University of Calgary

First Year Scholars Program hosts inaugural workshop

UToday HomeSeptember 5, 2013

Participants in a workshop Aug. 29 were introduced to the First Year Scholars Program and learned about self-regulated learning and strategies for academic success. Participants in a workshop Aug. 29 were introduced to the First Year Scholars Program and learned about self-regulated learning and strategies for academic success. As part of the university’s strategy to attract students with high academic standing, the First Year Scholars Program was launched by the Student Success Centre this year for students who have achieved an average higher than 90 per cent or who are the recipient of a prestige scholarship. 

“These students enter university with prestigious scholarships and high grades, and while many will remain at the top of their class, others may need additional guidance as they transition to post-secondary studies,” says Jessica Cohen, an academic development specialist who is responsible for running First Year Scholars.

The program provides exceptionally high-achieving students the opportunity to connect with one another and participate in academic lectures and workshops to advance their skills. Students may also receive one-on-one academic advice to develop their long-term educational plans, such as entry into graduate studies or professional programs. They are also offered assistance when applying to major awards and scholarships. The program is entirely optional; however the hope is that students take advantage of the numerous opportunities scheduled throughout the year.

On Aug. 29, more than 170 students attended a workshop on campus facilitated by Cohen and four Scholars Academy students: Emily Macphail, Khulud Baig, Rachel Malone, and Yan Yu. More than 25 students participated in the workshop offsite via Elluminate. The event introduced students to the First Year Scholars Program, in addition to the concept of self-regulated learning and strategies for academic success.

Jessica Newman, a Schulich Scholar, had positive feedback. “The initiative was very welcoming and incredibly helpful,” says Newman. “I made connections with fellow students, and began organizing my thoughts in preparation for university studies.” Likewise, incoming Health Science student Keon Ma commented, “It was great hearing from actual university students who were able to contribute and give advice for what study tips work best for them.”

The workshop encouraged new students to start thinking about balancing academics and extra-curricular activities. It also highlighted the various resources available at the Student Success Centre and other support services on campus. Most importantly, it encouraged students to connect with one another as they begin their university career. As Science student Rajvir Dhindsa reflected: “The best part was that I made new friends.”

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