Douglas College initiative seeks student advice
By Angela Espinoza, News Editor
Douglas College is asking students how their school can be improved. Throughout November, the Help Make Douglas Better initiative has been taking suggestions, with over 600 statements currently collected.
“Help Make Douglas Better was designed as an engaging way for students to contribute to the development of the college’s new strategic plan,” said Douglas’ marketing and communications director Dave Taylor. “Based on previous feedback, there were some themes that needed to be explored to help make Douglas College an even better experience for students.”
Taylor outlined the four points of focus Douglas is taking suggestions on, which are quality of teaching, quality of services, connections to employers and businesses, and student engagement. “Students responded enthusiastically,” said Taylor.
Some suggestions made by students are to be included in a five-year plan that will result in significant changes to the college.
“Continuing to improve the student experience in and out of the classroom is one of the college’s top priorities,” said Taylor. “We’re looking for themes and common perspectives to emerge from the feedback to help guide college initiatives over the coming years.
“Of course, it’s not possible to follow every suggestion and there are budgetary and other constraints to what can be accomplished in five years, but all suggestions are greatly appreciated.”
Taylor went on to say that suggestions made and delivered in person by students and suggestions made online will all be read and accounted for. “Those received will be presented for discussion to the Strategic Planning Action Group—a cross-college committee—as well as management and the board.”
As changes to the college will occur over time, Taylor stated that more Make Douglas Better opportunities will be offered to students in the next few years. “We have ongoing student surveys that are more specific to service areas that are used to help improve college processes and service levels,” said Taylor.
“Every student has a unique educational experience at Douglas, so everyone has a different perspective.”
Taylor stressed the importance of how influential the suggestion process can be on the students’ part. “Please take the time to think about the themes and add to the conversation. You may have a great idea, but if you don’t tell anyone, it will never have a chance at becoming reality.”
Student feedback events were held on November 5 at the New Westminster and David Lam campuses, but suggestions can still be made online at goo.gl/SuxCIu until November 21. Participants will also be entered in a chance to win a $100 gift card to Douglas College bookstores.