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College Conversations Answers From Glenn Vollebregt

Hello folks, thank you again for joining us in the recent College Conversations event. We are committed to responding to questions that were submitted and have bundled similar questions together for this week’s responses. It is clear there are lots of questions around big picture items like placements, when we will return to campus, and how. I am addressing the first batch of questions below and will share more responses in next week’s newsletter.  I will also be sure to cover major topics of importance in my Wednesday notes as plans continue to take shape. As we continue to work through these challenges, I am very grateful for the ways I see our team responding. Please keep connecting, innovating, and supporting each other. Our students and college will be stronger and continue to succeed because of everyone’s combined individual efforts.

Question: There were several questions submitted about student placements and what will be happening with them in the fall.

Answer: Placements are such an integral part of our education model, I agree with those of you who submitted this question, that it is an important one. That being said, the short answer right now is “we are working on it.” Much of this is not only up to us, as the status of our placement sites themselves remain unknown. Our hope is that in coming weeks as more is known about provincial status and re-openings, that we can get our students into setting and experiences that let them apply their learning and connect with employers. Our Placement team has continued to work diligently these past few weeks helping students who had their placements interrupted in the winter semester complete their required hours where possible.

Question: Several people asked about how staff will be prioritized to return to campus, and whether all staff will return at once, or if there will be a tier to how/when teams return.

Answer: When we are able to return to campus, priority will be given to employees and teams whose work will make it possible for on-campus programs to resume. Once our buildings are prepared and we know which programs will be having an on-campus component, employees associated with those programs will be given priority for returning. We are hearing that workplaces are encouraged to limit employees on campus where possible to ensure the gradual return is successful and so will be following guidelines and directives for making decisions in the coming weeks.

Question/Answer: I was asked to give a shout out to the College Awards, and I’d like to remind staff and faculty the SLC Employee Awards Event will take place virtually this year at 10:00 a.m. on June 16. A Teams meeting invite was sent through AllNotes - if you did not receive an invite please contact Ashley McKeil.

Question: Will the campus opening look different for all three campuses? As COVID situation is different in all three cities.

Answer: IMT is planning for similar precautions to be in place on all SLC campuses, and details will be shared prior to people coming to campus. Things like pre-screening, keeping a record of who is on campus (and when), and providing an environment where social distancing is observed are the kinds of things being planned for. The college is working with public health in each municipality to ensure our plans follow their advice and guidance.

Question: Are tuition rates expected to drop for the fall since students won’t be on campus?

Answer: The short answer here is “no.” I can clarify the reason for this is that we are conferring the same high-quality, well-recognized and respected credential on our graduates, even if their fall semester is delivered via alternate means. Our sector and Ministry confirmed weeks ago that discounts on tuition are not being offered, to avoid eroding the support and calibre of an Ontario college education. Students will still receive the theory, practical, support, and in time, experience associated with being part of a community college.

In addition, we will continue to offer hardship bursaries to those most in need.  For information on our hardship bursary, please click here.

Question/Answer: I was also asked why I lost the beard.  I actually didn’t lose the beard – let’s just say I was asked to trim it :)

Question: Will SLC discount tuition to help students who are feeling financial strain?

Answer: As a sector, colleges in Ontario have agreed that a tuition discount will not be offered. The value of our education and credential remains the same, and these circumstances we are in are not permanent. There is help available for students, from federal and provincial governments, as well as options at SLC. Current students can find information on that help by using the live chat feature on our website, or by contacting student services. Please note our fee protocol committee continues to assess whether things like ancillary fees can be reduced, and that committee includes voting positions for students.

Our People

Reflections on Leadership During COVID-19

SLC’s Pamela Johnson, Manager, Centre for Behavioural Studies, Anya Brooker, Student Rights & Responsibilities Officer, Pamela Shea, Faculty, and Antonio Aragon, Regional Manager, International Recruitment together wrote a blog post summarizing their reflections on leadership at SLC following the completion of the Leadership Development Program offered at the College.

Many thoughtful articles are being written at the moment reflecting on the role of leaders in this time of massive, worldwide change as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Worth noting, these articles are often written from the perspective of senior leadership in public and private organizations or senior political leadership. While it is important to hear from senior leaders, we believe there is an opportunity to hear from leaders in all departments and levels of an organization. This post is written from the perspective of a few employees of St. Lawrence College. We are a group of colleagues who recently completed a Leadership Development Program (LDP) offered by our employer. Perhaps you’ll be able to relate, or this might give you pause to reflect on examples of collective leadership happening around you right now? Read the full blog post here on LinkedIn.

Exciting Update to SLC’s Employee and Family Assistance Plan

Effective June 1st the Employee & Family Assistant Program (EFAP) is available for all employees and their families, regardless of employment status. The EFAP is a free, 100% confidential support system to help employees and their families take the first step towards change regardless of their situation. It is made up of multiple education articles, tools, resources, and counselling to offer support though life events or to manage work-life balance, stress, mental well-being, and more. Employees can choose the method that works best for them and their schedules with online programs, phone appointments, online chats or having resources sent to them. Access the EFAP 24/7 by phone, web or mobile app: 1-800-387-4765 or workhealthlife.com.

 

Our Programs

Project Management Students Create Video to Promote Cornwall

When the City of Cornwall and the Cornwall & Counties Community Futures Development Corporation (CFDC) were looking for a way to promote Cornwall to international students as a great city to study and stay, they didn’t need to look further than St. Lawrence College for help.

“After considering their scope of influence and probability of impact, we decided we could have some impact and influence using our students to help recruit more international students to come to Cornwall,” according to Carla Kingston-Floyd, program coordinator of the Project Management program.

A student team comprised of Jimmy Johnson, James Jose, Revathy Satish, Merine Philip, John Ahiagbenyoh and Prithvi Parthiban went to work to create a recruitment video with the help of SPARK, SLC’s in-house advertising agency.

“Exposure to real life projects like this has helped me gain confidence and skills in Project Management. This experience will definitely be a career boost. I thank SLC for giving me this opportunity to be a part of this big project,” said Prithvi Parthiban.

“St Lawrence College is truly an important and valued partner for Cornwall, and it is always a pleasure to work on common projects with its outstanding students and faculty,” said Cornwall mayor, Bernadette Clement. “I particularly enjoyed this project because of the inspiration created by the great and positive energy of the students and by their obvious caring for our community. I want them all to stay right here and can’t help but imagine all the great ways that they could contribute to making our city an even better place to live!”

“I continue to be impressed with the quality of the talent emerging from St. Lawrence College,” said Lesley Thompson,” executive director of the CFDC. “We were thrilled to work with Carla Kingston and her energetic and capable Project Management students on this video. Who better to help attract more newcomers to this region than international students? Thank you for telling the world this story.”

Watch the video here.

Our Students

Help Congratulate the Class of 2020

While we cannot host traditional convocation ceremonies right now, we can share our SLC spirit and congratulations with our graduates. Join us in continuing to celebrate the Class of 2020 with a congratulatory message.

We are asking for staff and faculty to record a 10-15 second video sharing a congratulatory message for our graduates and email to communications@sl.on.ca by June 15. The messages will be combined into a single video that will be shared across the college social media accounts on June 18 and shared on the Class of 2020 webpage.

 

 

Our Communities

National Indigenous History Month

SLC’s Indigenous Services will be hosting an online session on Friday June 19th at 10am-11:30am. The session will include a virtual smudge with Elder Helena Neveu, land acknowledgements and their significance, the wampum and treaties and the importance of history to Indigenous Peoples and our students. For more information on this event, please contact Jessie Pengelly, Indigenous Student Advisor, JPengelly@sl.on.ca. Click here for more information on National Indigenous History Month.

 

 

 

Celebrating Pride

June is Pride Month, and SLC is proud to celebrate diversity with our LGBTQ2 communities. The college will be raising the Pride flag on our campuses as a show of support and as a reminder of our value of Belonging. Each of our communities will be holding events, and information is available on the following websites:

https://www.kingstonpride.ca/

https://www.brockvillepride.com/

https://cornwallpride.org/

 

 

Important Dates

July 31: Spring semester end date for most programs
August 10: Grades due - last day to post Spring 2020 grades into SIS
August 24: First day - new full-time faculty
August 31: First day - returning full-time faculty/program coordinators
September 8: Orientation Day
September 9: First day of classes, Fall semester begins