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Student Life develops a new NSO strategic plan

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Student Life is in the process of developing a renewed New Student Orientation (NSO) plan for the UFV community. The plan will provide a framework centred on learning outcomes and strategic goals that will guide future orientation programming at UFV.  

The process of drafting the new NSO strategic plan was started because UFV is currently working towards cohesive orientation events that involve all sections of the university. The strategic goals to be addressed at UFV are community, health and wellness, diversity and inclusion, and collaboration.

“The draft plan was developed by the OSP Committee, which includes representatives from units in the university which have early contact with new-to-UFV students, such as UFV International, Recruitment, Academic Advising, Office of the Registrar (OReg), and the Centre for Accessibility Services (CAS),” Belinda Karsen, coordinator of student transition and engagement at Student Life, said over email. “SUS was invited to serve on the committee, but declined.”

Student Life hopes to finalize the direction of the strategic plan this fall semester, and to begin to implement some of its principles in the upcoming winter semester. NSO events will begin in September 2019.

The next stage, the implementation of the guiding principles, will take place over the winter semester. Student Life will collaborate with the SUS and UFV International in undertaking this new initiative.

UFV’s current NSO programming includes events such as the August campus tours, U-Join, and department welcome sessions. Karsen noted that there is consistent student interest in clubs and associations as well as the campus tours, so it is very likely that the all-welcome events from previous years will stick around.

A series of consultations are taking place around campus to gather student and faculty feedback on the current strategic plan. Online forms are available for students to give feedback on the current NSO, and Student Life will be going to department meetings and academic areas, consulting faculty about their suggestions for the NSO strategic plan. There have been four open houses so far with the purpose of collecting student feedback for the new NSO strategic plan.

In terms of recurrent feedback, Karsen said that there was a demand for transition programming which helps people settle into university life beyond the first year. Other suggestions included soliciting more involvement from the faculty and incorporating ongoing co-curricular programming for second- and third-year students.

The current online component of the NSO strategy will remain, since accessibility is one of the strategic areas that Student Life claims must be met. For people who can’t attend in-person events, they will still be able to access orientation remotely; however, the actual content of the online orientation may be revised to align with some of the recommendations from the community.

Image: UFV Flickr

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