fast-track 05 by housework


									fast-track ‘05
investing in students
“We will give our students the best experience possible. It will position and prepare them
for the rest of their lives. It will allow them to achieve their highest dreams and aspirations.
Students earn it. We have made that commitment. We are delivering.”
                                                                                            Harvey Weingarten, President, University of Calgary

                                                                                   academic merit admission awards • $9.2M in new
                                                                                   student scholarships • wireless campus • internet
                                                                                   café • $1.64M in student-led quality initiatives •
                                                                                   reduced classroom sizes • new lab and learning
                                                                                   spaces • one-stop student services • grad student
                                                                                   financial support • student portal • inquiry-based
                                                                                   learning • blended learning

Marketing student Anne Thomas in front of the Haskayne School of Business stock ticker.

hard work. perseverance. dedication. Students earn the opportunity to attend the University of Calgary. They
make a personal commitment to their education and their future. They have high expectations, and rightly so. Fast-track
’05 captures the University of Calgary’s commitment to students — what we are doing now — and in the years ahead.

This year alone, the University will spend more than $8M on improving the quality of the student experience, building on the $13M invested
in students over the past two years. All first-year students this fall with a high school average of 80 per cent or better automatically receive
a $500 Academic Merit Admission Award. The Faculty of Science has added an additional $1,000 for all first-year science students with an
average of 85 per cent or better.

In a Canadian first, the U of C has asked students to set priorities and committed $1.64M to invest in the initiatives they identify. In the
last two years alone, the University has raised $9.2M in new student scholarships for both undergraduate and graduate students.
Total scholarship support is now $43.5M a year. It is an unprecedented investment in students at the U of C.

                                                                                                                      And it is just the start.
The quality of the student experience revolves around working with other students and professors — the
personal interactions that motivate and challenge students to reach their potential. That means more
group learning spaces and study spaces on campus, and more opportunities to interact with professors
and peers.

room to learn
wireless campus All student areas on campus will be wireless by next September. By September ’06, the entire
campus will be wireless. To take advantage of the new wireless technology, the University is creating new spaces for students to
meet, collaborate and study. New reading areas, lounges and seminar rooms spread across campus will be built over the summer.

                                                                            “A university education will open your mind to new
                                                                            perspectives, expand your experience of life and create
                                                                            unlimited opportunities. It’s really up to you to get the
                                                                            most out of your education.”

                                                                                                   Natalie Jones, fourth-year English major

Megan Duffy studies philosophy during a coffee break in the ICT building.
one-stop student services The university is creating a single access point for students to get information on all administrative
services and records, from applying for admissions to applying to graduate school. We will start with a single point of information
next fall, and eventually, all student services will be consolidated in one location. The expansion of the MyUofC portal (accessible at also gives students access to web-based services, including admissions, course registration and applying for scholarships.

                                   “The relationships you make on campus are just as
                                      important as the theories you learn in class.”
                                  Julie Allison, second-year Haskayne School of Business & Social Sciences

internet café      This fall will mark the opening of U of C’s wireless Internet Café in MacEwan Student Centre, the Students’ Union
building. With large windows and a magnificent view of the Rockies, the Internet Café will seat up to 100 students, offering a warm
atmosphere and a selection of coffees.
Inquiry defines a university education: Asking questions and seeking answers, engaging in research,
gathering information, analysing, evaluating, calculating, reasoning, interpreting, communicating, and
leading. The University is creating small-group experiences — more time with professors, peers, instructors
and teaching assistants, and making it possible for students to study in many disciplines.

challenging. thinking. problem-solving.
inquiry-based learning Thirteen pilot courses are under way, and once up to full speed, the courses will involve more than 3,500
students. One project is called Evidence — in which several faculties teach one course offering different perspectives on what
“the truth” really means.

                                                                                “First year was a real learning curve, not only in terms of
                                                                                academics but also about myself. As I discovered new
                                                                                courses and activities, I was sometimes surprised by
                                                                                some of the things that I liked.”

                                                                                              Nikki Sachdeva, first-year, Haskayne School of Business

Mechanical engineering graduate student Rashaad Sader examines the scale model of a solar-powered car being constructed on campus.

                                                               The University is developing a first-year seminar on what research means to
                                                               students and how it can be part of the undergraduate learning experience.
                                                               Looking ahead, the University will also link more students with mentors, and
                                                               give more students more opportunities for international study and internship

                                                               blended learning         It’s much more than test tubes and bunsen burners. The
                                                               Experiential Learning Centre, now on the drawing board, will improve and expand
                                                               access to science laboratories, and revolutionize the way students learn.

                                                               The latest scientific instruments will be paired with wireless workspaces and
                                                               meeting places; it’s a concept designed to bring together hands-on research,
                                                               the latest information technologies and group work spaces where students
                                                               can learn — and research — together.
Dr. Anthony Russell believes students learn more by doing and thinking, than memorizing and repeating.
“I don’t want to treat my students like a sponge, fill them up with ideas and then squeeze the sponge
out during exams,” says Russell, pictured below. The zoology professor is engaging his students in the
learning process by helping them take ownership of what they’re learning.

learn by doing
critical thinking In one class students pick their term paper topic and Dr. Russell guides them through the process of asking
a question that won’t have its answer in books or journals — it can only be answered through critical thinking and reasoning.
This is inquiry-based learning.

                                                                               access Students expect both face-to-face classroom
                                                                               learning and online learning via the web, a key reason
                                                                               for creation of a wireless campus. A web-based course-
                                                                               management system called Blackboard is now used
                                                                               by more than 18,000 students in 844 courses.

Dr. Anthony Russell of the Biological Sciences department and a Tokay Gecko.

learning when and how it suits you For the last six years, Brendan Behan has worked as an emergency nurse and clinical
trials nurse for the Calgary Health Region. He just finished his Post Diploma Bachelor of Nursing, which the University offers through
online courses. “For the most part, studying online has been great because of the flexible hours and my ability to control my learning,”
says Behan. These virtual classrooms also allow for group discussions and live discussions with professors and other students.

                                        Inquiry-based learning: learning designed to
                                  challenge students’ ideas of what they know and how
                                           much they trust their own judgment.
online learning tools            “This fall, more professors will be able to take existing PowerPoint presentations, record their voice
narrations and add interactive quiz/survey questions and post it to the web for students to access at their convenience. This method
allows professors to send more effective feedback on students’ assignments in a fraction of the time it used to take,” says Rod
Corbett, e-learning specialist at the University of Calgary.
Ongoing and new initiatives to support academic achievement — on top of existing
student supports — include $1M to boost scholarships; $600,000 to improve grad
student support; $1.1M more for the library; $2M to increase and renovate classroom
and lab space and $450,000 for inquiry-based and blended learning projects.

supporting achievement
enhancing student experience               ”The University of Calgary is investing in the experience of students by spending more
money in strategic areas that will build on the momentum and energy that already exists at the university. This year’s budget also
includes new labs and classrooms and upgraded facilities,” Weingarten says.

                                                                                 “I came to the U of C because of its degree in kinesiology.
                                                                                 I think that the Human Performance Lab and the Sport
                                                                                 Medicine Centre are great to have and help faculty engage
                                                                                 in new and exciting research.”

                                                                                                  Kathryn Wytsma, second-year kinesiology major

First year U of C nursing students Dina Elian, left, and Meghan Hall practise for an exam.

information treasure trove              No matter what your degree, the cornerstone of every university education is the library.
Currently expanding its comprehensive collection of primary sources, journals and books, the library is also augmenting its digital
collection, which allows students to access, manage and cross-reference even more information.

                                          It’s not enough for students to know the
                                    basic and fundamental concepts of their courses —
                                              we have to take them beyond that.
The province recently announced that the Campus Calgary Digital Library, centred at the U of C and serving all Calgary post-second-
aries, will provide the foundation for the Lois Hole Digital Library. The library and Learning Commons, with its wireless common
area — complete with 250 fixed computer workstations and 20 seminar rooms — has been used as a model across Canada for its
integration of technology, student services and collaborative workspaces. Wireless stations throughout the library are on their way.
In 2006, the University of Calgary will celebrate its 40th anniversary. English professor
Dr. Maurice Yacowar, a student here in 1966, has witnessed the University’s trans-
formation over the decades.

looking ahead
“The University’s rankings — including the Maclean’s survey — have reflected the enormous growth
and pressure on the U of C to keep up with Calgary’s tremendous growth. But ultimately these rankings
measure the past. We are focused on the future.” — Harvey Weingarten, President, University of Calgary

                                                                      leading Research funding at the University of Calgary
                                                                      this year totalled $247M — a 47 per cent increase over
                                                                      last year, again securing the U of C’s ranking among the
                                                                      Top 10 universities in Canada.


David Terril in a University of Calgary chemistry lab.

“When I walk through the present campus I chuckle at the memory of what it used to be,” says Yacowar. “There were no trees
or grass and lots of dust. The University’s rapid growth in this short amount of time is truly phenomenal. In fact, many of the
challenges the University has faced are due to its exceptional growth.”

Over the last five years, the U of C accepted 20 per cent of total enrolment growth in Alberta post-secondaries. The province’s commit-
ment to add 60,000 post-secondary spaces by 2020, with 15,000 spaces over the next three years, is vital to our community. Calgary’s
population and economic growth — the fastest in the country — will ensure increased access for students. The U of C can add up to 7,000
new seats by 2010.

“In many areas we are already world leaders, combining a huge commitment to research and to the undergraduate experience, we are
expanding the University of Calgary’s influence and impact,” says Weingarten. “By the time our students graduate, we want them to
know how to attack a set of problems that are unanticipated in any given context. This means we have to teach our students critical and
flexible thinking skills, team working skills, communications skills and leadership skills so that they will succeed in the career of their
choice, whatever and wherever that might be.”

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