Our Residence Life program is the cornerstone of our comprehensive service offering, and it creates a student experience that makes residence more than just a convenient place to live. As a vertically integrated company, we are the only organization in Canada that includes residence life as a part of our overall service.
By deploying a student-centric approach, our Residence Life strategic plan embraces the unique academic mission and strategic plan of our partner institutions, and the diverse needs of their respective residence community. Our goal is to create a safe, secure, and engaged community that promotes equality, respects diversity, encourages leadership and self-discovery, fosters personal health and well-being, enhances student learning and development, and upholds a high quality of community living standards.
Our Department of Residence Life & the Student Experience focuses on four main areas to strengthen the student experience.
We know that the first six weeks of a new student’s experience on campus is critical to their overall success. Our approach to community building and programming ensures that our students have a positive and smooth transition to residence and campus life.
Our efforts include:
- Helping students develop strong relationships with their roommates and Resident Advisor (RA);
- Promoting participation in residence and campus orientation activities;
- Education about key resources, services, and involvement opportunities; and
- Facilitating campus social and educational programs that build a strong, supportive community.
Programs are guided by a research-based tool called our Community Development Model. This model is a holistic approach to student education that helps develop a combination of personal, academic, and citizenship skills. Our programming model includes:
- Residence move-in and orientation programs;
- Engagement through social media;
- Regular residence programming in six areas of student development;
- Intentional academic and social transition support plans for students; and
- Specialized programming such as Living Learning Communities or Service Learning Initiatives.
Training and development opportunities are critical to employee engagement and satisfaction, which is why we invest in training for all of our student leaders, administrative managers, and our senior executives alike.
Staff engaged continuously in professional development ensure our employees are engaged and successful. Education related to student life issues, trends, and best practices ensures we are at the forefront of student affairs research and that student needs are always being met.
We are constantly focused on achieving and improving upon the following training and development objectives:
- Improving the quality of our pre-service and in-service residence life staff training programs;
- Designing new student leader training programs and conferences in residence;
- Contributing to the development of a high-achieving staff leadership programs;
- Creating new online training and collaboration tools;
- Increasing attendance and presentation rates at local, provincial, national and international workshops, conferences, and certificate programs; and
- Encouraging staff to upgrade college and university credentials.
We recognize that the value of our program lies in the strengths and passions of our Residence Life staff who help to propel our program forward. As such, we provide development opportunities including:
- Annual Residence Life Staff Training Conference;
- Annual company-wide professional development conference;
- Department-led training and development;
- Intensive on-boarding and training plan for new residence life staff; and
- A thorough, competency-based Residence Life Staff Training Curriculum led by industry standards.
Our outreach and support programs are designed to meet the unique needs of every student and every community.
Student success is dependent on a wide variety of personalized support programs and services that are available to each individual all year long. Engaging students and staff in the delivery of specialized support programs builds stronger communities and fosters student success.
Our goals in this area include:
- Creating innovative mental health and wellness services;
- Establishing new crisis prevention and emergency response best practices;
- Improving the quality of accessibility and disability services; and
- Administering progressive student conduct management and student support policies.
Data-driven decision making is essential to the development of our Residence Life program whose goal is to enhance the student experience. The evaluation of existing programs and services, and the assessment of student and community characteristics are all equally important elements of our residence life program. We achieve this through:
- Partnership with Campus Labs, a leading organization in higher education strategic analysis;
- Semi-annual satisfaction and program evaluation surveys completed by students;
- Assessment of training and professional development sessions;
- Analysis of student data pulled from StarRez software on incident statistics and student behaviours; and
- Quality assessments conducted by our Property Support Team to ensure a high standard of residence life programming and operations.