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Student Support Services
While studying at SMBC you may benefit from accessing support services to help you get the most out of your educational experience. A range of support services are available to you through our staff. We can also support you by referring you to appropriate services available in the community (depending on where you live).
We are committed to providing equal access to learning for all our students. We also offer a range of measures to assist those with a disability, including access to adjustments and services that can help you succeed with your studies.
In general, the key contacts for your support are the Director of Community and Student Care, Community and Student Care Coordinator, Fellowship Group Leaders, or the Academic Registrars.
You can contact or arrange a meeting with any of these staff members by email or by phoning SMBC on (02) 9747 4780. If you’re on campus you can arrange a meeting in person. Staff are available most weekdays during business hours (9am-5pm). Additional contact details for specific kinds of services are also given in the sections below.
Overseas students: The Senior Academic Registrar is the Overseas Student Liaison Officer and is available to support overseas students in particular and can provide information about living and studying in Australia as well as the available support services.
While there are no additional fees for services provided by the College, or for referral to external services, you need to enquire with external service providers about any fees you will incur.
Support services are as follows:
Personal counselling: Counselling can help you with a range of issues including mental health and emotional well-being, loss and grief, relationship issues, and life direction.
As a community, we want to do all possible to support all your pastoral needs. To help facilitate that, the Director of Community and Student Care, Principal, Vice Principal, or Fellowship Group Leaders are all available to assist you with counselling or pastoral care needs you may have. Please note as staff are not qualified counsellors, they may advise you to seek external professional help.
If you would prefer to talk to someone outside the College community, then the Director of Community and Student Care can refer you to a range of external counselling services as needed. A list of qualified external counsellors is maintained to refer students to, particularly where mental health support is needed.
Academic support, including help with study skills and academic English: Support is available in a range of academic areas including essay writing, proper referencing, study skills and time management, accessing library resources, and academic English.
At SMBC, we want to encourage you to do the best you can in your studies, and to be able to make the most of your time here at College. We understand that our students are coming from different academic backgrounds, and may find some extra help is beneficial. We can offer support via the following ways:
- Online Academic Skills tutorial videos on our Student Moodle.
- One-to-one academic English assistance for students from non-English speaking backgrounds.
- One-to-one tutorial assistance to students who have particular academic needs.
- The SMBC ‘Essay and Assignment Essentials' handbook covers all aspects of assessments at SMBC.
- Library tutorials on how to find resources, how to reference, and how to do research. Available face-to-face or as online tutorial videos.
Academic English and Academic Skills Support are overseen by the Coordinator of Part-Time Study and Learning Support. Library tutorials are overseen by our librarians. All faculty are available to provide general one-on-one assistance to students in the subjects they are teaching. The one-to-one academic English and tutorial assistance is provided by teaching staff or competent student peers with backgrounds in teaching and/or English.
Health and welfare services: Health and welfare services cover a range of support for issues related to physical health (i.e. medical), disability, financial, and tenancy.
For Health services you’ll be referred to qualified external providers. SMBC staff can make known some practitioners as needed. Overseas students are referred to Medibank for Overseas Student Health Cover. A database of local health services is utilised to refer students where appropriate. Dietary needs of all students including overseas students are considered in menu planning.
SMBC supports student welfare in the following ways:
- SMBC Bursaries/Scholarships (administered by the SMBC Bursary and Scholarship Committee)
- Some externally provided scholarships (referrals made by the Chief Operating Officer)
- Special provisions in exams, or alternate modes of assessment, for students with illness, disability or injury - are overseen by the Director of Teaching and Learning and implemented by the Academic Registrar’s Team.
For access to information about welfare services at SMBC – the key contacts are the Chief Operating Officer, the Registrar Team, and the Director of Community and Student Care. You can get in contact with them via email, phone or by chatting to them in person.
The SMBC Disability Working Committee also coordinates and provides support.
Scholarship funds may be available for tuition fees for some students on a case-by-case basis.
Legal support: While staff at SMBC cannot provide legal advice, you may be referred to services in the community that can help you with legal matters; such as traffic incidents, domestic abuse matters, family law matters, immigration, and consumer rights.
Overseas students are made aware of the legal services in enrolment correspondence from the Academic Registrars. From time-to-time, students are referred to external legal services where necessary. The Chief Operating Officer can provide details of access to legal services if your matter relates to an issue at College.
Accommodation: The Academic Registrars can support you with accommodation issues or enquiries while you undertake study.
As SMBC is a residential Bible college (as well as a Day and off-campus college), we can assist you with accommodation, if you wish to live on campus. On-campus accommodation is available for full-time single students, families and married couples. There is also some self-catered off-campus accommodation that the Chief Operating Officer oversees.
Incoming and continuing full-time students in need of accommodation are advised of services by the Chief Operating Officer or Registrar, as need arises, and services become available.
You might like to visit the Accommodation page to see what options may best suit you and/or your family.
Student advocacy: The student advocacy service helps students understand policy and procedures and can assist with making appeals, grievances and complaints.
In general, student advocacy services at SMBC are provided by the Community Care team, consisting of the Director of Community and Student Care, Community Care Coordinator, Residential Student Rep and International Student rep. The Chief Operating Officer and Registrar co-ordinate advocacy services for international students with faculty assistance. The Coordinator of Part-Time study coordinates advocacy services for part-time students.
Student advocacy services are provided to students on a case-by-case basis as needs arise or are identified. The Community Care team operate according to the policies of the Australian College of Theology.
Student Community Representatives are elected/appointed for a 12-month term and meet fortnightly with the Community Care Team to discuss matters relating to the academic, material and communal wellbeing of the student community. Residential Assistants are student representatives who meet weekly with the Residential Student Advisor to discuss and advocate for matters relating to residential living.
Relationships are maintained with a broad range of external providers including lawyers, accountants, and consultants, who are engaged when additional advocacy support is required.
Disability and inclusion: Our Disability Support Office works with students, support staff, and academic staff to develop a tailored learning and assessment plan that addresses your individual needs. This plan is used to communicate your requirements to the academic staff overseeing your units of study so that appropriate adjustments can be made where necessary. Examples of the support we offer include:
- Assessment and exam adjustments
- Access to assistive technology
- Lecture support
- Library services
We assess eligibility for different adjustments and services on a case-by-case basis in line with student needs and the recommendation of your treating health professional. In the case of academic adjustments, we require documentation from your treating health professional outlining recommendations for study adjustments.
We encourage you to discuss your needs with our Disability Support Officer (the Registrar). You can contact them by phone at (02) 9747 4780, email or visit them at the SMBC Croydon Campus on weekdays. Details about our facilities can be found here
Other helpful resources:
Lifeline: 13 11 14
Mensline Australia: 1300 789 978
1800 RESPECT: 1800 737 732
Beyond Blue: 1300 224 636
R U OK?
Open Arms (Veterans and Families Counselling): 1800 011 046
Emergencies: Police / Fire / Ambulance – call 000. If you need police, fire or ambulance in an emergency, call Triple Zero (000). Always call Triple Zero (000) in situations where a life is in danger, a crime is taking place or in time-critical situations.