Aug. 30, 2019Print | PDF
The beginning of the school year is always a special time. It’s a chance to set goals, make plans and get excited about what the next term has in store.
The start of this academic year is particularly special because it’s the first one beginning under Laurier’s new strategic plan – Laurier Strategy: 2019-20124. Today. Tomorrow. Together. While the plan lays out all the ways Laurier will engage its stakeholders and grow over the next five years, I wanted to tell you specifically how the plan will impact you.
The strategic plan is built on a foundation of two themes – thriving community and future-readiness. The themes are composed of sub-themes that give the plan shape and purpose. There are a few themes in particular that I think might be especially relevant to you.
The average young adult in Canada can expect to live over 90, perhaps even over 100. The challenge comes in designing a post-secondary experience today that can support you through the technological and social changes you will face throughout your life and career.
Laurier strives to prepare people for whatever challenges the future brings by developing a range of knowledge, skills and attributes that lead to innovative and creative thinking, collaboration, adaptability, good judgement, ethical actions and leadership. In other words, the things you’ll need to build a relevant, engaged and meaningful life.
Outside of the lessons and lectures that are designed give you a solid foundation from which to thrive, you also have access to the Laurier Career Centre. No matter if you’re a first-year student or about to graduate, the Career Centre’s four locations are here to give you a head start on your life after Laurier from resumé polishing to career planning. I strongly encourage every student to visit the Career Centre at least once to take advantage of the great services they offer.
The goal of providing excellent experiential learning opportunities is to take you beyond the lecture hall and allow you to reflect, expand your knowledge, develop skills, clarify values and heighten your self-awareness.
We have incorporated experiential learning outcomes in virtually every program at Laurier. I believe that education isn’t just something that happens in the classroom and that every student should have the chance to reflect and connect to meaningful experiences both on and off-campus.
The opportunities to engage with our community and make an impact on the academic life of the university are everywhere. They include everything from doing a project or placement for a local non-profit through community service-learning to taking field courses and internships that count for academic credit.
Make sure you check out the many ways in which you can further invest in your skillset through the Laurier Experience Record.
We believe that as a student, you have a responsibility to investigate the world while trying to understand and solve problems it faces. The interdisciplinary nature of Laurier means that you will be exposed to the spectrum of issues connected to the human experience and the natural world.
Climate change has become part of our national conversation and represents one of the most critical challenges of the 21st century. Groundbreaking research being done by Laurier’s undergraduate and graduate students in Canada’s north is looking at the global implications of a changing climate on cold region environments. Their work will inform larger scientific studies that aim to mitigate the effects of a warming planet.
On our Ontario-based campuses, we are creating and advancing partnerships with the greater community to cultivate sustainable programs. Bike sharing, using locally-sourced produce at on-campus eateries, and maintaining our status as one of Canada’s greenest employers are just a few ways that Laurier is instilling a sense of environmental responsibility in its students, faculty and staff.
These are only a few examples of how the strategic plan will affect your time as a student at Laurier. In addition to your lectures, labs and homework, I encourage you to learn more about how the university is planning for the future and how those plans will impact both your life and the legacy of Laurier.
Once again, welcome to what I hope will be an outstanding year!