Academic Innovation Initiatives

This past summer, PCIP considered proposals related to academic innovation from several different commitment leaders, units, and working groups. With the support of the office of Institutional Planning and Assessment and the advice of the Vice-Provost Teaching and Learning, PCIP built upon the ideas presented in these proposals to develop a set of new, cross-unit initiatives – the Academic Innovation Initiatives – to which PCIP has committed $2.5 million in permanent, ongoing funding. With an exciting mix of programming and services, these initiatives target two priority areas: curriculum innovation; and, aboriginal engagement and community outreach.

Together, the Academic Innovation Initiatives form a strategy of broad support for innovations in academic programs, research and support services at our university. Through these initiatives, the university will create a concentration of expertise that faculty members and academic units can call upon to support the development new forms of learning in our curricula and which bridge the traditional boundary between learning and research, including: experiential learning, problem-based inquiry, community and Aboriginal engagement, internationalization, sustainability, distributive education and technology-enhanced learning.

The initiatives also involve a major new emphasis on facilitating Aboriginal engagement and community outreach, helping units access the expertise necessary to make external partnerships that support our goals in both academic programming and research.

Finally, the Academic Innovation Initiatives address high priorities in student support services including strengthening and focusing the services of the Aboriginal Student Centre and introducing a new model of student advising intended to improve student success and persistence.

Academic Innovation funding by year

Lead Units & Initiative Descriptions:

University Learning Centre & Gwenna Moss Centre for Teaching Effectiveness 

The University Learning Centre & Gwenna Moss Centre for Teaching Effectiveness will support new efforts in curricular innovation. ULC/GMCTE will help colleges and departments expand experiential learning opportunities available to students, and will provide instructional and curriculum design support for academic units in collaboration with the Centre for Continuing and Distance Education and the Media Access and Production unit (eMAP).

Vice-President Research 

The Vice-President Research office will lead the implementation of an undergraduate research program, working with the ULC to ensure complementarity and synergy with their programming, and in particular to help undergraduate students gain first-hand experience in research.

Vice-President Advancement 

The Vice-President Advancement will oversee the creation of a new office of community outreach and engagement with a mandate to engage local, provincial, national, and international communities – particularly Aboriginal communities – in the core activities of service learning, research partnerships, community outreach and other engagement. Work has already begun to create a Director of Engagement with First Nations and Metis Communities.

Student Enrolment Services Division 

Student Enrolment Services Division and the Aboriginal Students’ Centre will receive new, permanent funding to support its work in expanding Aboriginal student recruitment, support services, and student transition, mentorship, leadership and cultural programming. SESD will also work with the University Secretary and the Special Advisor to the President on Aboriginal Initiatives to promote and enhance the annual university powwow and to develop protocols for Aboriginal engagement in university ceremonies, events, workshops and other activities.

College of Arts & Science 

The College of Arts & Science receives two years of term funding to implement recommendations from the external review of undergraduate student advising.