Meet Heather Carter - Student Engagement Lead

Navigating the world of online academics can often be a challenge but Arts and Science Online (ASO) Student Engagement Lead Heather Carter makes the process seamless. With a focus on recruiting and supporting online undergraduate students, Carter works tirelessly to facilitate ASO’s student’s integration into the university community.

“I joined the Arts and Science Online Team in June of 2021 after working with students in a variety of different programs and faculties,” says Carter, who has been with the university for 17 years. She earned a three-year public relations diploma from Durham College before earning a three-year degree in Sociology from Carleton University.

“My role here with ASO is to engage ASO students as they often need different support than campus-based students,” Carter explains. “I host prospective student webinars and orientation webinars to try and encourage more students to consider Queen’s University for their online studies. Having spent five years as an academic advisor in Student services, I am confident that I can help provide the students with the assistance they need.

Carter notes during the pandemic the university had to pivot to be able to provide support to students, which in turn benefited ASO students.

Carter says there has also been a serious uptick in the interest in ASO courses. There are currently 8,125 winter enrollments in ASO courses (distance and on-campus undergraduate students), a jump of over a  1,000 from the year before.

 “The number of distance student applications have increased over the last few years.  We have approximately 300 new students per term who begin their online journey with ASO.  In fact, this Fall 2022 term, we have seen an increase in the number of students who are applying directly from high school via the Ontario University Application Centre (OUAC) compared to previous years who are choosing to study online instead of attending the campus-based programs.  Our courses are not just open to distance students either, many on-campus students have chosen to enroll in an online course or two to add some flexibility in to their schedule.”

With Carter now settled into her role, she is focused on several goals including working to develop better relationships with alumni as that number is growing. There is also more of a focus on collaborating with services on campus and creating more networks between groups for the betterment of ASO students.