Queen's University

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[ACADEMIC PLAN]
[ACADEMIC PLAN]

Academic Plan

Key Recommendations of the Academic Plan

Number Recommendation

Student Learning Experience

1

That Queen’s make the teaching and learning of the Fundamental Academic Skills (FAS) a high priority.

Though we hesitate to single out any particular skills for special mention, as the various components of FAS are closely integrated, most of the comments we have received, from a wide range of disciplines, concern critical thinking and inquiry on one hand, and writing on the other.

Those three are of course intimately connected, but writing, both general and discipline-specific, stands at the culmination of any project or investigation, as we must have a way of setting down and sharing our thoughts and conclusions.

2

That departments and faculties articulate how and where in their curricula they systematically develop the Fundamental Academic Skills.

This would be a natural part of the Queen’s Quality Assurance Process (QUQAPS).

3

That Queen’s develop a model for an expanded Queen’s Learning Commons ­ with an integrated approach to programming and profile, incorporating its five partners: the Adaptive Technology Centre, IT Services, Learning Strategies Development, Queen’s Library, and the Writing Centre

This model should take as its starting point the current QLC strategic planning process and focus on key academic skills with specialists in different fields, such as writing, numeracy, inquiry, information literacy, technology, collaborative learning, and adaptive technology. In particular, the Writing Centre’s role and the possibilities for its enhancement should be taken under serious consideration.

4 That the University provide seed money for pilot projects that focus on developing the Fundamental Academic Skills.
5 That where appropriate, Queen’s move to or continue the development of an inquiry-based model of learning.

Disciplinarity and Interdisciplinarity

6 Queen’s should promote interdisciplinarity (in its broadest sense) while ensuring that individual disciplines are not eroded.
7 Queen’s should foster a culture of interdisciplinary collaboration in teaching and research by removing administrative, financial, and structural barriers to cross-listing of courses and team-teaching by two or more professors in different disciplines and by providing students with greater access to courses outside of their chosen fields.
8 Queen’s should encourage inter-departmental cooperation and foster administrative creative-will to enable a faculty member to teach or co-teach in another unit.
9 As a general rule, Queen’s should recognize the value of the medial and the dual-concentration degree in its capacity to facilitate interdisciplinary learning.

Reaching Beyond: Globalism, Diversity and Inclusion

10 Queen’s should develop an equal partnership with Indigenous and Aboriginal Communities by making the Aboriginal Council an integral part of the Queen’s decision making structure
11 Queen’s should make the recruitment of Aboriginal students, faculty, and staff a priority, establish an Endowed Research Chair in Aboriginal Studies, and create an Aboriginal Studies Certificate, which might develop into an Indigenous Studies Program.
12 Queen’s should consider the QUIC arguments for “internationalization at home” in order to improve the intercultural dimension of the Queen’s campus proper.
13 Queen’s should enhance the integration of visa students and optimize learning experiences that domestic students gain from international exchanges.
14 Queen’s should promote the importance of foreign language learning as both a relevant academic and employment skill.
15 Queen’s should follow the SEEC’s recommendation to define a clear set of “core educational competencies” for all undergraduate students around “the interplay of race, ethnicity, religion, gender, ability, and class in a changing society and economy” and include Indigenous history, culture, and methodologies in all appropriate courses.
16 Queen’s should continue in its effort to attract and engage women students in science and engineering and to create the environment and conditions that would make the traditionally male-dominated disciplines more accessible and attractive for female students.

Health, Wellness and Community

17 Queen’s should continue to solicit feedback about how to make the campus more safe and welcoming, create strategies to deal with harassment of all forms in all areas on campus and ensure orientation programming around safety and anti-harassment are expanded.
18 Queen’s should ensure that there is strong and well promoted academic, health, wellness, and financial support to help students get through persistent issues and unusually difficult periods. This includes both formal measures, but also helping students learn to take care of and support themselves and each other.
19

A university-wide equity plan, in consultation with student and administrative equity bodies, should be implemented.

In addition, all departments and faculties on campus should be encouraged to develop their own equity committees and plans. This sort of structure will ensure that broad university plans are implemented at the departmental level, and that overall university planning remains sensitive to the needs and experiences of individual departments and faculties.

20

Queen’s should move to create more formal space, programs, and areas of recognition for Aboriginal students, staff, and faculty on campus.

This could include the addition of an Aboriginal cultural component to the convocation of Aboriginal students. Programs should be aimed both at improving the sense of Aboriginal community on campus, and also at creating more positive interaction between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal students on campus.

21 Queen’s should address the under-representation of women and members of other equity-seeking groups at the upper academic ranks and in academic leadership positions.
22 Queen’s should create a strategic Human Resources plan that addresses issues such as workforce planning, career development, succession management, and training.