Trent University Launches New Service Initiatives


Service First Program Builds on Trent’s Commitment to the Success of the Individual Student

Tuesday, September 8, 2009, Peterborough

In an effort to renew its commitment to improving the student experience and in order to adapt to new legislative practices in regards to accessibility, Trent University has launched a dynamic new service program, called Service First, designed to expand upon an existing environment of offering exemplary service to all students, faculty, and staff. 

“Excellent service benefits all members of our community and it is the mission of Trent University to foster a climate of best service practices,” says Robyne Hanley Kirk, assistant manager of Disability Services, Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA) Compliance & Technologies Research. By identifying best service practices and providing service information and training to various members of our community, Service First will help Trent build on its well-known client-focused attitude.

In the recent student-driven National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE), students once again gave Trent University top marks for its educational experience. All Trent students who responded rated their campus environment as more supportive than the rest of the continent.
And Trent rated higher than its counterparts in Ontario and universities across North America in terms of offering a full-spectrum educational experience that students appreciate. The Service First initiative aims to build on these traditions of excellence.

Highlights of the new Service First initiative at Trent include:

  • The first Who’s Who at Trent U Information Sharing Sessions – over 300 faculty and staff members attended these sessions on August 25 and 26 to learn about and share current information of the landscape of Trent University.
  • New Service First website – launched as a vessel of information and training, the website provides up-to-date information about staff training, exemplars of departmental profiles highlighting changes to improve service, and serves as a feedback mechanism for improvements, ideas and acknowledgement for those who are implementing positive change with a service focus.
  • New Student Service Agents program – being launched for the busy start-up of the new academic year, the Student Service Agents are comprised of upper year Trent students who will be providing front line service to all staff and students from September 7-19. The agents were selected based on their expertise navigating the Trent experience and include students from the Trent International Program, New Student Advising, and members of our College system. The agents will be stationed in the main foyer of Blackburn Hall daily from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., including weekends (10 a.m. – 4 p.m.), to offer support to new and returning students by answering questions and providing directions. They are available to all members of the Trent community.

Beginning this fall, Trent will launch the final phase of Service First, offering a three phase training program to all employees in AODA Compliance issues and management. This initiative is being launched as part of new province-wide legislation which states that, as of January 2010, all areas within the public sector must comply with the legislative requirements of training employees and volunteers in meeting the needs of individuals with disabilities. In launching Service First, Trent University is taking an integrated approach in response to these service training needs from a service as well as a legal perspective. 


For more information, please contact:
Eunice Lund Lucas, Director of Access Services, Trent University, (705) 748-1011 x6192