UpLearn is Scalabrini Centre’s higher education initiative and forms part of Southern New Hampshire Global Education Movement (SNHU-GEM) tuition-based academic scholarship programme for people who are refugees, migrants, and South Africans.
To advance the leadership of people on the move through access to tertiary education.
The UpLearn programme provides academic support and resources to students enrolled in SNHU’s Associates and Bachelor’s degree programmes. This competency-based degree is a blending of online and in-person learning. Support includes academic advice and planning, access to a computer lab with on-site tutors, group coaching and teaching sessions. Furthermore leadership is developed through life skills sessions and holding students responsible and accountable for their own education. Students have access to the Employment Access services to advance their economic integration.
The Associate of Science (AS) programme is a rigorous two-year academic programme that requires a high level of commitment and academic ability. Students in this programme must complete up to 60 competencies within the two-year programme. Competencies gained from this programme are diverse and include Mathematics, English, Communications, Philosophy, Economics, History, Interdisciplinary Studies, Management and Social Sciences.
Students who complete the AS programme in the 2-year scholarship time are eligible to apply for the Bachelor of Arts (BA) programme. The BA programme allows students to specialise in Business Communications, Logistics and Operations or Healthcare Management. This programme requires a high level of academic ability and self-motivation.
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Admission to the SNHU GEM Scholarship programme is subject to scholarship availability and student’s academic ability.
Minimum requirements include:
- Matric, or equivalent qualification (from any country)
- Valid documentation to reside in South Africa
- Successfully completing a pre-degree bridging course of 6 weeks.
- Participating in a stringent interview process.
Calls for Applications open quarterly in March, June, September and December.
Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Successful applicants onto the scholarship programme will be require to pay R500 on registration. These funds are used for student well-being.
1. Academic Support
The main aim of the Academic Advisory project is to ensure that students complete the degree requirements in a way that supports their educational aspirations and prepares them for the transition into the employment pathways.
This is achieved by empowering students to unlock their full academic potential to meet their academic objectives.
The Academic Advisor provides guidance to students regarding their academic plans, progress, and schedule. Performance is monitored to ensure that students stay on track to graduate within their bursary timeframe.
Students are engaged on a regular basis through one-on-one (in-person or virtual) academic advisory sessions where academic progress is reviewed and refined. The sessions are an opportunity to build capacity within the domains of time management, self-management, environmental management, and resource-management, which are core components of the coaching relationship and function. Additionally, students facing non-academic challenges can be identified and referred for appropriate support.
UpLearn trainings offer a range of interactive and student-directed learning opportunities. These include weekly teach-outs, group coaching sessions, and pre-degree program sessions. In addition, UpLearn supports students in navigating the Brightspace learning platform. The trainings prioritise skill development and provide an engaging learning experience for students.
These workshops teach the content and core skills of each goal in the Associate’s and Bachelor’s degrees. This curriculum is delivered through a twice-a-week teaching cycle that aligns with individualised student targets. Teach-outs take place every week and students are encouraged to sign up for and attend the sessions that make the most sense in terms of their academic plan. Students retain the option to request individualised tutorials for projects they find challenging and aim to master.
- Group Coaching
Group coaching sessions allow students to come together to learn how to become self-regulated learners. Occasionally peer-led, the focus is on academic management skills (viz. research skills, addressing feedback, time-management, etc.) and soft skills (e.g., Critical thinking, problem-solving skills, self-motivation, etc.). Once students have passed the midpoint of their degree, the focus shifts to employment pathways and preparation for internships and the workplace.
- Continuous Learning Space
UpLearn’s pre-degree bridging course, the Continuous Learning Space (CLS), prepares potential students for the degree programmes. As well as preparing the students for the rigors of a competency-based, online programme, the course focuses on Academic English, Mathematics, and Google Workplace (formally Google Suites). Those who pass the final assessment of this course are eligible to apply for the SNHU scholarship.
3. Tutoring and PC lab
This platform gives all UpLearn students access to expert tutors who can provide support on topics ranging from writing and citations to various subjects like Mathematics, Statistics, and Philosophy, as well as computer applications such as PowerPoint and Excel.
Tutors are available daily to students accessing the computer lab. Students can request one-on-one, in-person, or online project support from the tutors. Tutoring sessions provide an opportunity for students to ask specific questions pertaining to the learning platform, and to address feedback and other content-specific challenges. In order to make the session as productive as possible, students are required to read the project directions, any existing feedback/s, and all the project resources so that they have specific questions for the tutor. This encourages student-directed learning.
4. Wrap Around Services and Employment Support
Scalabrini Centre adopts a holistic approach to all clients, which includes the UpLearn students. Students have full access to a wide range of services provided by the center, such as Advocacy and Paralegal Services to address documentation-related concerns, as well as the Women’s Platform and Welfare support. The on-site social workers are skilled at counseling students through personal challenges and can also provide referrals for more long-term matters.
The consolidation of UpLearn with Employment Access has allowed students to access employment support services through the latter. This includes CV creation and review, career advice and employment support, as well as interview preparation for internships and workplace integration. Additional job readiness trainings include Exploring Opportunities for BA graduates, sponsored skills and business development courses. The achievement of tertiary education and the finding of relevant employment is a major milestone in not only developing future leaders within the refugee and migrant community but also integrating into South African society