Here at the University of Sussex, we make sure you have all the support you need, from your first class to graduation day. We spoke to Student Success Advisor James Hutton to find out how he helps you stay on track to academic success.
Can you tell me a little bit more about your role?
As a Student Success Advisor, I will be your first point of contact for non-academic support throughout your time with Sussex. I’m here to offer any guidance you may need and make your student experience as positive as possible from the first day through to your Graduation.
I’m contactable on the phones from 8am – 4pm Monday to Friday and guarantee an email response within 24 hours, so any time you have a query, worry or issue, I will always be fast to respond and help.
What are the main responsibilities of the Student Success team?
I will ensure that you are always on track with your assignments and modules, reminding you of key dates such as assignment and payment deadlines. I act as a liaison between you and any other University Services you may require. This could be from the Disability Services and Student Support to the Library Services and Students Union – I am always able to guide you in the right direction.
Most importantly, I aim to make you feel confident and comfortable with your progression on the course by providing any personal or general support should you ever need it. Whatever you need, I’m only a phone call away!
What do you think is most exciting about learning online?
Learning online gives you the opportunity to engage with other students from all over the world. You will gain perspectives from peers who may have had similar or completely different experiences to you of which you can learn from and share your own knowledge and understanding with them.
Learning online provides you with the flexibility to complete your studies alongside your personal and work commitments in an effective and enjoyable way. You can log in to our Online Learning System from wherever you may be and work on your course whether you’re at home or abroad.
Why is your role important?
Many of the students I speak to are surprised about the level of interaction they have from other students and the Student Success support. Our role is extremely important to ensure students don’t feel alone while studying. With guidance, support and advice, I’m here to make sure you always feel confident with your studies and supported in your learning.
What's the most rewarding thing about working for Sussex?
I enjoy being able to build a relationship with my students and really understand what their motivations are for completing the course. It’s interesting to hear the experiences that led each student to the moment they decided to complete the course. I am then able to be there throughout their academic journey and take pride in assisting them in getting where they want to be.
What's your most memorable moment as a student success advisor?
I have had many students who had low confidence in their academic abilities and were uncertain about their ability to succeed at Masters level. By offering support at vital times and encouraging them to use the support that Sussex offers, the student managed to submit all of their work for the module. It was nice that I was able to personally call the student and inform them of their outstanding grade.
To learn more about the support services available to online students, take a look at our Student Support page.
Last updated: 07/2019