Article orignally published to the Daily Bulletin on Thursday, June 25.
More than 8,000 new University of Waterloo undergraduate students will be experiencing their first term of university mostly online. Although it is certainly not what they expected when they applied, these students have the support of the Waterloo community behind them – including staff, faculty, and upper year peer mentors. Faculties and academic support units have partnered to create Waterloo Ready - a program to support and engage new undergraduate students over the summer and right through their first year.
Waterloo Ready provides a structure for the integration of several new student transition services, resources and initiatives - delivered by the Student Success Office, the Faculties, the Waterloo Undergraduate Student Association, and many other campus partners. Students will be engaged in faculty-specific live chats, LEARN modules, peer mentorship and an integrated communications strategy including email, web and social media.
Incoming undergraduate students have been contacted by a peer success coach to welcome them to the University. Over the next few weeks, each of these students will be matched with a mentor from their faculty. The peer mentors are a team of more than 200 upper year students who will provide a personal connection to help new students navigate all the things they need to know and do in the coming weeks and months. Students will be connected with resources to get a head start on learning and with tools to help them prepare for life outside of the classroom.
The Waterloo Ready program focuses on the value of connections and preparation. “Our incoming students are joining the Waterloo family at a unique time in history. Providing them with built-in connections through the peer-matching program will go a long way in ensuring that new students feel connected and engaged throughout the summer and into the fall,” says Chris Read, associate provost, students.
Each week, incoming students will hear from current Waterloo students through email, online chats, video calls and social media. They’ll get a glimpse into life at Waterloo and a built-in network of peers to help them through their transition.
Our goal is to help our new undergraduate students feel connected, part of our community and ready to start their studies in the fall, whether it be in-person, online or both.
To see planned and sent emails to incoming students, as well as the program timeline, you can visit the Student Success Office’s staff and faculty resources site.
For more information about Waterloo Ready, please contact Heather Westmorland, Student Success Office – firstname.lastname@example.org
Incoming graduate students have been invited to participate in Waterloo Grad Ready – a transition program designed specifically to support new master’s and doctoral students. Stay tuned for more details next week; if you have questions in the meantime, please contact Marta Bailey, Graduate Studies and Postdoctoral Affairs – email@example.com.