Memorial University prides itself on the ability to adapt to the changing needs of this province, going as far as to adapt to the changing needs of each individual student. Recently, when Memorial’s Distance Education and Learning Technologies (DELT) was approached by a distance student with a unique request, the response was immediate and accommodating.
At the beginning of June, Memorial student and offshore fisherman Samuel Anderson contacted the university with a dilemma. His had discovered his exam schedule would directly interfere with what was anticipated to be a fruitful capelin fishery this year.
“My history exam was set for days ahead of the others, writing them as scheduled would have been prohibitively expensive and in all likelihood impossible given I would have had to spend almost two weeks ashore in the middle of the fishery,” Mr. Anderson explained.
His first course of action was to plead his case via email to a staff member at DELT and it worked.
The request to accommodate the student was sent from DELT to the Faculty of Arts on Friday, June 8 just a little after 10 a.m. By noon, DELT’s Director, Ann Marie Vaughan, received confirmation from two professors and the History Department head that they could help.
“Distance education is about this type of flexibility,” Ms. Vaughan explained. “Our goal is to accommodate those students who cannot physically attend one of Memorial’s campuses, and if this means making special accommodations for individuals with unique needs such as Samuel, then we are happy to do that. We were delighted that the Faculty of Arts responded in the way they did.”
“This is a good example of the flexibility and the accommodations that individuals and departments can make and are making to meet the particular needs of our students,” said Victoria Collins, director, Marketing and Communications. “Being an adaptable, responsive institution is vital in our efforts to attract, engage and retain students in the very competitive environment that we find ourselves in these days.”
Mr. Anderson said he was delighted with the university’s fast and favourable response. “Given the size of the institution, it is satisfying to know that I’m not just another number, that Memorial knows there is a face and story to every student.”