Everyone Gets Butterflies on the First Day of School
"Put my mind at ease. I feel very informed," and "A lot of questions were answered and fears quelled," were just a few of the comments heard at the end of the recent one-day "Mature Student and Second Career Welcome Session" hosted at Fanshawe's London Campus on January 8, 2009.
"Our goal was to create a comfortable, welcoming environment for these new students," said Robert Kitchen, Student Success Leader. Some students at the session had not been in a classroom for more than 15 years and expressed concerns about heading back to school. "We wanted to provide them with all the resources they need to have a smooth, easy transition back to the classroom."
The day began with a welcome from Dean Pam Skinner who shared some of her own experiences as a mature student, followed by a session on strategies for becoming a successful student. Learners were also made aware of the various services and the support that Fanshawe offers to students. The morning concluded with an overview session on the computer-based learning management system, FanshaweOnline. In the afternoon students heard first-hand the challenges and successes from a panel of their peers. Last, but certainly not least, the student panel was followed by a series of workshops designed to enhance their study skills as well as brush up on math and writing skills. The day concluded with the opportunity for students to meet with Fanshawe Student Services staff one-on-one to ask questions and address any additional concerns.
"Feedback from the session was very positive," said Kitchen. "Student participants felt it was an excellent way to start their first semester at Fanshawe and would recommend it to other mature learners coming back to school for the first time."
Tom Pickard, Fanshawe's Manager of Workforce Development praised the one-day session saying, "These types of workshops are critical to the success of our Second Career students. Many of them have been in the workforce for years and feel they've forgotten how to be successful in school. Knowing there are other mature students with the same concerns helps them to overcome these fears. Helping them get off to a good start is a key element of their success at Fanshawe."
Fanshawe College would like to thank those who gave their time to make this initiative happen.