What awaits university-bound students this fall? It’s definitely going to be a different year for us all. At Trent University Durham GTA we are committed to ensuring this year, just like every other, is engaging and memorable.
In addition to opening our brand-new residence this September, we will be offering innovative ways to ensure students experience the Trent difference (including a new small-class first-year course) and have the opportunity to get involved and engaged through clubs, groups and, yes, even social events. Here are just a few of the ways Trent Durham GTA is making sure students will have an outstanding year during this unique time.
This summer we are getting a jump start on engaging with our newest students. Through summer orientation, we are offering live-chat sessions for students to learn more about the university, including how to register for courses and how to access supports. To help students make connections with their peers before classes start, they can also log on to our Trent Mobile app and join Summer Connect, allowing them to connect with others in a certain group such as ‘mature students’, ‘transfer students’ or a field of study such as Social Work. It’s a great way to make friends and build community before September.
NEW COURSES, NEW SERVICES
As Trent is committed to ‘multi-access’ learning this fall, students will have access to a mix of online and in-person courses. One exciting new course that’s offered in both formats is Critical Engagement, which guarantees first-year students a small-class experience with a maximum of 20 students. This allows students to get to know peers – socially and intellectually – at a time when bringing learners together is more important than ever.
Whichever format students choose, they’ll have access to online study groups and a virtual ‘front desk’ to get all their questions answered.
We’ll also be leveraging tools such as Zoom and Yuja – video-conferencing platforms that bring online classes and recorded lectures to life. Whether it’s polling students online or offering breakout discussion rooms, we’ll take full advantage of the platforms’ features. To help students stay organized, focused and fully engaged while studying online, we offer a toolkit of online resources.
For busy students on the go, Trent is also utilizing the Blackboard App, which allows them to easily check in on class updates and grades.
Of course, another key component of a transformative university experience is getting involved and making lasting memories. Whether in-person or virtual, experiences at Trent Durham GTA this fall will offer many ways to get involved with clubs, groups and social events such as trivia games, scavenger hunts and outdoor movies.
In these changing times, universities need to be nimble to meet student needs. At Trent, we are looking forward to engaging with our students in new and exciting ways.
-- Jenifer Richardson is the Manager of Student Affairs at Trent University Durham GTA.
This article originally appeared in Metroland.