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Enhanced student supports and services, with focus on student well-being and resilience

Three female students laying with a bunny at BCIT

I am sharing an update on the Strategic Plan deliverable “Enhanced student supports and services,” which falls under our commitment to being a people-focused organization. Under this deliverable, we continue to focus on student well-being and resilience.

Throughout 2022 and 2023, Student Success has worked to broaden BCIT services to students and those who support students, while increasing the ease with which students can access our supports.

Redesigning initiatives and events
Since re-introducing in-person events and initiatives aimed at increasing new student’s sense of connection and belonging at BCIT, we’ve seen strong turnout for peer-led social well-being events (which attracted over 600 students across three campuses) as well as a campus-wide services fair (which attracted 300 students and hosted 12 service booths).

Student Success is also working to deliver year-round opportunities for new students to orient to BCIT—respecting and acknowledging that intakes of new students happen on an ongoing basis, not just at peak term starts. From our digital Student Success Hub to more regular offerings of Kick Start Tours (now with a built-in social connection opportunity), there are a variety of ways new students can become familiar with BCIT and our support services, regardless of when they begin their journey. The new student experience at BCIT impacts their sense of belonging and well-being, which can, in turn, significantly influence retention and success at BCIT. By including opportunities for new students to feel connected to one another and BCIT, and by equipping them with the confidence to seek help and support when they need it, we are adding significant value to the above strategic priority.

Enhanced accessibility supports
In early 2023, Accessibility Services launched the online Automatic Individual Accommodation Plan (IAP) Renewal project enabling eligible students to renew and distribute their IAPs to instructors using the ClockWork Portal instead of through individual appointments, thereby simplifying students’ access to accommodation. Further, Accessibility Services appointments are opened up for other students resulting in reduced wait times. The Accessibility Services online Automatic Individual Accommodation Plan (IAP) Renewal process will be fully implemented for the 2023 Fall term.

We are also looking forward to implementing an online accommodated exam booking process to streamline the student experience in scheduling accessible exams.

Seeking student feedback on their experience at BCIT
We are looking forward to continuing to advance this deliverable in 2023 by seeking student feedback on their experiences of joining BCIT; collaborating with other areas and programs to enhance communication to new students; and continuing to provide structured opportunities for new students to connect with one another and access BCIT services and supports.

Workshop opportunities for employees
Since January 2022, Student Success has delivered education and training to increase faculty and staff confidence in advancing student well-being to over 500 staff and faculty.

Faculty and staff are encouraged to take advantage of one of our many workshops focused on student well-being, including:

  • Capacity to Connect: Supporting Student’s Mental Health & Well-being
  • Insights into Behaviour
  • Let’s Talk About Suicide
  • Academic Integrity

Please email the Student Life Office if you would like to brainstorm ways to embed this training into existing meetings, tailor the workshop to meet the needs of your faculty and staff groups, or determine an optimal delivery method (i.e. virtual, in-person, level of interactivity).

Thank you,

Laura Vail
Senior Director, Student Success

Commitment: People-focused organization
Initiative: Learner support and services
Deliverable: Enhanced student supports and services, with focus on student well-being and resilience
Deliverable lead: Laura Vail, Senior Director, Student Success