YU START, York’s New Student Transition Program, recently garnered national recognition with two awards. The awards are the Canadian Association of College and University Student Services (CACUSS) Innovation Award and The Canadian Association of University Business Officers (CAUBO) Quality and Productivity Award.
For those not familiar, YU START was created in 2012 as an Academic Innovation Fund project. The transition to university is an important time for helping to set up students for success in their studies. In recognition of this, and in alignment with the Division of Students strategic priority on the first-year experience, York created a one-of-kind, online new student transition program. The platform has been highly successful in ensuring that students get off on the right foot at York by guiding them through such essentials as:
- course enrollment
- navigating campus
- financing their education
- creating their YU-card
- registering for orientation events
YU START has grown from a single program with approximately 700 students, to include 194 academic programs and is available to more than 11,000 students. Content has expanded correspondingly, and currently includes information specific to mature students, graduate students, international students, residence students, and varsity athletes. In 2017, YU START also went bilingual so as to incorporate the Glendon campus.
“These national awards are really a testament to everyone who has (and had) a hand in making YU START and York Orientation Day such a notable success. This is one of the most collaborative projects at York, involving hundreds of student leaders, staff and faculty partners from both campuses who have contributed to the creation and continued improvement of the program,” said Ross McMillan, director of student engagement & first year experience.
All aspects of YU START can can be accessed and completed online from the comfort of a student’s home and well in advance of their arrival on campus in September. The program is designed to complement existing orientation programming and culminates with York Orientation Day on September 6.