Once again, it is time to welcome everyone to the start of another new academic year. In particular, I want to extend a warm welcome to all of our new students, faculty and staff. You have made a terrific decision to join us at Carleton and you will soon find out what makes Carleton one of Canada’s outstanding universities. It is Carleton’s community of exceptional people that make us such a wonderful university; with great academic programs, dedicated support services for students, terrific teaching, and cutting-edge research. I encourage each and every one of you to make a special effort to get involved with the campus community and make the most of the enriching and rewarding opportunities that await you.
Despite an overall reduction in applications across Ontario, Carleton continued to see increases in applications and acceptances from both domestic and international students. Once again we are on track to exceed our enrolment targets thanks to the tireless efforts of our recruiting, admission and registration teams and the support from professors and staff, as well as the growing academic and research reputation of Carleton.
Last year was a very exciting one for Carleton (see the Provost’s 2013-14 Annual Review) with the opening of the newly expanded MacOdrum Library, including the new Discovery Centre for Undergraduate Research and Engagement on the 4th floor. Known simply as the Discovery Centre, it is 6,000 square feet of flexible learning space designed to provide a location for undergraduate students to discover the opportunities that are available for them (such as research, international study, experiential learning, and immersive learning) to engage in academically enriching experiences beyond the classroom. I encourage you to pay a visit to the Discovery Centre and see for yourself.
This year, we will be embarking upon two major new undergraduate programs at Carleton. The Bachelor of Health Science is welcoming its first cohort of students right now and we hope to begin construction of a new Health Sciences building during the year. Also we will be recruiting for our new Bachelor of Global and International Studies program this year. Pending final approval by the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities (MTCU), this new degree will form a central component of our efforts to increase internationalization at Carleton University.
We are also well into the planning for the development of a new building to house the Sprott School of Business. Sprott’s minor in Entrepreneurship can be taken by students right across the university, and there are opportunities for students to engage in exciting entrepreneurial activities through the Discovery Centre, Carleton Entrepreneurs and 1125@Carleton, Ottawa’s first Living Laboratory.
Other new programs will be developed in accordance with the Strategic Mandate Agreement that Carleton signed with MTCU earlier this year. These will include collaborative programs with Algonquin College and George Brown College, a new master’s program in Data Science, as well as exploring options for Carleton to deliver academic programming in the Cornwall region. An important part of our SMA is the expansion of graduate programs, and we will be developing programs in Indigenous Policy and Administration, Accounting, Information Technology, and Ethics and Public Affairs, to name but a few. We are also looking to launch Carleton’s Global Academy this year, which will focus on expanding and delivering professional development education and training to global audiences.
This year, Carleton has put a number of new services in place to continue to support its students ranging from online writing tutorials for off-campus students, peer assisted subject coaching, a transfer student Facebook group, a new academic mentoring and coaching program for international students, bounce back in residence, an alumni mentor’s program and a new alcohol awareness strategy called CU Don’t Know.
There is no doubt in my mind that this will be another exciting academic year, and I am looking forward to seeing Carleton’s continued growth and success as Canada’s Capital University.
Welcome back and I wish you all a great year.
Peter Ricketts is Carleton’s Provost and Vice-President (Academic)