Welcome to the latest iteration of the #RyersonSA blog and webspace, just for us.
#RyersonSA began its life as a twitter hashtag created by our Executive Director, current Vice-Provost, Students, John Austin, and over the last few years has grown into a community designed to connect the diverse student affairs departments on our campus. Existing for too long in silos, we needed a place we could share our knowledge, learning, and experiences, as well as our contributions to the student affairs profession. A place where we could learn about one another. Somewhere that our penchant for reflection could be embraced—and be helpful to others in our field. The #RyersonSA blog has been that space—and we published some amazing work. We contributed ideas, showcased our work, shared learning and reflections on a broad range of topics—and we got a lot of people curious about us and our work. So much so, that we’ve shifted gears a bit now, to provide a couple different spaces for this kind of reflection.
SA-exchange is, in partnership with CACUSS, the next phase of some parts of what ryersonstudentaffairs.com did really well. It’s a space created to nurture ideas and support Canadian Student Affairs scholarship & practice. We can’t wait to see how RyersonSA continues to contribute in this way.
There’s still a desire for a community of our own, though—so we’ve changed things up a bit. As #RyersonSA staff, we can consider this space our own. Ours to talk, learn, think, and reflect in all the messy ways we know how. It’s a place for sharing events and for the Committees to share their work and resources. The #RyersonSA blog has always and will continue to serve as a point of connection for professional staff in the Career Centre, Housing & Residence Life, Student Health & Wellness, Student Learning Support, Student Life, and Special Projects. Who knows what else it’ll provide us?
Here you’ll find teams for each department, discussion boards, upcoming events, a list of members, and you can still write a post if you have something to say. Take a look around and jump in.
The 6 Pillars of #RyersonSA are the values and principles we use to guide our work with and for students. Built on a strong Ryerson foundation of commitment to and pursuit of equity, diversity, inclusion, and access, we use these pillars to help students find opportunities to create their narrative and success. Each of the Pillars is rooted in the overarching mission of one of the five #RyersonSA departments but, by design, all six are meant to be shared by all #RyersonSA staff and programs. We all share the work of helping students achieve success through our shared work in the 6 Pillars. We’re all responsible for student success—every dimension.
Rooted in Student Learning Support, the Learning Pillar reminds us that the primary goal and mission of Ryerson and its students is learning and knowledge. Keeping a focus on this as a priority will help us shape programs and services with cognitive development and learning in mind, and will help us pay particular attention to the desired outcomes for all of our interactions with students.
Based on the expertise and practices from Student Health & Wellness, all #RyersonSA practitioners strive to have our programs and services for students align with best practices for promoting mental well-being. We know students cannot be successful in any dimension of their lives if they don’t possess, or aren’t working towards, a feeling of personal wellness—of which mental well-being is a significant part.
Sense of belonging is important; akin to the safety and security Maslow talks about as prerequisite for having all other needs met, we know that students need to feel a sense of belonging, or community, in order to be successful in academic, personal, and professional pursuits. Housing & Residence Life embodies the Community Pillar because they have students actually living with them. But how do we contribute to the sense of belonging our students experience, and how can #RyersonSA enhance that community through our engagement with them?
Student Life focuses on developing the whole person in a social and self-reliant construct. We know that students arrive at Ryerson with great interest in what their social lives will be like, who their friends will be, and how much fun they will have. #RyersonSA is committed to making sure that students have many opportunities to develop the personal and social dimensions of their beings.
Over 95% of incoming Ryerson students cite getting a better and/or higher paying job after graduation as one of their reasons for choosing Ryerson. The Career Centre is revolutionizing their approach to student engagement so that we help students remember, and achieve, their career & professional development goals. Working with partners throughout #RyersonSA, they are finding ways to capture the attention of students in all parts of their lives at Ryerson to keep those aspirations alive.
Storytelling is at the root of what it means to be human, and we’re exploring Storytelling as a way to share, enhance, and explore our work. It’s an embrace of alternative, narrative, interpretive forms of sharing the findings of our work and inquiries, and, where it is fruitful to do so, to imbue those narratives with a sense of emotion. Storytelling, in this way, can tie together the threads of research, assessment, and design, a way of enacting an expanded notion of inquiry and knowledge sharing, a way of making discoveries in our work, to find what Patrick Lewis describes as “…the thing in the shadows, that something else which is found only in the archaeology of the story”. RyersonSA tells meaningful stories.
Student Learning Support
SLS is a group of services and programs aimed at helping students engage more effectively in their academic studies. We teach essential academic skills and study techniques that help students to more effectively express their intelligence, apply their knowledge and communicate their ideas. Student Learning Support’s support areas include: Math Support, Graduate Student Support, Writing Support, Academic Accommodations Support, English Language Support, Study Skills and Transition Support, and the Test Centre.
Ryerson Career Centre
The Career Centre has a Faculty-based model, offering Career Education to students in their specific program of study. Working closely with both employers and Faculty, we provide the knowledge, tools and resources needed to build students’ careers – whether they’re looking for their first work experience or a graduate job. The Career Centre offers personal support, programming and employer events available to help students achieve their goals. The Career Centre also runs Ryerson’s work-study program, Career Boost. Finally, we offer all of our services for up to five years after a student graduates.
Housing and Residence Life
Our goal is to support all Ryerson students with Housing needs. In Residence, our team of staff and student leaders help students build community, deepen their learning, and connect them to campus and beyond. Our Off-Campus Housing Program supports students with their housing related questions and issues if they are living anywhere off-campus.
Student Life’s mission is to empower students to realize their infinite potential. Student Life includes the International Student Services team, Tri-Mentoring Program, RU Leadership and Level Up, and Student Life Programs. Student Life facilitates the personal development of the whole student.
Student Health and Wellness
Student Health and Wellness is a department within Ryerson Student Affairs made up of health professionals, staff, and students dedicated to providing programming, support, and resources to students from a holistic lens. Student Health and Wellness comprises the Medical Centre, Centre for Student Development and Counselling, and Health Promotion.
Community Engagement & Partnerships
The Community Engagement and Partnerships team is dedicated to enhancing the student experience and building community through strategic partnerships and revenue generation. Functional areas include: Fundraising, Recent Alumni Engagement, Community Engagement, and Philanthropic Outreach.
Special Projects and Storytelling
The Storytelling team is dedicated to research, assessment, design, and storytelling in RyersonSA to enhance our work and offerings to students. Our purpose is to elevate all of Ryerson SA departments by helping them robustly evaluate programming, make meaningful inquiries, answer important research questions, use design thinking to cultivate deeper understanding of their work, and find ways to advance their stories with and for students. Special Projects houses the ThriveRU resilience program, whose purpose is to help students feel a sense of support on campus, to better appreciate the connections between academic success and other elements of a healthy lifestyle, and, primarily, to help students develop capacities for thriving that will serve them throughout their lives.
There are 11 professional skill areas in which #RyersonSA staff are encouraged to develop or further develop competence in order to achieve a progressively broad, holistic perspective on and approach to our with with and for students. Learn about the RyersonSA Competencies here.
There are many professional development opportunities to be found in attending and presenting at conferences nationally and internationally. See a list of organizations and conference opportunities related to your work here.