Here is an overview of the student support resources available at UNC
For incoming students, the transition to university life is an exciting and stressful time. To ease this transition and support students throughout their time at UNC, the University offers a variety of programs and resources.
The Heel Life online platform is the “central portal for participation” at UNC, said Bobby Kunstman, director of student life and leadership at the Carolina Union. This is a website where students can learn about the different organizations on campus.
Heel Life allows undergraduate and graduate students to find information about clubs, sports teams, Greek Life organizations, student government, church groups and more.
“Students can kind of come in, create their roadmaps to get involved, and find a sense of belonging on campus,” Kunstman said.
Heel Life also offers information on events such as socials, fitness classes and retreats.
“For this past academic year, we had nearly 2,400 events in the system that students could identify,” Kunstman said.
During the first few weeks of school, New Student and Family Programs hold UNC Welcome Weeks, or WOWs, where campus organizations offer a variety of programs and opportunities for new students to transition into the campus community.
In addition to this initial support, the University also offers academic support services.
This year, UNC is launching its IDEAS in Action program, which will be introduced to students during freshman orientation. The program encourages interdisciplinary learning to equip students with the tools to learn through inquiry, analysis, discovery and action, according to its website.
The program begins with the first year foundation courses.
“As a freshman, one of the things that this new class of students is going to have to take part in is 16 campus life experiences, opportunities,” Kunstman said. “These campus life experiences are all going to be incorporated into the events within Heel Life.”
For academic help, students can use the UNC Writing and Learning Center. The center offers personalized academic coaching, peer tutoring, group workshops and online resources to help students excel.
Another service offered by the center is online coaching sessions for students who want feedback on virtual essays. The center’s services are available to students in all fields of study and at all academic levels.
There are approximately 500 individual appointments booked each week and up to one million website visits each month for the centre.
Writing coaches are available for appointments to provide input on articles, projects, and application essays. It also offers a Zoom option.
Academic coaches are also available to discuss anything related to students’ academic life. Students often discuss time management, strengthening study habits, organization, and specific courses.
Kim Abels, the center’s director, said it’s a great resource for talking with other successful students in a class and discussing concepts or readings.
Peer tutors cover 100 classes per semester, and the center’s website shows the range of classes at the start of each semester.
“We have STEM specialists on our math, biology, physics and chemistry coaching staff,” Abels said.
She said the center also has ADHD, learning disabilities and English language specialists on staff.
While many universities offer a writing or learning center for students, UNC stands out for its strong array of support, Abels said.
“We are well known,” she said. “We are national leaders in the coaching approach we use here.”
To promote student wellness and healthy lifestyle choices, UNC offers services from organizations such as Campus Health Services, Student Wellness, and Campus Recreation.
Campus Health’s mission is “to help students thrive by fostering resilience and self-care mastery for healthy living.” Its values include inclusion, confidentiality and compassion.
“We are a very large, multi-specialty practice serving our students,” said Campus Health Executive Director Ken Pittman. “And we now have a utilization rate of around 73%. … This matters because the national average for academic health centers is less than 50 percent.”
Campus Health offers options and support including vaccination, success with ADHD, dental services, gender affirmation care and international travel clinics. It also offers academic interventions and nutrition counseling, and houses UNC counseling and psychology services.
There are two pharmacies located on campus – one in Campus Health and the other in the Student Stores Building. There are two pharmacy vending machines at the Carolina Union and the Rams Head Recreation Center. These offer over-the-counter medications that might be offered at a pharmacy.
“During their time at Carolina, I believe they will receive the best health care they will ever receive,” Pittman said.
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