "informal" warning, which has a precisely defined format and permits recovery of the situation. If this is unsatisfactory, a "formal" warning is issued. This is again of a precisely defined format. Failure to recover the situation at this stage leads to an exclusion from the course. A copy of this correspondence is held in a student's file.

Interruption of Degree Program

Any interruption (taking at most 2 years) of your degree program requires special permission from College. Regulations state that a B.Sc. degree is a continuous 4-year period of study, and a Diploma degree is a 2-year period of study. Permission will only be granted if satisfactory reasons are given. A written case with supporting evidence must be presented to the Dean. Reasons might include prolonged illness. Consult your tutor for advice.

Transfer between Departments

  • If you are contemplating any change of Department or College, consult your primary tutor as soon as possible.
  • You can change your Department by filling a special form at the beginning of the semester. It is only required that the Secondary Certificate average imposed in the new Department or department must be accepted. A specialized committee will decide what courses will be retained from your new Department.

Withdrawal from Modules

If you are contemplating withdrawing from a module, please discuss the situation with your personal tutor at the earliest opportunity.

  • You can withdraw a module at most during the thirteenth week of the first or second term, and at most during the seventh week of the summer term.
  • The minimal number of modules (which is 12) required in each term should be followed.

Academic Counselingandmonitoring of Student

Progress:

  1. Individual students should be allocated a personal tutor who will be responsible for offering guidance in their academic work, monitoring progress and initiating the provision of additional support where this may be required. Personal tutors should also be prepared to fulfil a more generally supportive role and to discuss any matters affecting their academic work which students may wish to raise with them. In cases where personal difficulties are apparently affecting students' academic work, tutors should consider initiating appropriate consultation with the student.
  2. Personal tutors should normally take the initiative in making arrangements to meet with their tutees at least once a term although there will normally be additional contact with them in the classroom/laboratory, office hours or informally. Both personal and program/module tutors should be available to discuss personal circumstances as well as academic matters; this availability should be made known to students and students should understand when to consult them on issues affecting their welfare.
  3. Depending on the circumstances, tutors may find it appropriate to refer students to appropriate members of the Department or to the Students' Association counsellor or the Student Health Centre. If a student has been professionally diagnosed as suffering examination anxiety or is otherwise unwell, special examination arrangements should be made through the Examinations Office. If a break in studies is arranged, the tutor concerned should re-establish contact with the student at the appropriate time.
  4. Overall responsibility for student welfare should normally rest with the Assistant Dean for Students Affairs, or the Department of Students Affairs.
  5. Departments should ensure that necessary provisions are made for disadvantaged groups including those with low linguistic, numerical or other necessary skills, and those with disabilities.
  6. Students following programs which contain optional components should receive guidance from their personal tutors or Department Heads on the selection of program routes and individual optional modules appropriate to their abilities and interests. Such guidance is of particular importance during the early stages of the program, and particularly at the end of the Foundation Program when degree pathways are being chosen. Presentation or consultation sessions during which individual program staff-members describe their programs and answer questions on the nature and demands of these can be helpful to students.
  7. Full details of the curriculum and associated reading lists for each course should be provided in accessible formats and given to students before the beginning of the course concerned.
  8. Examination requirements should be notified to students when they have been determined by the appropriate Board of Examiners.
  9. Progress should be supported and monitored from intake to completion by appropriate teaching staff and personal tutors, with particular concern for new students, having regard to a range of performance indicators such as:
    • regularity of attendance
    • regularity and quality of assessed work
    • performance in tutorials and seminars
    • oral presentations
    • formative assessment including mock examinations ( if any), etc
    • contact in practical classes
    • laboratory and field notebooks
    • progress files including provision of transcripts
    • non-completion rates
    • progression from one stage of the program to the next
    • profile of students at entry compared with performance at the end of each stage of the program
    • final results
    • career enhancement
  10. In cases of underperformance and unsatisfactory attendance, lecturers or personal tutors should offer appropriate guidance to the students concerned. Staff should be prepared to consider the implications of students' personal or professional problems for their academic progress and commitments. Strategies of review should normally be agreed upon to meet individual circumstances and should be kept under review: additional coursework may be prescribed or additional study skills required. Serious or persistent cases should be considered and monitored by the Heads of Departments.
  11. In appropriate cases, personal or program /module tutors should meet with their students at the end of each stage of the program to discuss their profile, choice of options (if appropriate) and preparations necessary for studies during the next stage of the program. In particular, progress may need to be reviewed and any examination failures or underperformance analysed and, where necessary, additional support prescribed. Tutors should encourage students to prepare thoroughly for the coming stage.
  12. Effectiveness of these procedures should be monitored in terms of the quality and regularity of subsequent work and regularity of attendance.
  13. Withdrawal among students is significant and made for a variety of reasons. The College endeavours to minimise the numbers who withdraw by encouraging Departments to develop a supportive environment through friendly contacts between staff and students and by fostering a sense of community and mutual support among students.
  14. On an individual basis, tutors should counsel and offer appropriate encouragement, advice and support to students contemplating withdrawal. Reformulation of targets in terms of the length of the program may be considered in appropriate cases. Cases of financial hardship should be referred for consideration to the Department of Students Affairs. A break in studies may be considered as an alternative to permanent withdrawal. Departments should record and analyse information concerning the causes of student withdrawal where these are known. Experience of problems encountered by students which affect their ability to complete their programs successfully can be helpful to staff advising prospective students.