Priority 1: undergraduate students

Enriching the undergraduate student experience

The Faculty of Arts will build on strengths and proven successes in undergraduate education. We will employ best practices to strategically leverage existing models and resources at the University so that all Arts students have access to a range of vital learning opportunities for the 21st century. To achieve our goals we will pursue the following objectives and associated action plans:

Objective 1: Recruit and enroll students who will thrive in the particular programs offered in the Faculty of Arts


  • Undertake a detailed study of current and prospective students to help us understand better their backgrounds, expectations, motivations, and experiences during their first-year
  • Coordinate Arts high school outreach programming by working closely with departments;  complement existing UWaterloo initiatives that appropriately engage students in grades 9 to 12
  • Bring prospective students to campus for meaningful events that clearly highlight the advantages of Arts academic and experiential learning opportunities
  • Develop audience-appropriate messaging that clearly communicates and differentiates the value and benefits of a Waterloo Arts degree
  • Expand our social media strategy to reach prospective students with our messaging and outreach events
  •  Initiate  Faculty-wide discussion and planning for the recruitment and support of international students

Objective 2: Increase enrollment, retention and student success in Honours programs


  • Ensure curriculum structure and process is comprehensible to students
  • Revise first year program to provide common foundations, core skills, and improved pathways to majors and experiential learning opportunities, possibly through common courses and cohort or community based programming
  •  Review curricula to ensure flexibility in academic plans, facilitating opportunities for interdisciplinary study
  • Introduce new and revised career-focused and interdisciplinary minors
  • Create an Honours program in Liberal Arts available online to extend and enhance learning opportunities for our mature and distance students

Objective 3: Increase student awareness of the connection between their learning experiences and career readiness, and enhance their ability to articulate that connection


  • Direct greater attention to core skills and competencies in first year programming for both academic success and co-op/career readiness
  • Explicate and substantiate learning outcomes for all undergraduate levels
  • Increase the practice of building digital/online portfolios across programs and in all years of the undergraduate degree

Objective 4: Increase and promote experiential education opportunities to enhance students’ skills as well as their global awareness and engagement


  • Explore and develop more opportunities in both domestic and international locations for non-academic learning experiences, such as co-op, field placement, practicum, study abroad, and community service
  • Explore and develop more accessible opportunities for entrepreneurship programming and activities (including social entrepreneurship) for Arts students
  • Facilitate student pathways between courses and research opportunities across the Faculty of Arts
  • Identify opportunities for deeper international and cross-cultural learning within our curriculum, including but not restricted to exchange programs
  • Identify and support opportunities for Indigenous teaching and learning across the curriculum. (Action added May 2017)

Objective 5: Build and improve facilities to address the pressing need for students’ social and study space


  • In addition to the Hagey Hall renovation, develop plans for a new Arts building which include the provision of student space as well as state of the art classrooms to support evolving curriculum