Academic Support

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Who we are

The Student Development & Support team partners with students in their academic journey, walking alongside them from orientation to graduation, ensuring that they finish triumphantly. We strive to be the hands that carry, the hearts that hear and the mouths that motivate for the ultimate success of each; for Cornerstone, and the community at large. We believe in our core values and aspire to display excellence and creativity in all we do. Our team interacts respectfully with students and staff, and in all our dealings we work with integrity to keep unity within the Cornerstone community and within the larger social circle ensuring that no matter who we work with or serve, there is a feeling of inclusivity.

the sds team

Beverley Dankers

Title: Deputy Dean – Student Development and Support

Devon Hoole

Title: Health and Wellness Coordinator

Jacqui Nzuwa

Title: Student Development Coordinator

Team members biography

Beverley is the Deputy Dean of  Student Development and Support. She is a proud alumna of Cornerstone Institute and graduated with a Bachelor of Theology in 2010.  She then went on to do a Bachelor of Social Science Honours degree at the University of Cape Town. Beverley joined the Student Development and Support Department at Cornerstone in March, 2015, and in 2016 completed a Masters in Education majoring in Curriculum and Instruction (online) through Concordia University in the USA.

Her main function is to ensure that students have a meaningful student experience and that students are aware of and make use of the various areas of support offered. She works closely with the SRC and sits on various committees where she represents the student body. It gives her great satisfaction to be a part of a team that helps students be empowered through education.

Devon Hoole is the Health and Wellness Coordinator, and Counsellor. He is a Registered counsellor with the HPCSA, and a Cornerstone alumnus. He began his Cornerstone journey in 2014 as a Psychology student and went on to complete his honours degree in Psychology. Subsequently, he has also completed his Masters Degree in Community Mental Health Promotion.

His role includes coordinating health and wellness initiatives that look at the student’s general wellbeing. Part of this includes facilitating societies that have been started by students. As the counsellor, he also provides psychological support for the students as needed.

Devon is passionate about living a holistically healthy life and enjoys working alongside students to help them succeed.

Jacqui Nzuwa’s journey with Cornerstone began with pursuing a Bachelor of the Arts degree in Psychology. Her dedication to the institution continued as she transitioned from a Student Registered Counsellor during her B-psych. Equivalent practicum in 2021 to a Registered Counsellor with the HPCSA. Jacqui served the Cornerstone community in various roles, from an Academic Support Officer during her undergraduate days to a Student Support Officer, offering holistic assistance to every student.

Now, as the Student Development Coordinator for SDS, Jacqui harnesses her rich academic and institutional experience. She is deeply committed to fostering academic prowess among Cornerstone students, spearheading efforts in academic advising, support coordination, and organizing developmental workshops and programs. She is the driving force behind the Online Communities @ Cornerstone initiative, a project aimed at integrating distance-mode students into the broader institutional community.

Driven by a passion for people and their potential, Jacqui continuously seeks ways to help students surmount challenges and thrive in their academic endeavors.



This service aims to develop student-centred strategies and interventions that enhance students’ academic thinking. It also assists students to achieve their full academic and personal potential to inspire student success. Academic support is made accessible to all students in order to provide them with any additional assistance and resources throughout their academic journey. The services in this area of support include individual consultations, one-on-one guidance, academic workshops and providing students with various tips and encouragement. 


General Academic Tips

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Academic guidelines

The Academic Guidelines is an important "go-to" guide for all academic writing and formatting of assignments required at Cornerstone. Academic Guidelines

Running testimonials

Testimonial 1: “I could see the improvement in the way that I wrote and my feelings towards the assignments changed in a good way.”
Testimonial 2: “Academic support service is a structure that every student must make use of. At first, I felt inferior and was shy to ask questions because I knew nothing about academics but now I am so happy the way I was encouraged to continue and not to quit. This was the best decision made!!”
Testimonial 3: “I struggled a lot and wanted to quit but student support assisted me to stay positive and I excelled from there.”

One-on-one sessions

Assignment formatting

An important requirement of all academic assignments at Cornerstone is the standard cover page and formatting of assignments. A template which can be used for all assessments has therefore been provided for students. Download the template below and watch the video for editing instructions. Assignment Formatting

Workshop dates

Click here to event page

Study groups

Students are encouraged to start and join study groups. Should you wish to initiate a study group or find out about existing groups, visit the Student Development and Support office or email


The emotional support facet of our department is centered around matters affecting students on an emotional and psychosocial level (intrapersonal and interpersonal). General advising and encouragement are offered to students by members of the Student Development & Support team. One-on-one counselling consultations and support groups are also available and we host a range of workshops related to student psycho-social and emotional wellbeing as another means of providing personal development and emotional support.

One-on-one counselling

Our one-one-one counselling sessions are free of charge to all Cornerstone students. The individual counselling service provides a confidential space to explore any personal, emotional, and psychosocial matters the student may be experiencing. Students are able to make direct contact with the service via to make an appointment with one of the counsellors.

Suicide Crisis Line
0800 567 567 SMS 31393
SADAG Mental Health Line
011 234 4837
Akeso Psychiatric Response Unit 24 Hour
0861 435 787
021 461 1111
Dr Reddy's Help Line
0800 21 22 23
Cipla 24hr Mental Health Helpline
0800 456 789

Cipla Whatsapp Chat Line
076 882 2775
Pharmadynamics Police & Trauma Line
0800 20 50 26
Adcock Ingram Depression and Anxiety Helpline
0800 70 80 90
ADHD Helpline
0800 55 44 33
Department of Social Development Substance Abuse Line 24hr helpline
0800 12 13 14 SMS 32312

Support groups

Support groups are available for students to join should they wish. The purpose of the support groups is to provide a safe, supportive, caring environment for students experiencing various personal and emotional circumstances to process their thoughts and feelings, to feel supported, and to gather strength from knowing they are not alone. If you would like to join any support groups or would like to find out more, contact

General Advising

If you are in need of general advice and encouragement for personal matters, please contact


Social Support is the area in which we place focus on connecting students with one another. Social support is an important factor in improving quality of life and helps build someone up so that they can manage the tough times. Student-run societies are a great way to connect with fellow students through a social network, and to do something enjoyable at the same time. These spaces help to provide students with a place outside of academics where they can enjoy hobbies and various activities.


Click to Join a Society

SRC page

Various campus life and student social support is provided by our SRC. Click to visit the SRC page.


We know that furthering your studies at tertiary level is only part of your greater goal. We aim to assist you along your journey with career guidance and personal development. Our services in this sphere include career counselling, cv and cover letter writing, next steps in furthering your academic journey, and so on.

Career Guidance & Development

Contact us for any career guidance and support, or to discuss possible options for furthering your studies.


This service is inclusive of our preparatory programme (Orientation) for all first-year students. It takes place prior to the commencement of classes and prepares students by informing them of the expectations during their time of study. Students have access to attend a live session and complete an Orientation module on the Virtual Learning Environment (VLE), Funda. Guidance is provided to students throughout the Orientation process.

Personality test link

As you embark on this journey, understanding yourself - your interests, desires, strengths and weaknesses - will become a useful tool for navigating your way to your desired outcome. Take the free personality test provided here and get to know yourself a little better. This can also be used as a starting point should you wish to gain some further career guidance. You can contact and arrange a career counselling session.


Orientation is the official start of the semester for all first year students. Students who participate in Orientation are more likely to feel prepared for tertiary education and succeed in their studies. Students will be provided with information that is related to their studies and Cornerstone culture. This information is provided in the Cornerstone Academic Guidelines, a Student Handbook, a Policies and Procedures Manual, the Funda Training Guide and the Cornerstone Institute Yearbook. Moreover, Orientation provides students with an opportunity to meet Cornerstone staff as well as fellow students before the first day of classes. Students will also get an opportunity to meet the SRC. In addition, the Orientation process is inclusive of training of the student learning management system (Funda).

Rules/Code of Conduct

As members of the Cornerstone community and to ensure an atmosphere of community, students are expected to adhere to the general rules and student conduct as outlined below.

General Rules

Integrity Students are expected to live in a manner that inspires trust and confidence while showing regard for self and others.
Respect Students are expected to have respect for fellow students, staff, faculty and visitors to CI, as well as the building and all CI property.
Social obligation Students are expected to fulfil their role in society in a responsible way and avoid behaviour that is discriminatory, racist, physically harmful and unjust toward others. Students who witness any of the above in the CI learning environment are required to report incidences. This can be via email or in person but could also be anonymous. Strict confidentiality will be assured.
Criminal Offences Criminal offences are subject to South African laws of prosecution. Any student in the learning environment found in possession of physically harmful objects will be reported to security and face disciplinary action.
Responsibility All students are required to adhere to the rules and policies regarding the use of CI resources. This includes internet usage, the library, computer facilities and other resources.
Compliance Students are expected to comply with all written and oral basic instructions and communication from the CI community.
Obstructing Investigations Students who withhold information deliberately to obstruct investigations will face disciplinary action.

Academic Responsibility

Academic Policies
Students are required to adhere to all academic policies relating to academic integrity, assessments, attendance and examinations. These are included in the CI Policy and Procedure Manual (for students) and the CI Yearbook which can be found on the CI website
Classroom behaviour
Cornerstone is a community that vigorously embraces diversity and encourages students to be mindful and respectful of others regardless of gender, racial, ethnic, doctrinal or political perspectives. Students are expected to follow class rules set out by the lecturer and not disrupt the classroom environment. Disciplinary measures will be taken should a student display or be accused of any unacceptable behaviour in the classroom.

Sexual Misconduct

Cornerstone is committed to creating an environment free of sexual harassment. Wherever sexual harassment occurs it impinges on the basic human rights of the individual and it undermines the values contained in the South African Constitution, as well as the integrity of Cornerstone. Cornerstone expects that all students and staff will refrain from any form of sexual harassment. The Sexual Harassment Policy with full definition and procedures can be found in the CI Policy and Procedure Manual (for students) which can be found on the CI website.

Substance Use

Cornerstone accepts that there is sufficient medical proof that smoking places the health of active as well as passive smokers at risk. Smoking, namely, using tobacco or tobacco like products, including but not limited to electronic vaping devices, are prohibited indoors. Students are expected to adhere to the Smoking Policy which can be found in the CI Policy and Procedure Manual (for students) which can be found on the CI website.
Substance Abuse
CI recognises the harmful effects that the use of over the counter and illegal drugs, tobacco products and the misuse of alcohol can have on students. The institution therefore has a responsibility to ensure that its students are both drug and alcohol free. The Substance Abuse Policy can be found in the CI Policy and Procedure Manual (for students) which can be found on the CI website.

The Yearbook provides essential information about some of the policies and processes that pertain to your studies. You will also find information about the different programmes and modules offered at Cornerstone in the Yearbook

The Student Policies and Procedures document outlines some important policies to note, as well as describes the procedures that are to be followed when necessary.

The Academic Guidelines is an important “Go-to” guide for all academic writing and formatting of assignments required at Cornerstone.

Whether you are a first time student or returning to studies after some time, adjusting to a new environment and expectations can be challenging. We have therefore included some important information in the Student Handbook to help you adjust as you embark on this exciting journey.

The Student Handbook covers details such as, who to contact for various queries or information, adjusting to being a student, what you need to know about finance, the library, and important dates, amongst other things.



  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Communication Channel (addendum A)


  • Past events (gallery etc.)
  • Upcoming Events (posters etc with link to Facebook)
  • Upcoming workshops

Contact Us

For any inquiries please email

General Enquiries:

SDS-related Enquiries:

Academic Support:

Counselling Services:

Telephone: +27 21 448 0050

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