Student Support Certificate launches new course offerings

York students walking in Accolade Building on Keele Campus

Since its launch in January 2023, over 120 York University staff and faculty members are on track to complete the Student Support Certificate, a series of YU Learn workshops offered by experts across the University who share insights on student resources and how to make informed and effective referrals to York’s available student services.

York tapped into the wealth of knowledge across the University to create a professional development opportunity for faculty and staff to support York’s diverse student population in reaching their goals and dreams. With new courses added for 2024, and more to come, the impact of the program is expected to continue to grow.

The Student Support Certificate program involves a series of self-paced and instructor-led courses, which can be completed within about 10 hours. To receive the certificate, participants must complete three core courses covering topics including conflict mediation, effective communication and student referrals, as well as additional electives that offer insights into more specialized populations, such as international student advising and immigration, and working with students with disabilities.

“By learning about student supports available across the University and how to help students access them, we strengthen our collective capacity to respond to student needs and to foster a more caring and positive community,” says Nona Robinson, vice-provost students.

Participants learn how to respond to student issues and concerns, helping to strengthen York’s student-service focus. They are encouraged to apply this knowledge in their interactions with students, to help promote and foster a caring and supportive environment for learning at York.

“Delivering the practical, student-centred, ‘appreciative advising’ approach demonstrates York’s commitment to providing an excellent quality of care and service to our students, but also ensures that our community is united, aligned, and committed to supporting the unique needs of our diverse student body and meeting them where they are,” says Derrick Fairman, director academic advising, student petitions and student relations in the Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies and an instructor for the certificate’s course on appreciative advising. “Everyone has a role in advising – students, staff, faculty and administration.”

Additional courses will continue to be added, and all staff and faculty are invited to take part. Those interested in registering can visit YU Learn to find out more. Once completed, the certificate will appear on the employee’s learning record.

“My experience with the workshops has been positive, as they are engaging and focused on many aspects of the student experience,” says Mazen Hamadeh, an associate professor in the School of Kinesiology & Health Science and associate dean for students. “The workshops support student success and I recommend them to any staff, faculty and administrators who interact with students regularly.”