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: $140,000,000
Queen’s believes that a healthy mind, body and spirit are foundations for student success. 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 members of our community.
We provide a range of programs and services that promote a healthy and inclusive community. To help students achieve academic and personal success, we have three areas of focus: their transition into Queen’s, their years studying here and their preparation for life after graduation.
Q Success – 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.
Q Success is a proactive nine-week program available to first-year undergraduate students that helps them develop knowledge, attitudes, and skills to support their personal and academic success at Queen’s.
Our Fall 2013 pilot program was held for just over 100 students, supported by upper-year mentors. A comprehensive assessment is now underway. Interest in this program among the incoming undergraduate class greatly exceeded expectations; ongoing funding will be needed to sustain and expand the program to meet demand so that all interested students can participate.
Campus-wide Outreach Counselling
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 is utilizing an innovative “hub and spoke” model, which complements our central counselling service with outreach counsellors who are based in various faculties and buildings across campus. They provide individual counselling services and group programming, including workshops and consultations with faculty and staff to ensure students in distress receive effective referrals.
Having counselors co-located with other faculty-based services provides students with an option to seek help in a familiar environment and to tailor programs to address specific circumstances within a faculty.
Our plan to evaluate and share best practices from this project will ensure that other institutions also benefit from this work.
Bounce Back – Responsive Academic Transition Programming
Queen’s has introduced an early alert and follow-up program to target students who are struggling academically, after their first term.
Bounce Back is an academic and learning support program for first-year undergraduate students who are struggling in their studies. Upper-year facilitators work with participants and help them reflect on their first weeks at Queen’s, explore stressors and coping skills, assess their study skills, help them set goals and develop strategies to achieve those goals, help them develop learning strategies and an individual learning plan, and refer them, as needed, to on-campus support services.
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.
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.