Queen’s students, faculty and staff personify potential. But in order for these exceptional people to accomplish all they set out to do, we must strengthen our living and learning environment – for all members of our community.
The campus is not just a place to learn, but also a place to live, work and grow. Our residential setting and collective spirit are the starting points for ensuring that our students, faculty and staff feel safe, included and supported. Campus-wide priorities nurture a supportive environment that encourages active learning, cultural awareness and wellness.
Campus-Wide Goal: $138,000,000
Physical and mental wellness are essential to success – both in academics and in life. Queen’s has always been a community where people look after each other. We are committed to strengthening the supportive aspects of our living and learning environment – for all member of our community. For students, we have three areas of focus: their transition into Queen’s, their years studying here and their preparation for life after graduation.
First-year Transitioning Skills program
Major life changes, such as the transition from high school to a post-secondary institution, can be overwhelmingly stressful. Queen’s is committed to assisting students with their transition to university life, and supporting them throughout their studies.
Queen’s is planning a proactive program available to all first-year students that would help them develop skills to manage their academic requirements, while learning the life skills they need as they transition from youth to adulthood. It would be taught by faculty members and student services professionals and would combine on-line modules and in-person seminars and workshops. The program would be developed and evaluated at Queen’s and made available to all other post-secondary institutions across Canada.
Student Wellness Space
With the redevelopment of the core of campus – the Queen’s Athletic and Recreation Centre and the John Deutsch University Centre – comes the opportunity to create a dedicated Student Wellness Centre that will provide a central hub for services and programs that support our community. We will expand Health, Counseling and Disability services and augment these critical services with dental care, nutrition education and other related services. The Student Wellness Centre is a cornerstone of Queen’s commitment to nurturing all aspects of students’ well-being, and will significantly enhance our unique residential experience.
Counselling Services across campus
Research has shown that stigma can inhibit help-seeking behavior among individuals who experience mental health issues. Only a fraction of students who struggle with such problems ask for, or receive, professional help.
Queen’s “hub and spoke” model, which has embedded mental health counselors in student residences, the student life building and in one faculty to date, is unique in Canada. We would like to strategically expand this initiative and place dedicated counselors in more faculties and facilities across campus. Faculty-based counselors understand the academic context, expectations, goals, strengths and weaknesses of the specific programs. These counselors also experience easier and direct access to faculty and staff in order to facilitate supports for students and problem-solve.
Having counselors co-located with other faculty-based services and supports would reduce the potential stigma associated with seeking help for a mental health problem and serve students in buildings and environments in which they are most familiar.
Our plan to evaluate and share best practices from this project will ensure that other institutions also benefit from this work.
Student Initiative Fund
Queen’s spirit of initiative starts with students. In an environment where everyone contributes to new thinking and where curiosity sparks solutions, we want to ensure student-driven projects get the support they need to get off the ground. The Student Initiative Fund provides seed money for student-led initiatives that benefit the community and provide students with opportunities to build leadership, citizenship, and knowledge and understanding of different cultures.
The success of Queen’s students after graduation knows no bounds. A Scholar’s Academy will offer programs and supports for our high-achieving students who are transitioning to graduate programs, professional schools and prestigious fellowships and scholarships.
In today’s electronically and socially networked world, where information, insight and the ability to contribute to the conversation are only a click away, the importance of collaboration, interactivity, and active learning cannot be underestimated.
As they have done throughout our history, Queen’s professors are continually evolving their own understanding of how best to adapt to the needs and potential of students. Our professors are already employing new technologies, engaging students through interactive learning, and using a wider variety of assignments and assessment tools to facilitate deep learning.
As a result, we have adapted much of our learning space over the last decade to provide the flexible environments our faculty need. That these spaces – which include the Chernoff Hall chemistry complex, Beamish-Munro Hall and its Integrated Learning Centre, the the School of Medicine and Goodes Hall – have been successful is an understatement. They are heavily used and at full capacity, but many faculty and students around campus do not have access to them.
That’s why we are determined to create a new complex entirely devoted to offering more innovative learning space for all disciplines. The Teaching and Learning Complex, will be flexible to allow for multiple classroom configurations so that groups can move seamlessly from lecture to discussion to collaborative work mode. Building features will also include open areas, two traditional auditoriums, several large group seminar rooms, and three flat classrooms for groups of up to 250 to work in different configurations.
The Complex will change the way students learn and faculty teach, across all of Queen’s disciplines. It will be a showcase for learning innovation.
The Agnes Etherington Art Centre (AEAC) has the broadest and most diverse collection among Canadian university art galleries, with a permanent collection renowned for its variety and depth. The AEAC benefits more than just students of art, it is an important cultural touchstone for Kingston and Eastern Ontario, a place of sanctuary and inspiration for all members of the community, and an important link for Canadian art. To ensure our space reflects the stature and breadth of our collection and programming ambitions, to continue to attract national and international attention, and to support the needs of our learning and outreach programs, we will expand the physical space while remaining sensitive to the cultural and historical importance of the original house.
The AEAC’s outreach program is not only an opportunity to introduce 5,000 local elementary school students to the wonders of art, it’s also a hands-on experience for the 40 volunteer Queen’s students who are trained as docents to plan and deliver the program. The sponsorship funding will support docent training, program development, and will increase access for Kingston area children, some of whom have only this opportunity to experience art.
Students at the Bader International Study Centre (BISC) have a rich and varied experience, living and studying in 15th century Herstmonceux Castle in Sussex, England. But they also need the tools to ensure they are making the most of their experiential learning with the same support and resources available on the Kingston campus. Creating a Learning Commons at the BISC will allow us to centralize and amplify the academic support functions to ensure all our students achieve success – no matter where they’re studying. The Learning Commons will include a resource library, an electronic resource facility, study spaces equipped with internet connection, and access to staff who can assist with writing support, presentation skills and organization.
BISC’s international focus isn’t only about its location, but is embedded in its philosophy. Studying at the Castle is an opportunity to learn in an experiential, multicultural and multi-country milieu, and it is an opportunity to interact with students, staff and faculty from around the world. Queen’s has educational partners across North America and the globe, and our aim is to ensure that diversity in all its forms is a hallmark of the BISC experience. Creating international student bursaries – which would cover 50% of fees for about 10 students each year – would allow deserving students from underrepresented regions to attend and contribute to the special community at the BISC.
The BISC faculty are the backbone of providing high academic quality, international perspective, and real-world insights and experiences for students. The Scholars-in-Residence fund will enhance our ability to attract qualified, exceptional scholar-researchers in areas pertinent to both the curriculum and the international context, who can bring their passion and commitment to our high-intensity residential community.
Studying in a 15th century castle presents an important 21st century challenge – how to ensure the beautiful, historical surroundings align with today’s "green" standards and Queen’s commitment to good environmental stewardship. Our goal is to initiate projects that will greatly reduce the Castle’s reliance on electricity. Installing solar arrays, wind turbines, wood-chip fire-boilers and an improved waste management system will dramatically reduce our energy dependence, and will offer new and interesting opportunities that can support learning and the curriculum.