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Transition program to serve more students

By Andrew Stokes, Communications Officer

After a strong start as a pilot project, the first-year student transition program, Q Success, is set to triple in size. The program, which helps students adjust to life at university, will grow from serving a group of 100 students to 300. Structured around weekly meetings with upper-year mentors, the students work on enhancing academic, organization, and time management skills, and learn about how to live a healthy lifestyle and practice good self-care. Sessions are delivered by professional staff and trained peer mentors.

“Students have clearly articulated that they’re interested in Q Success,” says Arig Girgrah, Assistant Dean of Student Affairs, Student Life and Learning. “We’ve seen a positive trend in those who enrolled, and many reported they felt more confident in the work they were submitting and their ability to thrive at Queen’s.”

Q Success was particularly well-received from some of the more vulnerable groups in the student population. For example, international and first-generation students were especially likely to apply.

The program also included a small cohort of students who participated in a parallel Aboriginal-specific group led by an upper year Aboriginal student and the Aboriginal Success Strategist at the Four Directions Aboriginal Student Centre. This group will continue to run in year two.

To better serve students, Q Success is adapting to the feedback it received from those in its first cohort.

“We’ve organized the schedule so that sessions are delivered at a time when they are most impactful for students,” says Cassandra Eberhardt, Program Co-ordinator, Q Success. “Sessions on time management are scheduled early on in the term and the session on health and wellness will be when students typically begin to experience fatigue.”

The duration of Q Success is also being abridged. “Committing to nine weeks was difficult for many students, so we’re streamlining the program to six weeks. We’re also incorporating more peer-to-peer interaction and more interactive engagement with the content in each session. ” says Ms. Eberhardt.

“Q Success is open to any student who might feel a little nervous or unsure about their ability to adjust to university life and academic expectations,” says Ms. Girgrah. “The common factor among those who joined last year was their interest in setting themselves up for success early on.”

Students can find out how to apply to participate or be a mentor in the 2014 Q Success Program here.