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Focusing on the First Year Experience

EDGE group wearing orange shirts and making silly faces

Have you ever thought, “Hey, I don’t really like the way the College ran this event” or “I wish the College did a better job helping first year students get settled?” Me, too.

Well, students of Douglas, I recently had the opportunity to attend a focus group, where a bunch of students had the chance to let their voice be heard in hopes of improving student life at the College. The College invited participation from students in every program to ensure that many different opinions could be heard. The focus group was facilitated by Deans from various faculties and the Registrar of Douglas College, with the goal of learning how they can better engage first year students.

The focus group was an open conversation; the facilitators asked questions and there were no right or wrong answers, they just wanted to know our opinions. The facilitators were taking notes and carefully answering students’ questions. They were very patient and attentive, which gave me the impression that they really cared. Topics ranged from how the College could advertise better for events to fixing all of the broken outlets in the College to exam schedules.

In my first year, I was never knew what was happening on campus, so I’m glad that the Deans and Registrar are looking to improve services. For all the new and old students out there, I hope you know that your opinions and concerns are very important to the College. A lot of students might have the mindset that someone has already voiced a concern about something and the College doesn’t care. After attending the focus group, I really feel like the College Registrar and Deans are totally on the same side as the students and they are working to make improvements on these issues and willing to hear us out on other ones.

By listening to students about their first year experiences, Douglas is getting ready to set us up for success. The best part is that the results from the focus group will be gathered into a report that we will post about on Life at DC in a couple of weeks. I’m looking forward to seeing what happens next, now that I know that the College wants to do the best it can to support students.

 

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