On my agenda: March 21-25

Here are some of the fascinating issues I’m working on this week at OCAD University.

1. Transfer Credit – We’re looking at how we can smooth the transition process for students coming from community colleges – either with part or all of a certificate or diploma – into the degree programs at OCAD University. With some funding from the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities, we’re investigating better pathways for students by working with colleges to create “articulation agreements” with specific programs that would feed into our programs.

2. Orientation – A student’s first days on campus are critical. That’s when first impressions are set and connections made. We have a solid orientation program at OCAD U, a partnership between Campus Life and OCADSU, but, with our name change, we felt it was time to re-visit our goals and objectives in time for Orientation 2011. To this end, I’m hosting a brainstorming session on Wednesday for some key stakeholders — staff, students and faculty — who well help us create a new vision for orientation at OCAD U. What should a student remember about their first day at OCAD U? What should they learn? And, most importantly, how should it feel.

3. Internationalization – Global mobility is the new reality in higher education. Students and faculty are making connections, building their cross-cultural competencies, and learning and solving complex issues between and across institutions and nations. OCAD U has been busy on this front as well increasing our intake of international students and providing more and more opportunities for students to study elsewhere for a semester. I’m attending a two-day workshop at the end of the week to learn more about all the pieces of the puzzle: from risk assessment and recruitment t0 supporting international students.