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Student Affairs and Services Professionals

Introduction to York’s New SEM Framework

Margaret Kierylo, Assistant Vice-President, Institutional Planning and Chief Data Officer
Darran Fernandez, Assistant Vice Provost & University Registrar

Join us for the SEM Learning Days kick-off session where we will introduce York’s new SEM Framework and Action Plan.

Monday, Jul 17, 2023 9 AM - 10 AM

Location: Virtual

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Practical AI Tips for Communications, Recruitment and Admissions

Antoine Ste-Marie, Marketing Lead, Student Recruitment (Glendon)

Let's unlock the potential of AI together and make our communications, recruitment and admissions practices more efficient! Dive into the world of AI and discover how it can save you time by streamlining content creation, finding the right tools, and more.

We might not be AI experts, but we do have expertise in each of our areas - how can we match our needs with this trending technology? Through live demos, examples, prompt engineering tips and audience participation, attendees will gain a deeper understanding of the benefits and limitations.

Leave with a few easy ways to start or continue using AI in your day-to-day work while remaining student-centered.

Monday, Jul 17, 2023 3:00 – 3:30 PM

Location: Virtual

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Getting Past Grumpy: The Retention Power of Positive Student-staff Interactions

Nona Robinson, Vice-Provost Students

In this session, participants will learn about student retention concerns at York, and participate in an interactive session with concrete skills to turn negative student front-line experiences to positive ones. Participants will also be encouraged share their own experiences and discuss scenarios, to apply their learning directly to their work with students.

Tuesday, Jul 18, 2023 3:00 – 4:00 PM

Location: Virtual

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Using Program Assessment & Evaluation to Impact the Student Journey

Danielle Pierre, Divisional Assessment Analyst (Division of Students)

Successfully retaining students and delivering leading edge student services involves centering students' interests in multiple domains: academic, access to campus resources, preparing for a career, exploring multiple identities, and exploring passions outside of the classroom. With so much variation, how can we know that our work is positively impacting the student experience?

This workshop will define and describe program assessment and evaluation. Participants will learn about the key terms and fundamental concepts that are required to engage in program assessments or evaluations.

Wednesday, Jul 19, 2023 9:00 AM – 10:00 AM

Location: Virtual

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Birds of a Feather: How to Leverage Strategic Institutional Partnerships as a Tool for International Retention

Althea Parala, Manager, International Student Success & Engagement (Liberal Arts & Professional Studies)
Nethmi Kulatilake, Manager, International Student Experience (York International)

Enhancing the international student experience is critical to the advancement and success of institutional retention goals. When working in decentralized systems, it can be challenging to maintain consistency across large institutions. Strategic collaboration between faculty and centralized international units created opportunities to respond to key retention priorities at York University. By aligning institutional and faculty priorities, YI and LA&PS reimagined existing student services to optimize international student success.

Wednesday, Jul 19, 2023 10:00 AM – 10:30 AM

Location: Virtual

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Working With/Through/Beyond Theory: Examining the Potential and Possibilities for Practice

Dirk J. Rodricks, PhD, Director, Student Engagement (Student Success)
Woo Kim, Director, International Student and Scholar Services (York International)

This session will introduce participants to a few key student development theories through which they can imagine their work. Using small group discussions and case studies, participants will apply principles from the theory and reflect on how their social location shapes their student success philosophy and practice.

Wednesday, Jul 19, 2023 10:30 AM – 11:30 AM

Location: Virtual

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Being "SAVY" About Our Students

Nick Valentino, Program Manager, Student Success Initiatives (Division of Students)

SAVY, York’s student virtual assistant, provides a unique source of data. Students ask SAVY questions that are digitally captured, automatically classified and responded to, and stored in an environment that can be easily analyzed. This presentation will demonstrate some of the learning to which SAVY gives us access about student needs throughout the academic year and the student lifecycle. 

We will look at the responses students triggered from SAVY with student questions, when did those responses get served over the course of the relevant timeframe, and whether student context (Faculty, year level, visa status, etc.) affected the kinds of questions being asked.

Wednesday, Jul 19, 2023 11:30 AM – 12:00 PM

Location: Virtual

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PAWS: Providing Athletes with Winning Strategies

Mandy McCurdy, Manager, Varsity Athletics (Athletics & Recreation)
Lucas Kidd, Academic Coordinator (Athletics & Recreation)
Alyssa McQuaid, Academic Coordinator (Athletics & Recreation)

Varsity student athletes face unique challenges balancing the commitment of post-secondary academics and high performance athletics. Join us for this interactive session to learn more about the Providing Athletes with Winning Strategies (PAWS) initiative and discover the ways our Varsity Student Athlete Services team supports our incredible student athletes at York!

Wednesday, Jul 19, 2023 1:30 - 2:30 PM

Location: Virtual

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One-Stop-Shop: Partnering to Support International Students

Mayoori Malankov, International Student Advisor and Immigration Lawyer (York International)
Miranda Ramnarine, Science Academic Advisor, International & Distance (Faculty of Science)
Woo Kim, Director, International Student and Scholar Services (York International)

International students often have complex cases that require not only academic advising, but also immigration advising, financial advising, and possibly more. As one advisor, it’s hard to know everything that impacts an international student, and sometimes, even when we send the student to the right office, they don’t know how to explain what information to convey to the next advisor. In response to this, York International and several academic advising offices have started an initiative called Joint Advising. Come learn how advisors have worked together to support international students in a comprehensive and holistic way.

Wednesday, Jul 19, 2023 2:30 – 3:30 PM

Location: Virtual

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Engaging Target Markets with Student Ambassadors

Alison Ozog, Recruitment and Liaison Officer (Faculty of Health)
Gwen Gringhuis, Recruitment and Liaison Officer (Faculty of Health)

The Student Health Ambassadors at York (SHAYs) play an integral role in the success of recruitment and conversion events within the Faculty of Health as well as supporting other current student event initiatives. This session will outline how the student volunteer program is run in the Faculty of Health, how the program has evolved in recent years to highlight more diverse target markets, and discussion of how the program can continue to grow.

Thursday, Jul 20, 2023 9:30 – 10:30 AM

Location: Virtual

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Transforming Student Support: Revolutionizing Service Culture at York University

Saba Rafiq, Assistant Director, Student Support and Advising (Office of the University Registrar)
Andre De Freitas, Director, Student Support and Advising (Office of the University Registrar)

The Office of the University Registrar's (OUR) Student Support and Advising (SSA) department embarked on a transformative journey to revolutionize the service culture. Recognizing the limitations of siloed approaches, the department championed a student-centered approach to service delivery that integrated three distinct departments that catered to student needs, forming the cohesive and comprehensive Student Support and Advising department. This amalgamation enabled SSA to provide holistic support to all York University students, whether they have inquiries regarding registrarial services, admissions, or financial aid. By breaking down barriers and fostering a collaborative environment, SSA aims to ensure that students receive seamless and effective assistance throughout their academic journey.

Join us to learn about our transformational change process, see highlights from our first year of operating as SSA, and how we are addressing current gaps and limitations to ensure that students receive seamless and effective support throughout their academic journey. 

Thursday, Jul 20, 2023 10:30 AM – 11:30 AM

Location: Virtual

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Adopting a Collaborative Approach: Creating a Dedicated, Equitable, and Efficient Advising Model

Derrick Fairman, Director, Advising, Petitions and Student Relations (Liberal Arts & Professional Studies)
Leah Semmelhaack, Manager, Student Success & Academic Advising (Liberal Arts & Professional Studies)

This session will examine the implementation of the Program Cluster Model of Academic Advising in the Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies. This interactive session will look at the collaborative effort of the students, advising staff, faculty, and administration to implement an advising model with the following goals:

  • To improve the overall student experience with advising in the Faculty of LA&PS through a collaborative, student-centred approach that includes students, advisors, faculty and administration.
  • To redesign the LA&PS advising structure to create a caseload model based on clusters of programs based on student migration patterns,
  • To implement primary and secondary program assignments for each advisor to ensure continuity of care throughout the student’s academic lifecycle
  • To adopt technology tools and a new service delivery model to facilitate the advising assessment pillars of timeliness, care, accuracy, and accessibility.
  • To facilitate the integration of Appreciative Advising and early alert initiatives to improve the student experience.

Thursday, Jul 20, 2023 1:00 PM – 1:30 PM

Location: Virtual

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Advising ‘Outside the Box’

Min Eng, Student Success & Academic Advisor (Liberal Arts & Professional Studies, Department of Economics)
Magy Baket, Student Success & Academic Advisor (Liberal Arts & Professional Studies, Department of Economics)

While the world was tackling COVID-19, we had an advising vision. We wanted to make sure...

  • our students didn’t fall through the cracks but received the support / advising when they needed it
  • our students had access to resources being developed  
  • our students didn’t miss out on any opportunities to stay connected  
  • our students were empowered to take ownership of their academic & professional path 

Guided by appreciative advising theory, we found a way to make this happen.  We’ll be telling you about the steps we took to reach out to and engage students and the feedback we received from them. We’ll also be sharing, from data we collected, what we learnt about this group of students and their academic journey. This is our story.

Friday, Jul 21, 2023 9:00 AM – 10:00 AM

Location: Virtual

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Inclusive Design at k2i (Kindergarten to Industry) Academy

Lisa Cole, Director of Programming (k2i academy, Lassonde School of Engineering)
Michelle Tsui-Woods, Associate Director of Operations and Development (k2i academy, Lassonde School of Engineering)

The k2i academy at the Lassonde School of Engineering is an ecosystem of diverse partners committed to dismantling systemic barriers to opportunity in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, & Math) for underrepresented people in STEM. Creating systemic change in STEM education requires inclusive design approaches in both program and operational processes. Join Lisa Cole, Director of Programming and Michelle Tsui-Woods, Associate Director of Operations & Development at k2i academy in a session that explores the approaches used in the design and implementation of k2i programs. The k2i academy engages youth by bringing STEM to life – connecting directly with school boards and their classrooms, offering innovative work-integrated learning programs, and partnering with community organizations to provide unique, hands-on STEM learning opportunities. Since June 2020, k2i academy has already reached over 6,000 students, teachers, families, and community members, spending over 175,000 hours in virtual and face-to-face engagements. Recently, k2i academy was awarded a Minister’s Award of Excellence in the category of Equality of Opportunity.
@k2iacademy (twitter)

Friday, Jul 21, 2023 10:00 AM – 10:30 AM

Location: Virtual

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