Students asked for input on college’s future direction
By Aaron Guillen, Staff Reporter
Last Friday, students and faculty met in an open format to discuss their likes and dislikes for the college. In an effort to gain some knowledge on the aspects that were working and those that were not, Douglas College officials knew that only a certain group of people held the answer—the students.
The Strategic Plan Town Hall consisted of two simple questions. First of all, “What is Douglas College doing well for new students?” and secondly, “What could the College improve upon? What initiatives can you suggest for improvement?” After an amount of time for discussion among groups, students were asked to speak freely about their praises and concerns.
When it came to praises, many people spoke up, commenting the success of The E.D.G.E., Douglas’ three-day orientation every fall, saying that it helped them find a sense of belonging in the school, and become aware of the many services available at the campus. Additionally, students were content with the Registrar’s Office’s efficiency, the Douglas College app, the many free events held by the DSU, the class sizes, and the overall sense of community at the college.
When it came to improvements that students desired, a sea of hands appeared, eager to have their voices heard. Many students recognized the need for teacher evaluation earlier in the semester, since the current forms are only completed during the final class. Many of the athletes spoke up, admitting that the focus on sports had been lacking, especially with home game crowd turnouts.
Two students brought up some suggestions for academic advising: firstly, the fact that it should have more flexible hours for high school students seeking assistance, and secondly, that awareness among students of such advising needed to be raised.
The topic of awareness opened up many avenues upon which students alike agreed—although the college has more than enough reminders for events, there isn’t a system of organization. Should a club, event, or meeting be promoted on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram, the likelihood of attracting significant attention is slim to none. A suggestion was made by a student that a section of the Douglas website be dedicated to a year-round calendar, outlining every activity, club meeting, or social event taking place at both campuses.
“We will see what we get today with the feedback we have. We’re early in the process with talking to the college officials,” commented Manuela Constantino, Associate Dean of Language, Literature & Performing Arts.
“I can’t give you a specific answer [for time of completion], but these focus groups are a part of our strategic plan from 2015 to 2020, so within the next five years. With most of them, we can act on very quickly, so what we can do, we will do.”