IMPLEMENTATION STRATEGIES DEVELOPED AND DESIGNED TO ACHIEVE THE MISSION STATEMENT
Employment of relevant staff to provide the needed support services.
• Provision of learner Support Services through the use of Study Centres (Special Centres) at various locations in the country.
• Appropriate in-service and continuous training for staff of various categories
• Use of appropriate techniques and technologies to achieve delivery of Support Services
THE RANGE OF POSSIBLE FUNCTIONS
The administrative functions of study centres may involve student affairs:
• publicising study opportunities;
• informing and counselling individuals;
• enrolling and registration
• providing information on mode of fee payment and related financial issues
• maintaining records of students' status, progression, results, course forward planning, assignments traffic and related academic records
• explicating rules, academic and administrative regulations, ethos and mores of the university the parent institution;
• evaluation and assessment: i.e. getting involved in conduct of examinations, practicals, laboratory and workshop activities. The study centres also provide first hand information on the status of the school plant evaluating the various aspects of buildings, furniture and equipment and facilities to ensure and assure their standard and quality.
.Distribution of Study Materials: The administrative functions may involve handling study materials. At the National Open University of Nigeria, the distributions of study materials is done at the study centres.
As of now all students receive their study materials directly by hand at the study centres. Centres are there responsible for:
• reception, storage, packing/assembling, dispatch to or preparation for collection by students;
• maintaining stocks and records and estimating future needs
• financial accountability for any materials sold.
Administrative functions will include the proper management of the study centre's facilities:
• the fabric of the premises and the surrounds;
• furniture and equipment;
• expendable supplies of materials;
• power, water, communication supplies'
• safety, security and cleaning;
• Financial management.
The academic functions of study centres may involve:
• counselling on general academic matters before enrolment and during the progress of study, sometimes involving detailed advice on individual subjects, as well as vocational guidance and careers counselling;
• providing study skills advice and courses, arranging local teaching/tutoring, managing and monitoring student attendance, and assessing its cost-effectiveness;
• arranging for teaching visits of staff from the parent institution:
a. the timetable, attendance of students;
b. venues and equipment/materials;
c. Evaluation of cost effectiveness.
• organization of study space and facilities for students who need:
a. quietness for private study;
b. access to resources such as reference materials (text, audio, video, computer), equipment (scientific, audio, video);
c. discussion with other students, informal or organized peer - tutorials.
• administering teaching in real time at a distance through:
a. telephone (and/or satellite) links for sound only, sound and picture, sound and picture-and-interactive-computer screen transmissions;
b. computer conferencing;
c. television broadcasts, one-way or interactive.
• monitoring student progress during a study period and taking action to provide encouragement and support when necessary;
• organizing final examinations: venues, furniture and materials, supervision, security of papers and scripts, record keeping, dispatch of scripts for making;
• investigating local demand for non-credit/continuing education courses and activities (consistent with the overall policy of the university
Study centres may have a wide range of social functions prescribed by the NOUN. expected by the local community, engendered by the students using them, and arising inevitably because they are there.
Functions prescribed by the university may include:
• mirroring the institution itself, providing a mini-campus experience for users and reflecting the ethos, ambiance, expectations, of the main campus, thus contributing to the institutional socializing of the students;
• representing the parent institution locally at formal and informal functions;
• facilitating and organizing occasions relevant to its academic functions and those of its parent institution, such as
a. pre-orientation and orientation sessions for students, parent and friends;
b. vocational guidance and careers advisement meetings.
c. meetings of alumni ( as the university grows)
d. graduation and other award ceremonies ( as the university grows)
The local community may have expectations of the ways in which a study centre might function socially. It may serve to reduce the mystique of higher education study through its use by many and varied people. It may be viewed as a comfortably normal venue for all sorts of purposes from using its virtual ibrary, to using its cafeteria and canteens for meetings. In this way a centre may make a valuable contribution to the democratizing of higher education. It is also the plan of NOUN to see her study centres promote communities of learning within the localities thus enhancing the level of literacy in the country and rapid realisationof the Millenium Development Goals.
NOUN also intends encouraging student-users of the study centres to initiate a variety of "social" uses of its facilities. They may form a local sports/games clubs; they may hold peer-tutorials and less formal, mutual, academic support meetings at the centre. They may be led to regard it as their "club" where serious academic pursuits may intermingle with informal socializing.