In High Gear!

In this issue

Student Welcoming Celebration

The Student Welcoming Celebration hosted yesterday was an unqualified success.  Hundreds of people packed Pillars for the recognition speeches, entertainment and meal.  GPRC was repeatedly recognized by guests from the Aboriginal community and by corporate sponsors as a national leader in support for Aboriginal students pursuing post-secondary education.  The main stage portion of the evening in the DJ Cardinal Performing Arts Centre brought the enormously talented and internationally recognized Sierra Noble, Dallas Arcand, Tanya Lukin Linklater and Geral Auger to an appreciative audience of elders, student, faculty and staff, and public.  Great appreciation was expressed for the work of Kelly Benning, Aboriginal Liaison Coordinator, and the Circle of Aboriginal Students.

       

Business Students Receive Donation!

On Saturday, September 13, the Royal Bank held the Official Grand Opening of their new Wapiti Centre Branch.  As part of their celebration, RBC donated $50,000 in support of business studies at GPRC.  

Left to right are: Susan Bansgrove, GPRC's Vice-President Academic; Don McCready, RBC Wapiti Centre Branch Manager; Don Gnatiuk, GPRC President; and RBC Regional Vice President, Kevin Kleininger.

Congrats & Kudos

GPRC's Charles Backman was one of twenty applicants selected to attend the first annual PhD Academy on Sustainability September 26 - 30, 2008.  This year, the Academy is taking place through the University of Western Ontario's Ivey School of Business in London, Ontario.  Applicants were selected based on strength of their ideas and participants coming from Canada, the United States, Europe and Africa. Backman's successful paper is called: "A systems approach to understanding sustainability, sustainable development, and system failure".

Did You Know...

by Nancy Campbell

The Academic Upgrading Math Lab is bursting at the seams!  The maximum number of students the math lab can accommodate per day is 180, however this semester, the math lab has 228 registrants!  The math lab allows for students to work independently by using modules.  When students need help they have access to instructors and assistants.  Students must maintain a pace that allows for completion of their math course in one semester, however, many students take the opportunity to work at a quicker pace and they finish two and sometimes three math courses in this time period.  Five math levels may be taught in the math lab at any given hour.  The math lab has allowed for flexibility in both the Department and its students’ timetables.  Grade 12 math, MA0130, is lecture-based and taught in a classroom setting.  There are 50 students at this level, thus AUD has 278 math students, if my math is correct!  The instructors and assistants in the math lab are doing an amazing job!!

R & R Corner - The Road to Student Success Starts With You!

by Bill Corcoran

The literature around student success in post secondary education is crystal clear about one thing: the first 6 weeks of the school year are critical.  In the early days of the term, students make critical decisions that affect whether they stay and succeed or check out – either right away, at the end of the first term, or even by the end of the year.  So given this, what can we do to influence students to hang in there and reach their post secondary goals?
 
Classroom Strategies for Fostering Student Retention suggests 12 different strategies for increasing student success.   Over the coming weeks, I’ll be serializing the 12 suggestions. 
Here are the first three:
  1. Learn and use students' names – For most of the students we deal with, the College is a large and intimidating place. Getting to know students on a first-name basis can go a long way towards personalizing the institution. For those of us who aren’t good at remembering names, here a few techniques for learning names:
    *Have the students sit in the same seats for the first few weeks
    *Take a digital picture of each student – link a name to the image
    *Have the students make “name card tents” and bring them to each class
     
  2. Create a positive classroom environment – Some obvious ways of creating a good environment include keeping the room free of discriminatory comments and avoiding direct criticism.  Some less obvious ways are starting and finishing on time, making sure the room temperature is comfortable, and, again, using the students’ first names.
     
  3. – Some obvious ways of creating a good environment include keeping the room free of discriminatory comments and avoiding direct criticism.  Some less obvious ways are starting and finishing on time, making sure the room temperature is comfortable, and, again, using the students’ first names. 
  4. Provide easy access to course materials –   Textbook availability at the start of the term can be an issue. Why not put a copy of the course text on reserve in the library? Students whose loan hasn’t come through yet or who have missed buying the last copy at the Bookstore could still have access to the required reading.
Also, posting any supplementary  materials and/or lecture notes on MS-Blackboard is great ways to ensure that students have the materials they need to succeed in your course.
 
Remember, the first 6 weeks are critical. What will you being doing in the next few weeks that will help students to succeed?
 
Note: Classroom Strategies for Fostering Student Retention is available on the web at http://www.lcc.edu/cte/resources/studentretention/studentretention.pdf