Departments partner to improve student services

Four former departments joined to form the new Student Academic and Career Development Services (SACDS).

Four Carleton service departments amalgamated this month to better support students in achieving academic and career success.

Career Services, Academic Advising, Co-operative Education and the Centre for Student Academic Support joined together on May 2 to form a new department called Student Academic and Career Development Services (SACDS).

The amalgamation will enable the four departments to work collectively to provide a more holistic approach when supporting students’ development of academic skills and career goals.

“We are transitioning towards a model that will bolster student success by combining academic support with career support and co-op, or other experiential learning opportunities,” said SACDS Director Kelly Dumas.

Dumas and a committee have spent the last two years researching student success models at other Ontario universities. Dumas also spoke with representatives from universities in the United States who have had great success combining academic and career support services.

The individual departments making up Carleton’s new SACDS department have successfully worked together in the past. But the amalgamation will allow them to implement and formalize processes that will improve service delivery, strengthen interdepartmental resources and enhance the range of support each department provides for students, faculty and staff.

“One of the new features of this wonderful, combined academic and career support model is the creation of career consultants” who will be available to academic departments in the Faculty of Arts of Social Sciences, Faculty of Public Affairs and Faculty of Science, Dumas said.

“Career consultants will work with faculty and staff members to co-ordinate services, recommend career programming and events, identify opportunities for experiential learning and advise students when needed.’’

New referral and case management systems will also result in improved career and co-op support.

Each department involved in the amalgamation will continue to provide a specialized career or academic service.

Career Services works with students to help define their career goals and understand the connections between their degree and future avenues of employment or further education.

The Academic Advising Centre’s primary focus is to inform students of the university’s academic rules and regulations, and assist those who have been put on academic warning.

Carleton’s Co-operative Education Program provides students with the opportunity to develop key employability skills and gain relevant work experience while completing their studies.

The Centre for Student Academic Support (CSAS) – also newly formed – encompasses the services offered by Learning Support Services, the Writing Tutorial Service, Peer Assisted Study Sessions and Subject Coaching, and Bounce Back.

Students looking to improve their writing and study skills, create effective study habits or receive peer help in understanding course material are encouraged to visit the new CSAS collaborative learning space on the fourth floor of MacOdrum Library.

“This amalgamation,” Dumas said, “represents Carleton University’s deep commitment to retention and student success, as well as career development and employment outcomes for the students.”

For more information on SACDS, visit their website. Faculty or staff with questions about the amalgamation, or who would like additional information about services, can contact Kelly Dumas, director, Student Academic and Career Development Services, at

This entry was written by Mikaela Stevenson and posted in the issue. Bookmark the permalink or share the following short URL for this article via social media:

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