Pathway for student success
Assistant News Editor
The Student Success Centre (SSC) has been in existence for only a year and a half, but has already made some significant accomplishments. In 2010, for example, the SSC won the President’s Award for outstanding service to the university’s student population.
The creation of the SSC was a collaborative effort on behalf of Career Services, the First Year Experience Office and Service Learning and Civic Engagement offices at McMaster.
Jacquie Hampshire, Events and Marketing Coordinator for the SSC, explained the mission of the organization: “Through our programs, services and community partnerships we inspire students and alumni to engage in learning opportunities to succeed academically, personally and professionally.”
Hampshire added that the “goal is to make sure we are consistently meeting the changing needs of students and offering services and programs that are innovative, connected to the community and tied to the success of our students and alumni.”
The SSC offers “services and programs in the areas of community service learning, civic engagement and leadership, careers and employment, and academic success,” Hampshire stated.
Many new initiatives have been implemented this year, including the Summer Reading Program, which was supported by the Student Services Fund. Students who chose to participate were given the choice between two books to read and discuss with their peers.
This program was geared toward incoming first year students, giving them the opportunity to not only network with other first year students with similar interests, but to engage in academic discussion, which would soon become part of their everyday lives.
The majority of the communication took place via Facebook, with several meetings taking place throughout the summer on the major first-year orientation days.
The highlight of the program was a question and answer period with the authors of the two books.
Another new project of the SSC this year was Career Exploration Month, in partnership with the Faculties of Humanities and Social Sciences. This program consisted of a networking breakfast, a keynote speech by motivational speaker Stuart Knight and many job shadow opportunities with Hamilton employers.
The Social Media conference, which took place on Nov. 10 and 11, was also a new addition this year, and targeted students in their final year who would soon be in the process of finding permanent employment. One of the focal points of this conference was creating an “online brand” through social media for employers to see.
The Centre has also hosted an array of workshops on topics that include how to write multiple-choice exams, reading strategies, and writing skills.
This year, the SSC has also put much considerable effort into reaching students through social media, such as Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter. These resources are being used not only to spread the word of new and ongoing programs, but to connect students with potential employers.
The SSC is excited to implement several new programs in second term, in addition to their ongoing programs, such as their summer job and employment fairs.
Second term will see the re-launch of the Dr. Mary E. Keyes Certificate of Leadership Development program, of which the main message to students is that leadership is attainable for everyone. Any student at any point can complete this new certificate during their time at McMaster, from first to final year.
To round off the year, the SSC is introducing an event called the Hamilton Employment Crawl, which will take place on April 25 and 26. The aim of this program is to allow final-year students who are looking for employment to become informed on the job opportunities that exist in Hamilton.