As the year draws to a close and we get ready to spend a few quiet moments with our friends and family, it is also a good time to look back at what lies behind us and to acknowledge the successes and improvements we’ve worked so hard to achieve as a Division.
Here are the highlights from 2016:
Structures — Physical & Organizational
- Renovations have been completed to Hart House for use by Aboriginal students, staff and faculty. Stay tuned for a ribbon-cutting ceremony in early 2017 as the Centre for Aboriginal Students (CASS) and others continue the Indigenization of York’s Keele campus.
- We have secured funding for and begun construction of the expanded Accommodated Test & Exams Centre.
- The Student Success Centre has been established, and in that context we also welcomed the Atkinson Centre for Mature and Part-Time Students (ACMAPS) into the Division.
- Learning Skills Services moved to the Learning Commons and expanded its reach through the launch of the Learning Skills Peer team.
- We improved and strengthened the Enrolment Management Group in support of Strategic Enrolment Management (SEM).
- We restarted Retention Council.
- The Sexual Violence Response Office (SVRO) was launched and is being supported by the Office of Student Community Relations (OSCR).
- Student services planning has begun for the Markham campus.
Strategies, Programs & Processes
- We have a Peer Mentor Program for students with disabilities and mental health issues led by students with lived experience in these areas. This means two-way support.
- We have expanded our Mature Student Peer Mentor Program from ACMAPS.
- We received a large donation to address mental health issues for varsity athletes.
- The Career Success Symposium for Students with Disabilities proved valuable and popular.
- We secured more than $40,000 in sponsorship dollars from throughout the University to implement the 2016 LeaderShape Institute.
- We took the Leadership & Career Strategy from a test to a pilot, allowing students to recognize value, identify skills and articulate their ideas. The pilot was rolled out to 200 students and 39 supervisors.
- We, the only university in Canada to have such funding, continued to grant it for the Autism Spectrum Disorder Pilot.
- We expanded the It All Adds Up campaign, which focuses on helping students identify the many sometimes unacknowledged successes and accomplishments they’ve already achieved in their academic careers.
- The Integrated Voice Response System was redesigned.
- We initiated a number of process reviews including one for OSAP in readiness for Net Tuition.
- We rolled out development plans.
- Students (as well as faculty and staff) can now draw on the support of weekly visits from York’s very own Therapy Dog, Barnaby.
Launches & Implementations
- the Pan-University Mental Health strategy;
- initial mental health stress-relieving strategies for exams at the Aviva and Tait McKenzie Centres;
- the Gluco Fit program in partnership with the Canadian Diabetes Association, supporting community members from the Jane/Finch area who have been identified as pre-diabetic or have diabetes, and assisting them with fitness and nutrition;
- the YUAdvise professional development competency framework for advisers;
- Electronic Fund Transfers (Direct Deposits) enabling students to receive refunds faster;
- the Alcohol Strategy for Students;
- Manage My Academic Record;
- the Visual Schedule Builder;
- the revamping of the Undergraduate Academic Calendar;
- the Undergraduate Academic Calendar online editor;
- a new Curriculum Management System (initial stages);
- the Degree Progress Report to 400 users;
- a February Convocation in Absentia for more than 800 graduands;
- the reporting of course waivers;
- a new process for scheduling forums;
- revised forgiveness policies;
- a quality-assurance program to assess the student experience.
- We collected more than 9,000 prospect leads during Fall recruitment.
- We exceeded our digital marketing campaign goals.
- Ontario 101 confirmations were up 6.7 per cent.
- We witness a 10 per cent increase in offers made to 105s (that’s 1,650 more).
- Our international applications and offers were up by more than 35 per cent.
- We organized the largest one-day Orientation event east of the Rockies, hosting more than 4,000 first-year students in the Lion’s Stadium for York Orientation Day.
- We saw a 55 per cent increase in the number of students engaged with the Disability Services Career Mentorship Program.
- We accommodated a 15 per cent rise in volume through Alternate Exams.
- One of our Residence dons, Maseh Hadaf, received the Julianne Pettigrew Award, which recognizes the top conference presentation at OACUHO (the Ontario Association of College and University Housing Officers), to which our Residence Life Team sent a delegation.
- The TRY (Toronto-Ryerson-York) Cup once again resides with York University as the Champions of the Intramural world for Toronto.
- We won the National Championship in women’s tennis.
- We made our presence felt at the 2016 Rio Olympics:
- 5 York Athletic Therapy grads worked there;
- John May (current women’s volleyball coach) coached the Olympic beach volleyball team;
- York Lions Khamica Bingham (4×100 sprint) and Britt Crew (shot put) competed for Canada.
There’s a lot to reflect on and even more to be proud of — York’s Division of students clearly takes it mandate as Partners in Student Success very seriously.
We hope that these successes and improvements will serve as motivation for all of us to work even harder in 2017 to bring them to their full fruition, and to add even more points of pride to the Division.