I Support U and U Support We at UWI: Examining the Symbiotic Staff-Student Support Services of the Academic Literacies Programme at The University of the West Indies, St. Augustine
Keywords:student support, academic writing, Academic Literacies Programme (ALP)
Against the backdrop of the ever-increasing physiological and sociological ramifications of the COVID-19 pandemic, it became necessary for the Academic Literacies Programme (ALP), at The University of the West Indies (UWI), St. Augustine Campus (The UWISTA), to recalibrate its student support mechanisms. The existing pre-pandemic system was recalibrated to maximise the highest probability for student success and simultaneous staff development through an eight-prong support system. This encompassed the enhanced utilisation of the exciting capabilities of the e-Learning portal; the transformation of the services of The Writing Centre into an energised virtual forum; continuous academic advising; small-group grammar and writing workshops; increased opportunities for non-credit practice writing; additional consultations; special one-on-one tutorials for academically at-risk students; and, the amplification of the student voice. In so doing, the ALP’s staff grew in related competencies as well, encouraged by the positive synergies of an appreciative student body, resulting in a new-found symbiotic relationship between staff development and student learning.