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Guidance counsellor initiatives prove successful

Dr. Rob Shea (r) chats with a guest at a recent dinner hosted by the Office of Student Recruitment.

 

By Jill Hunt

The Office of Student Recruitment (OSR) held a celebratory dinner for approximately 15 guidance counsellors from the Eastern School District (ESDNL) on May 9. The event was co-hosted by the OSR and Dr. Rob Shea, deputy provost and associate vice-president (academic) pro tempore. The evening was designed to showcase Memorial University through the eyes of the student. Ryan Dwyer, Becky Winsor, Lacey Mills and Philippa Gosine, all current students, were on hand to share their Memorial experience.

"The role our office plays in establishing and maintaining relationships with guidance counsellors in our key markets is extremely important to recruitment," said Shona Perry-Maidment, director, Office of Student Recruitment. "Guidance counsellors play an instrumental role in educating prospective students about post-secondary options, so it is important to fully educate these key individuals about Memorial University."

Over the past several months, the OSR has been active in initiating several new projects with guidance counsellors in the ESDNL. Throughout the winter semester, the OSR hosted three different groups of principals, school counsellors, school board and Department of Education personnel. While the majority of these meetings had agendas which were pre-determined by the group, there were also opportunities for the visitors to have sessions about services for students as provided by the Glenn Roy Blundon Centre, the Counselling Centre and the Teaching and Learning team.

"Memorial has done an exceptional job in fostering the liaison with our school," said Sharon Brenton, guidance counsellor, Holy Trinity High School. "Regular contact and collaboration has provided our high school students with meaningful information and successful transition into the post-secondary setting. A collegial and positive working relationship with counsellors has been established, and events such as the recent dinner and on-campus meetings attest to the value of this continuing liaison."

Outreach has not ended with the ESDNL district. Other forays have been made to ensure that counsellors from outside of Canada have had the opportunity to become better acquainted with Memorial. On April 24, the OSR welcomed a delegation of 11 Indian guidance counsellors and principals to the St. John's campus as part of an Indian school counsellors familiarization tour of Atlantic Canada universities as organized and supported by the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA). During the visit, the delegation met with various administrative units and faculties. They also had the chance to speak with current Indian students who eagerly shared their experiences about the transition from India to Newfoundland. After a brief presentation the group toured the campus and visited Quidi Vidi village, where they viewed their first iceberg. The following day the delegation travelled to Grenfell Campus for the morning where they completed a city tour and a campus tour. The delegation received a presentation about Grenfell Campus and glimpsed a caribou en route to the airport.

This is the third year that ACOA supported this initiative. Memorial University was one of 14 universities visited on this familiarization tour of Atlantic Canada and it was the first in which a visit to Grenfell was incorporated.

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