Thompson Rivers University
Thompson Rivers University

Student Services Recommendations

Each year in April the Dean of Students and the AVP Strategic Enrolment and University Registrar will provide an update on progress and recommendations.

Students Services Review Final Report

April 2018 Update

Colour codes: Not initiated In progress Completed
Foundational recommendations
Service culture Action(s) 2016-2017 Progress 2017-2018 Progress

Make, communicate, and hold itself accountable to an institutional commitment to improving and enhancing the student experience. (K&A recommendation)

Establish a culture of student-centered work and customer service, including but not limited to the tone of offices, how advising is delivered and discussed, how students are greeted and escorted between services, and how students are represented in communications and online. (K&A recommendation)

Establish “Communities of Practice” (CoPs) that will a) provide venues for shared expertise on topics such as Housing, Wellness, Advising, Career Success, as well as b) address relevant recommendations in the Advising and Student Services sections below. (Task Force recommendation)

A two-year “culture change” project has been funded that created the conditions for success by

  • working with student-facing support staff across the university to understand and respond to students’ academic, personal and other needs;
  • establishing baseline measurements for student use of and satisfaction with services and programming; and
  • providing close support and monitoring of all prioritized recommendations as outlined below by bringing in relevant expertise, creating CoPs, and implementing an assessment activity.
  • assessment of strategic priorities
  • new approach to Faculty of Student Development organization

In progress

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In progress

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Advising recommendations
Technology Action(s) 2016-2017 Progress  2017-2018 Progress 

Implement a single, uniform, shared database for recording information about students that is accessible by all advisors, faculty, and staff who assist students with academic and personal goals. (K&A recommendation)

Involve advising staff in considering options for and selecting the provider of the student information database. (K&A recommendation)

Provide program advisors with access to the shared student information database. (K&A recommendation)

Implement an online chat function to enable students to submit questions about course selection and registration. (K&A recommendation)

DegreeWorks is currently live to Advisors for all Open Learning programs as well as 27 campus programs in the Faculties of Education and Social Work, Faculty of Adventure, Culinary Arts, and Tourism, School of Nursing, and Faculty of Science. Consultation and testing is currently in progress for various additional Faculties and programs.

Complete

Complete

Courses and programs Action(s) 2016-2017 Progress  2017-2018 Progress 

Perform an audit of courses offered to ensure the accuracy and availability of course offerings, schedules, and instructors. (K&A recommendation)

Institute deadlines for additions, deletions, or changes to courses to eliminate last-minute cancellations and confusion for students. (K&A recommendation)

Upload accurate course information to the website and update it regularly.

The DegreeWorks team has grown from one person to three people. This team is tasked with contributing to the alignment of curriculum resources with a particular focus on ensuring campus wide implementation of Degree Works (DW) as well as continued support and maintenance for programs that are currently using DegreeWorks.

Complete

Complete

Student services recommendations
Space and offers Action(s) 2016-2017 Progress  2017-2018 Progress 

Extend hours of access so that students may utilize services in the evenings when they are not in classes. (K&A recommendation)

Co-locate student services in the House of Learning—or another facility— that fosters more effective collaboration and makes it easier for students to be referred to the appropriate service. (K&A recommendation)

Have a central kiosk to assist students with accessing services. (K&A recommendation)

Provide more spaces for students to gather, eat, and/or study individually or in groups. (K&A recommendation)

The Capital Planning & Priorities Advisory Group has approved a proposal for the development of a collegia space to be considered in future planning activities.

In progress

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In progress

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Early Alert Action(s) 2016-2017 Progress  2017-2018 Progress 

Implement an early alert system that helps identify students at risk academically and connects them with services more directly. (K&A recommendation)

Provide more inclusive advising and support for students at risk. (K&A recommendation)

An ongoing Early Alert Learning Strategist position has been created and funding is in place for technology to support an Early Alert program at TRU.

Complete

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Complete

Writing Centre Action(s) 2016-2017 Progress  2017-2018 Progress 

Provide adequate funding for the Writing Centre to support on-campus and distance students (Task Force recommendation)

SIF funding is in place for Writing Centre Coordinator, graduate tutoring and online tutoring through Write-Away. In 2018-2019, further increased funding to support International students will increase tutoring hours and workshop development.

Complete

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Complete

Orientation and transitions Action(s) 2016-2017 Progress  2017-2018 Progress 

Commit sustainable funding and permanent staff to support new student orientation. (K&A recommendation)

Expand orientation offerings provided to all students, especially domestic students, and an option for mature students. (K&A recommendation)

Learning Strategist, Orientation and Transitions has been hired and funding is in place for co-op students and other orientation-related programming.

Complete

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Complete

Create a calendar of programming for the first year experience that provides information and resources over time. (K&A recommendation)

TRU Experience program has been implemented and uses a just-in time approach to introduce students to on-campus resources and support personnel.

Complete

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Complete

Engage upper class students as peer orientation leaders. (K&A recommendation)

Upper level Orientation Leaders are being trained and developed to support new-to-TRU students. Orientation and Transition Ambassadors are hired for the up-coming academic year to support new-to-TRU students through their transition to post-secondary.

Complete

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Complete

Increase resources for Aboriginal student orientation programming. (K&A recommendation)

Cplul’kw’ten staff are reviewing current TRU Orientation and Experience programs and identify opportunities for indigenization.

Complete

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Complete

Develop and deliver a “University 100” course that introduces new students to resources on campus and covers topics that contribute to their success. (K&A recommendation)

The Writing Centre Coordinator has responsibilities for curricular rejuvenation of the Student Success suite of courses currently offered at TRU. Consideration will be given to how and when to offer these courses to best support new students.

 

Courses are strategically scheduled with staggered start dates to best suit students while course material is updated each year to reflect current research on best practices.

Complete

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Complete

Marketing and communications Action(s) 2016-2017 Progress  2017-2018 Progress 

Centralize marketing and communications about student services, including online, so services are described as cohesive and unified. (K&A recommendation)

An existing position was reallocated to establish a Communications Coordinator position that will develop and support a centralized communication plan for all areas in the Faculty of Student Development. 

Complete

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Complete

Increase formal and informal opportunities for staff in student services and other personnel with whom they engage to meet, develop relationships and better understand roles and responsibilities (K&A recommendations)

Annual events for members of the Faculty of Student Development have been integrated into the calendar to improve knowledge of key supports and activities for students.

Monthly CUPE Staff meetings are held to facilitate professional development, training and communication. 

A Faculty of Student Development newsletter, blog, and staff bios have been created to increase understanding of roles, develop relationships and celebrate successes. 

Complete

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Complete

Offer staff development and centralized communications (Task Force recommendation)

Writer/ Storyteller, Digital Media, Web and Marketing positions have been created to develop student, staff and faculty stories and communications.

 

Complete

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Complete

Services for Aboriginal students Action(s) 2016-2017 Progress  2017-2018 Progress 

Increase support and resources for Services for Aboriginal Students, including but not limited to the Gathering Place and the creation of a sweat lodge. (K&A recommendations)

Sustainable funding has been established for positions in Cplul’kw’ten by transitioning from the provincial Aboriginal Service Plan (ASP) to the core budget. Proposals to enhance Services for Aboriginal Students (ASP) and educational initiatives have been made in the current ASP funding application.

Complete

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Complete

Provide sustainability for the Aboriginal Mentor and Aboriginal Elders Programs. (Task Force recommendation)

Complete

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Complete

Other Recommendations Action(s) 2016-2017 Progress 2017-2018 Progress

Develop, communicate, and consistently apply academic integrity and student misconduct policies. (K&A recommendation)

 

The Academic Integrity Committee is considering changes to processes and means for educating the student and faculty population.

 Complete

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Complete

Strengthen academic transitions through campus-wide academic peer mentor programs (Task Force recommendation)

A Mentorship Learning Strategist position was created to enliven campus-wide peer mentor programming and broaden student opportunities and credentialing.

Complete

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Complete