Busy first term for Student Services

It was a busy fall term for the offices under the Office of the Associate Vice-President (Student Support Services) (OAVP SSS). As Suzanne Blanchard explains, a host of new and expanded programs were rolled out in order to continue to enhance the experience of Carleton University students.

“At Carleton, we pride ourselves on being a Canadian leader in the delivery of support services that are personalized, varied and effective,” says Blanchard, who is the associate vice-president of student support services. “We are always looking for new ways to support the many aspects of our students’ lives.”

Students have accessed enhanced support programs this fall in record numbers. For example, Learning Support Services offered over more than 170 free 20-minutes study infosessions which attracted triple the number of participants who attended sessions in the 2006- 07 academic year. Likewise, the Student Academic Success Centre (SASC) now supports more courses with Peer Assisted Study Sessions (PASS). PASS sessions supplement traditionally difficult courses and SASC is currently supporting 21.5 credits (predominantly for first-year students), an increase from 18.5 in the 2006-07 academic year.

Plus, the Paul Menton Centre for Students with Disabilities again proactively reached out to high school students with disabilities, by hosting Make the CUT. Jointly hosted by Carleton and Algonquin College, Make the CUT invites Grade 12 students to participate in a one-day event that focuses on preparation and self-advocacy, educational assistive technology, and learning strategies. This year 150 participants were in attendance.

New programs on the roster included:

  • A job search tool: the Career Development and Co-operative Education Office launched a free online job search tool called myCareer. Both on- and off-campus employers can post positions on the site and students can search for meaningful work opportunities related to their field of study. To date there have been more than 741 full-time, part-time, volunteer and internship postings listed on myCareer and more than 5,000 students and employers have used the tool.
  • Mentoring for first-year students: the First Year Experience Office’s Emerging Leaders Program (ELP) now includes a mentor component and matched over 60 first-year students with a faculty or staff mentor.
  • Extra transitional support for international students: the International Student Services Office (ISSO) now offers an Orientation Camp, Thanksgiving Meal Program, and English Conversation Circle. Over 4,000 students have accessed ISSO services this fall.
  • Bursary assessment adjustments: the Awards and Financial Aid Office administers a bursary program to help students meet the direct education costs of their studies. Over the fall term, students applied for bursaries and the Awards Office has made new assessment adjustments to ensure that students are able to get enough institutional assistance to cover their educational costs. Last year, over $14.4 million in scholarships and bursaries was awarded to more than 9,000 undergraduate students.
  • Walk-in system for urgent care: Health & Counselling Services implemented a new walk-in system for students. Wait times were cut in half for students in need of urgent care, compared to last year, and this new system includes three dedicated physicians on the urgent care team.

Readers interested in more information about these student services can visit the OAVP (SSS) website at carleton.ca/studentsupport.

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