- This is a year-long service-learning course. [GEN2060X is offered in Semester 1 of the Academic Year, and runs till the end of Special Term 2 of that Academic Year. GEN2060Y is offered in Semester 2 of the Academic Year, and runs till the end of Semester 1 of the next Academic Year.] Thus, NUS requires you to be available for service work throughout the year, including the Special Terms during the summer vacation.
This is because of the commitment you will make to the befriendees to journey with them during this one year. You may take short leave of up to one month during this time. However, if you think you may likely be away for more than one month, due to SEP, overseas internship, LoA, etc, you SHOULD NOT enrol in this course. Students on local internships and short exchanges are not affected.
- If you intend to graduate at the end of AY2024/25, and wish to read GEN2060, you need to enrol in this course latest by Sem 2, AY2023/24.
Many seniors are lonely or estranged, isolated from critical social networks and support structures. Volunteers provide the vital link to reconnect them with society and restore their well-being. In this course, students will learn key concepts in volunteerism, and essential skills, including communications, conflict management, needs identification and risk assessment, to support vulnerable seniors identified by the Agency for Integrated Care (AIC), checking on them regularly to provide emotional support and early intervention, if needed. Thus, students will develop empathy, sharpen observational and decision-making skills.
Click here to view the course trailer.
Learn more about the service-learning experience at:
- Shermaine Ang, 1,000 NUS students befriend seniors as part of course to encourage volunteerism, The Straits Times (17 Nov 2023)
- Amanda Yeap, Undergrads form meaningful connections, pick up language skills as they befriend seniors in graded volunteer work course, TODAY (25 Nov 2023)
- Service-learning in action: NUS students befriend seniors and champion healthy ageing under year-long community engagement courses, NUS News (15 Dec 2023)
Through this course, students will:
- Understand fundamental concepts of volunteerism: motivation & benefits, roles & impact, and ethical & good volunteering
- Evaluate and apply general skills related to communications and collaboration, including empathy, active listening, conflict management, and self-awareness; and specific skills related to identifying needs, and providing emotional support
- Empathize with vulnerable seniors, develop emotional support skills, sharpen observation & analysis, and enhance decision making
- Synthesise reflexive learning to develop character and empathy, fostering personal effectiveness.
Students will be challenged to engage isolated seniors across a spectrum of activities, from the analysis of needs & risks to the provision of emotional support to enhance psychological and social resilience.
4 Units. As this course spreads over up to a year, it will count 2 Units in the first semester and the other 2 Units in the following semester. Thus, students can always register for these courses on top of their usual planned workload of 20 Units or so, without breaching workload cap per semester.
Grading. Graded. Students will be assigned an In-Progress (IP) grade in the first semester and will receive their final grade upon the completion of the course.
Delivery and Assessment. There are no final exams. Students are required to watch pre-recorded online lectures, attend three face-to-face tutorials, and carry out service work. They will be assessed through submitting a service portfolio.
Commitment Duration: 60-80h of service work spread over one year, comprising of:
- Regular home visits twice a month in pairs to befriend an assigned senior, and ad hoc phone calls (typically, two calls monthly)
- Schedule is flexible and is to be determined by student pairs in consultation with their assigned senior, AIC supervisor, and NUS Tutor. However, please note that some weekday sessions may be expected.
- Trainings conducted by Agency
Roles and Responsibilities: Students will be paired up to:
- Build rapport with an assigned senior
- Conduct regular check-ins via home visits and phone calls on senior to provide emotional support
- Look out for signs of self-neglect, mental and/or physical deterioration, and risks of self-harm
- Report any concern, anomaly or uncertainty to AAC/AACH for early intervention
- Assess needs of senior, reporting to AAC/AACH, and following-up
- Conduct activities with senior, such as games, arts and craft, etc.
- Encourage and accompany senior to attend activities organised by AAC/AACH
Service Work Requirements
- Singapore Citizen or Permanent Resident of Singapore
- Able to speak basic Malay, Tamil, Mandarin or Chinese dialects
- Students are required to provide an active handphone number for telebefriending
Service Work Locations (To be updated for AY24/25 Semester 1)
Students may book their preferred service work locations from a list of AIC community care partner organisations. Booking will be granted on a first come, first served basis. The list of locations will be available in due course.
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Service Work Registration
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Students will register for a tutorial group via CourseReg, and can refer to NUSMods for more details.
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Tutorials 1 & 2
Students will attend face-to-face tutorials in Weeks 3 and 4 on campus. Each tutorial is 2h in duration. The finalised allocation of service areas will be announced.
Service Work (Befriending sessions)
Students will be paired up to visit an assigned senior for befriending sessions. NUS tutors will conduct an on-site check in with students within their first four sessions.
Submission of Reflection
Students will submit a reflection paper on their service experience.
Service Work (Befriending sessions)
Students will continue with their service sessions, which extends into the Special Terms.
Students will attend a final tutorial on campus to share and reflect on their experiences, and wrap up the course.
Submission of Service Portfolio
Students will submit their service portfolio.
Please click here for frequently asked questions.
For further enquiries, please contact the GEN2060 team:
Mr Kenneth Chong (firstname.lastname@example.org)
See you in Reconnect SeniorsSG!
Updated 31 Dec 2023