Concordia University

https://www.concordia.ca/content/concordia/en/about/strategic-framework/academic-plan/student-success.html

Student success

Student success

Concordia has always been committed to providing students with an outstanding learning experience and support for academic success. We are extending this commitment even further by developing new mechanisms for students to master essential academic skills, such as written and oral communications skills, and practise intellectual integrity and research ethics.

Students can expect to see an increase in the use of scheduled tutorials across the university in support of large class learning environments. This initiative will involve a rise in teaching assistantships, which will help maintain Concordia’s small class experience for undergraduate students, while simultaneously allowing graduate students to develop invaluable professional skills.

Concordia Continuing Education will be developing current practices that focus on innovative pre-program courses that will better prepare students for a university workload. There will also be an expansion of peer tutoring and faculty mentoring practices, which will heighten the overall sense of collaboration that is so vital to the Concordia experience.


Students

  • Regular presence of researchers in undergraduate classrooms.
  • Opportunity for undergraduates to work side-by-side with faculty members on research projects.
  • Scheduled tutorial sessions that give undergraduates a small classroom experience and provide graduates with more teaching assistantship opportunities.
  • Peer tutoring and mentoring across the university.
  • Increased emphasis on discipline-specific skills in writing and oral communication.
  • Coherent curricular pathways for students who have additional course credit requirements.

Faculty

  • Increased student involvement in tutorial sessions, research projects and creative activity.
  • Greater faculty involvement in steering the Centre for Teaching and Learning Services.
  • Increased pedagogical, supervisory and curricular training for new full- and part-time faculty.
  • Stronger faculty mentoring and better facilitation of informal exchanges of best practices in teaching and learning.

Objective 3 priority actions

  • 3.1 Boost participation of undergraduate students in Concordia’s research activities.
    • 3.1.1 Increase the regular presence of established researchers in the undergraduate classroom.
    • 3.1.2 Initiate an Undergraduate Research Initiative to increase the number of undergraduate students who take part in faculty research activities.
  • 3.2 Identify, reward and promote Concordia’s outstanding student achievers with the aim of inspiring more students to excel.
    • 3.2.1 Encourage donors to fund more merit-based awards and in-program awards for new and continuing undergraduate and graduate students of high academic promise and achievement.
    • 3.2.2 Systematically identify candidates for high-profile external awards, encourage them to apply, and provide support to help them develop and present their applications.
    • 3.2.3 Develop new mechanisms for student recognition to promote success and foster networking.
  • 3.3 Promote and reward student initiatives that foster participation in and integration into the academic community.
    • 3.3.1 Cultivate student engagement with Concordia’s academic standards, including intellectual integrity and research ethics, in collaboration with students and student groups.
    • 3.3.2 Create a consolidated fund to support projects that focus on improving Concordia and the local community.
    • 3.3.3 Increase peer tutoring and mentoring across the university.
  • 3.4 Build on effective curricular practices that develop students’ foundational academic abilities and facilitate their progress toward program objectives.
    • 3.4.1 Increase the use of scheduled tutorials across the university in support of large class learning environments.
    • 3.4.2 Increase the use of Teaching Assistant-supported skill development, particularly in writing and communication, and bolster training available to TAs to ensure their pedagogical effectiveness.
    • 3.4.3 Assist departments and programs in developing courses to help their students acquire discipline-specific skills in written and oral communication, where these are lacking.
    • 3.4.4 Define and foster the role of librarians for training of research competencies in library and information literacy.
    • 3.4.5 Test a range of integrated assessment practices to complement existing gauges of teaching effectiveness in anticipation of provincial ententes de partenariat.
  • 3.5 Take early, decisive steps to ensure that entering students have the skills, abilities, and guidance needed to succeed in their courses and programs.
    • 3.5.1 Develop a university policy on accessibility that identifies how our commitments are realized in programs, Faculties, and across the institution.
    • 3.5.2 Test various means to identify underprepared and at-risk students who might benefit from targeted academic interventions.
    • 3.5.3 Build on current practices in the School of Extended Learning to develop focused and innovative pre-program preparatory pathways for underprepared students, in particular those entering open enrolment programs.
    • 3.5.4 Develop coherent curricular pathways for students who have additional course credit requirements.
    • 3.5.5 Design and implement a plan to improve coherence and quality of advising, in particular for first-year students, in order to help them understand and achieve their educational objectives.
    • 3.5.6 Intensify and coordinate current work focused on improved Cegep-university alignment.
    • 3.5.7 Develop proactive strategies to address the changing characteristics of the entering student population.
    • 3.5.8 Explore the development of a certificate to recognize completion of preparatory coursework.
  • 3.6 Actively promote and reward effective and dynamic practices in teaching, learning, and supervision by full- and part-time faculty.
    • 3.6.1 Make focused investments and increase faculty involvement in the leadership of the Centre for Teaching and Learning Services in order to boost its role in supporting excellence and innovation in teaching and learning.
    • 3.6.2 Support departments in incorporating various forms of e-learning into their academic program offerings, as appropriate for the program content and pedagogy, and respecting the university’s standard academic policies, processes, and quality assurance mechanisms.
    • 3.6.3 Create “teaching development grants” for intensive investments by faculty in professional development in teaching and learning.
    • 3.6.4 Increase pedagogical, supervisory, and curricular training for new full- and part-time faculty.
    • 3.6.5 Encourage and develop stronger faculty mentoring practices in teaching, learning, and supervision, and develop tools and practices to foster informal peer exchanges.
    • 3.6.6 Develop a validated course evaluation questionnaire for use across the university.
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