Student Support Services is here to help

By: Chantille Upadhyaya

Red River College students who experience test anxiety could benefit from Student Support Services.

The Notre Dame Campus and Exchange District Campus has helped around 651 students with exam accommodations in September and October.

“When we get flooded with anxiety in our brains, it basically shuts off our ability to recall our short-term memory because we store that in our hippocampus,” said Melanie MacPhee-Sigurdson, a counsellor at NDC.

MacPhee-Sigurdson said they work with students to prepare for tests with studying advice and that it’s very normal to be anxious in a test environment.

Counselling and Accessibility Services is open Monday to Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the NDC and EDC. Counsellors work with students to help remove barriers. Barriers might be physical or mental, and the services range from special keyboards to making spaces where students are comfortable taking tests.

Dalsher Virk (left), 19, Amanjot Chahal (middle), 19, Jasnoor Kaur (right), 19, Business Technology Management students at RRC, read through their studies on Oct. 24, 2019. They are pleased with the supports available to help with testing anxiety and would use it in the future./CHANTILLE UPADHYAYA

“Knowing that I got double time helps a lot with the anxiety because I do write slowly and I wouldn’t be able to finish,” said Kathy Rayner, 53, an administrative assistant student. “I couldn’t have gotten this far without them.”

Dalsher Virk, 19, a business technology management student, has recently finished mid-terms and hasn’t used the counselling support but said they wouldn’t hesitate to use the services in the future.

Counsellors work as a team for creating exam accommodation plans. The plans help students with disabilities be successful in their programs. Most programs are aware of accessibility services and exam accommodations for RRC students.

“[The counsellors] know what kind of problems the students face and they can help us,” said Virk.

Matt Saville, 27, Computer and Network Support student at RRC, smiles after finishing class for the day at the Exchange District Campus on Oct. 24, 2019./CHANTILLE UPADHYAYA

Matt Saville, 27, a computer and network support student, didn’t know about the counselling services for testing anxiety and said they’d love to see more advertisements posted around the EDC.

“Knowing that there is actually something here is good to know, definitely,” said Saville.

Students can complete an online registration form on the RRC website. The Student Support Services is located in D102 at the Notre Dame Campus and P210 at the Exchange District Campus.

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