OURA 2015: Activate the Future!



Program Registration Exhibits and Sponsors Accommodation Directions Local Info

February 11 - 13, 2015
Toronto Marriott Downtown Eaton Centre Hotel

@ouraconf @ouraconf | #OURA2015


Click here to see who is attending the OURA 2015 Conference.

Click here for a printable Final Program.

Session Codes

LEADERSHIP = Leadership/Interdisciplinary
Vendor Sessions - Open to all attendees; learn about a vendor's specific product
PLENARY - For all attendees


Tuesday, February 10, 2015
6:00pm – 7:30 pm Registration Desk Open
Pick up your Conference badge, Final Program and registration package.
Wednesday, February 11, 2015
7:00 am – 5:00 pm Registration Desk Open
7:30 am – 9:00 am Breakfast for All Attendees
9:00 am – 9:15 am Welcome and Opening Remarks
Lucy Bellissimo, OURA President
9:15 am – 10:15 am Plenary Session I – Maximize the Value of Data and Your Ability to Protect Privacy – by Design
Dr. Ann Cavoukian, Executive Director, Privacy and Big Data Institute, Ryerson University

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Appointed as the Information and Commissioner Privacy of Ontario, Canada in 1997, Dr. Ann Cavoukian served for an unprecedented three terms as Commissioner. In that time, she elevated the Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner from a novice regulatory body to a first-class agency, known around the world for its cutting edge innovation and leadership. Dr. Cavoukian is best known for her creation of Privacy by Design – unanimously adopted as an international framework for privacy and data protection in 2010; now translated into 37 languages.

As of July 1, 2014, she began a new position at Ryerson University as the Executive Director of the Privacy and Big Data Institute – Where Big Data meets Big Privacy.
10:15 – 10:35 am Refreshment Break & Move to Breakout Session Rooms
10:35 – 11:50 am Breakout Sessions

Leadership 1 – COU Update
Presenter: Julia Colyar, Senior Policy Analyst, Council of Ontario Universities

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The Council of Ontario Universities (COU) advances higher education in Ontario through advocacy, research and policy development. Working closely with the provincial and federal governments, COU facilitates discussion and advocates on a wide range of university issues. Julia Coylar, Senior Policy Analyst will present an update on current key issues affecting the higher education sector such a as tuition and funding, demographic changes, online learning and the new Ontario Online Learning Consortium, credit transfer and more.

Graduate Studies 1 – Roundtable I on Hot Topics
Deborah Russell, Chair, Standing Committee on Graduate Studies

This dynamic roundtable discussion will include hot topics related to Tri-Council Funding issues, OGS issues, and more. Bring your ideas, concerns and questions to this information-sharing session.

Admissions 1 – The IB Diploma Programme – International Education for the 21st Century
Presenters: Marie Vivas, University Relations Manager, IB Americas
David Hanna, Director of Student Services and University Relations, The York School

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The number of schools that offer an IB Program is growing rapidly. Just in the United States and Canada, over 200 schools per year apply to offer one or more IB Programs. In Ecuador 500 public schools will offer the IB Diploma. In 2014 the first cohort of IBCC graduates will enter university. Why IB? The International Baccalaureate prepares students for higher education in a globalized society. Professionals on both sides of the desk are working closely with students and families who are participating in IB Programmes worldwide. This session will cover:
• What is the International Baccalaureate?
• Is the IB the same everywhere?
• How does the IB prepare students for post-secondary education?
• Advanced standing and credit granting policies in domestic and international settings
• Course selection and impact on admissions
• Determining English Language Proficiency through IB Scores

Records & Systems 1 – A User-Centred Redesign of U of T’s Student Web Service
Presenter: Mike Clark, Senior UX Designer, University of Toronto

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“ACORN” is the University of Toronto’s upcoming redesigned student-facing web service. It seeks to create a personalized, timely and helpful environment wherein students will explore future options and opportunities, understand their academic and financial status, as well as complete tasks through informed, efficient actions.

Michael Clark, User Experience Designer will present the user-centred process that has been employed to create ACORN and how that process has both identified the most important issues affecting students as well as continually engaged those students to ensure a successful product is ultimately delivered to them. This presentation will explore how user research, iterative design and usability testing practices are helping to improve online student information services at U of T.

This presentation is suitable for attendees of all technical backgrounds.

Scholarships & Awards 1 – Scholarships, Awards and the Ontario Human Rights Code
Presenter: Jeff Poirier, Senior Policy Analyst, Policy, Education, Monitoring and Outreach Branch, Ontario Human Rights Commission

This interactive session gives an overview of the Ontario Human Rights Commission’s Policy on Scholarships and Awards. Participants will learn about cautions and best practices for designing scholarships or other forms of awards or grants that might limit eligibility to individuals and groups identified by a ground set out in the Ontario Human Rights Code.

Liaison 1 – Leveraging Digital Channels to Drive Student Engagement and Help the Recruitment Process
Presenter: Rob Henderson, President & CEO, yconic

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Students today expect up-to-date information to be available instantaneously at the touch of their fingertips. They help comprise the most influential and important demographic in our economy – the Millennials. Students are constantly connected to the world and they expect customized experiences with authentic engagement. That’s why post-secondary institutions need to understand the importance of digital channels – web, mobile, tablet, social media – and how this influences overall student engagement and the recruitment experience. Rob Henderson will share unique insights about the youth and student community in the context of digital channels that will help post-secondary institutions optimize their internal processes to increase awareness, likeability and conversions amongst students.

11:50 am – 1:00 pm Lunch
1:00 pm – 2:15 pm Breakout Sessions

Leadership 2 - Learning Outcomes and Student Success: Measuring what Matters
Presenter: Fiona Deller, ‎Executive Director, Policy and Partnerships, Higher Education Quality Council of Ontario

A (possibly slow) culture shift seems to be underway in PSE institutions, with faculty, administrators, student service providers, policy makers and even students talking about the importance of measuring learning outcomes. The measurement of learning outcomes and core competencies gives us an apparatus to better understand the value and quality of student learning in the PSE system. However, importantly the assessment of learning outcomes also gives us a common language and set of tools to increase student mobility in the system, between K-12 and PSE, where the exit standards should be similar to the entrance requirements; between PSE institutions and programs of study; and between PSE institutions and the labour market. What are the skills that are important to the PSE sector on entry? What are the skills that are important to students in navigating the systems and completing with confidence for the next steps of their lives? What role do transferable skills play (resilience, grit, imagination, ability to work in a team)? What role do higher order cognitive skills play (critical thinking, problem solving, communication)? And, what role do literacy and numeracy play? Is it reasonable to continue to assess these skill in PSE?

Graduate Studies 2 – Graduate Students and Mental Health
Presenters: Leanne Holland Brown, Dean of Students, Wilfrid Laurier University;
Adrienne Luft, Mental Health Student Support Coordinator, Wilfrid Laurier University

Increasing awareness of the impact of mental health on students’ academic and personal achievement correlates with increasing expectations that Universities have appropriate supports, services and processes in place. Leanne Holland Brown, Dean of Students and Adrienne Luft, Mental Health Student Support Coordinator, from Wilfrid Laurier share some key initiatives, processes and supports that are proving to be paramount in providing a clear yet supportive framework for supporting students experiencing mental health challenges.

Admissions 2 – Conditional Admissions for Non-English Speaking International Students: Experience Gained from Three Years of Successful Academic Culture and English Program
Presenters: Diane Crocker, Registrar and Director of Enrolment Management, University of Toronto Mississauga
Lauren Daley, Manager, Pathways Programs , University of Toronto Mississauga

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U of T’s English language facility requirements are among the highest in Canada. Academically strong International students were turned away because they were just short of our language proficiency requirements. The practice of admitting some at a discretionary English range was not successful. What was needed was a language development program for these students -- a program that would address their individual needs and bring each of them up to a level playing field where they could be successful with university level studies. UTM was in the business of attracting and admitting good students but not in the language development business. Through a partnership with the School of Continuing Studies English Language Program, the UTM Office of the Registrar, and Student Housing Residence Life ACE@UTM (Academic Culture and English at the University of Toronto Mississauga) was developed.

Launched as a pilot to 54 students in the Fall of 2011, this program has now reached full capacity. 400 newly admitted students are expected to participate in ACE@UTM program in 2014-15 – international students who would otherwise never have been eligible to pursue University of Toronto degrees.

ACE@UTM represents a partnership in innovation across multiple departments and divisions. While conditional acceptance with an English Language Program requirement is not new, this program is unique: flexible, student-focused and responsive to individual’s needs ensuring that each student receives a unique and well-rounded experience; easily transferable to another division or institution admitting international students; and scalable because of the strong partnership and smart utilization of existing resources.

This session will describe the ACE@UTM program, report on its evolution and success and identify the challenges faced with development, including marketing, admission, registration, monitoring student progress and most importantly - advising and communicating with the students.

Records & Systems 2 – Every Student Counts: Two Institutions Use Two Approaches and One Early Alert Technology Solution to Retain Students
Presenters: Kelly Dickinson, Manager, Student Advising, OCAD University
Kinam Kim, Coordinator, University Academic Advising, Office of the Registrar, Ryerson University

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In 2013 Vocantas, a vendor at the OURA conference, introduced the university community to Scaller, an interactive voice response solution which allows institutions to quickly identify and target students with urgent needs so the universities can reach out and offer appropriate supports and interventions which might allow those students to be successful and ultimately retained. We'll share our experiences and lessons learned from our respective campuses – Ryerson University and OCAD University - in implementing this low cost early alert retention strategy from the initial concept through planning and implementation to assessment, reporting and outcomes, including return on investment and retention impact.

Scholarships & Awards 2 – How to Create a Financial Literacy Program with Minimal Resources
Presenter: Andre De Freitas, Manager, Financial Aid & Awards, OCAD University

Learn from OCAD University and what they are doing using minimal resources to reach their students through various marketing channels. This session will speak to how you can:
• Create a Financial Literacy program from scratch
• Use work-study students to design your program
• Work with marketing & communications to develop your brand
• Educate your financial aid staff on financial literacy
• Increase online participation through Facebook, Twitter & Instagram
• Integrate financial literacy content into YouTUBE videos
• Benchmark and measure program success

CREATiveFund$ is OCAD U’s financial skills program including weekly money workshops; web tools, video and print resources; loan and tax seminars; and financial counseling services.

Liaison 2 – Designing an Effective Recruitment Event
Presenter: Nicola Woods, Associate Director, Student Recruitment, Faculty of Arts and Science, University of Toronto
Mahvish Wesley, Recruitment Officer - On Campus Events, Faculty of Arts and Science, University of Toronto

On-campus events are critical to a successful recruitment cycle. Survey data shows that a positive campus experience can be very influential for prospective students and can even be the decision-maker for undecided applicants.

But event organization has its challenges in any university context: faculty may not fully embrace the event’s strategy or goals; campus service providers may have strict rules about spaces and signage; and last-minute crises can arise, resulting in frayed nerves and possibly even unhappy guests.

This session will review some of the on-going challenges of recruitment event management and will share some tips and tricks to help minimize stress and maximize success.

2:15 pm – 2:35 pm Refreshment Break
2:35 pm – 3:50 pm Breakout Sessions

Leadership 3 – Gen X, Y, and Z – It’s All Confusing to Me!
Presenter: Dr. John Austin, Executive Director, Student Affairs, Ryerson University

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Do you ever feel like students just can’t pay attention to deadlines, policies, or rules? Ever wonder WHO they’re always texting? Do you ever feel like one of the hardest parts of your jobs is understanding and communicating with this generation of university students?

It’s okay if you do. Most of us have moments that leave us shaking our heads, wondering how they ever make it through the day. Even though you probably LOVE your students, it’s okay to feel frustrated or disappointed by them sometimes. They are, after all, only human.

Grounded in the theories that describe adolescent and young adult development, this presentation will give an overview of some of the things that impact university student behaviour: science, brain chemistry, family expectations, influence from peers, social media, generational differences, and so much more. This conversation will:
1) provide you with some insights on the synaptic misfires our students seem to have,
2) coach you on some skills for empathy and understanding to make interactions more enjoyable,
3) and help you realize that it’s okay to express a wide range of emotions; just like they do!

Graduate Studies 3 – Advancements in Graduate Admissions at Western
Matt Dumouchel, Manager, Information Systems, Western University
Teri Hern, Manager, Admissions, Western University

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In April of 2011, Western began the active engagement of the graduate community in determining how an admissions process could best meet our administrative needs and the interests of our applicants. Western sought to build a digital admissions service from the ground up with the primary aim towards facilitating how we, as a community, wanted to recruit and admit quality students.  After a two and a half year process our new admissions system was released October, 2013.  The School of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies would like to take you on a tour of the results of that project; focusing on the new business process model that was developed to support a centralized and independent admissions system at Western.

Admissions 3 – Searching for the “Right” Student: the Use of Broad-Based Admission (BBA) Criteria in the UBC Undergraduate Admission Decision
Presenter: Andrew Arida, Associate Registrar, Student Recruitment & Undergraduate Admissions, The University of British Columbia

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As both the pressures to gain university admission and applicants’ admission averages get higher and higher, many Canadian universities are considering the use of broader admission criteria in the undergraduate admission decision. Over the past decade, The University of British Columbia has gradually introduced the use of Broad-Based Admission (BBA); today, a personal profile (consisting of short answer questions and a list of activities) is required from all direct-entry applicants. Students describe transformative activities and experiences, be they from inside or outside of the classroom, along with what they have learned about themselves and the world around them. In 2014, UBC staff, faculty and alumni scored over 62,000 applicant personal profiles to render undergraduate admission and scholarship decisions. The fact that the BBA admissions process is clearly resource-intensive inevitably leads to a question: how are the students admitted under BBA different than the students they displace (i.e. those previously admitted under a grades-only admission model)? And does BBA actually identify students who are more likely to engage in their education?

This presentation will provide an overview of a two-year research study that answers the aforementioned questions in terms of: academic performance, retention to second year, past levels of engagement, and on-campus engagement (both actual and intended actual). The research comprised the presenter’s thesis for a Master of Arts in Higher Education at UBC (2014). The presentation will also describe how the use of BBA criteria has been operationalized in the undergraduate admissions process at UBC.

Records & Systems 3 – Canadian PESC User Group Update: Standards ‘R’ Us
Presenter: Leisa Wellsman, Manager, Applicant Services, Ontario Universities' Application Centre

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Did you know that Canadians are among the top adopters of the PESC Standard? Did you know that the Canadian PESC User Group envisions a pan-Canadian electronic transcript exchange network based on PESC Standards? Come learn about PESC and its Canadian User Group. You’ll hear about some recent successful collaboration within Ontario and between Ontario and B.C., as well as about other provinces that are successfully using the standards or are planning to. Find out why PESC matters and how your organization can be part of the Canadian group and its exciting initiative!

Scholarships & Awards 3 – Donors, Students, Sharing Personal Information – Oh My! – Exploring FIPPA.
Presenter: Karen Jack, Privacy Officer and Assistant University Secretary, University of Waterloo

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A student’s dad is on the telephone…
A donor wishes to know more about her bursary’s recipients…
A faculty member wants to know more about a student’s award status…
What do I do?

Attend this session to learn more about the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act – the legislation driving privacy matters at Ontario universities. The session will introduce you to the Act’s overarching privacy protection principles, how we understand them at Waterloo, and how to learn about the rules at your university. We’ll also discuss best practices for avoiding breaches and maintaining the privacy and confidentiality of the records you manage every day.

Liaison 3 – Risk Management and Risk Reason in Recruitment
Presenter: Lynne Mitchell, Director and International Liaison Officer, University of Guelph

Most institutions are aware of workplace and environmental health and safety but how does that apply to employees who are travelling on behalf of the institution? What do recruitment officers need to know about travel safety? How much does the institution need to prepare them? How should the institution respond if something goes wrong? What can colleagues travelling together do to mitigate risks on recruitment trips abroad? This session will cover the major travel issues of concern to recruitment and promotion personnel including cultural preparation, risk management and liability, emergency response and evacuation.

4:00 pm – 5:00 pm Standing Committee Annual General Meetings
Graduate Studies Annual General Meeting
Admissions Annual General Meeting
Records & Systems Annual General Meeting
Scholarships & Awards Annual General Meeting
Liaison Annual General Meeting
5:00 pm – 6:00 pm Reception
Thursday, February 12, 2015
7:30 am – 5:00 pm Registration Desk Open
7:30 am – 8:45 am Buffet Breakfast
8:00 am – 8:45 am Closed Session for OURA members only Annual General Meeting
Immediately following breakfast, the formal business of the Association will be discussed at the Annual General Meeting.
9:00 am – 10:00 am

Plenary Session II – Max Valiquette, Innovation and Trends Expert

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Max Valiquette helps companies, organizations, and brands find solutions to their problems by better understanding their employees, customers, and communities. He was named one of Canada’s “Most Influential Marketers” by Marketing magazine, and has worked with some of the biggest brands around the world. His varied expertise makes him one of the most sought-after public speakers on youth culture, media, and marketing.

Valiquette is the founder of Youthography, one of North America’s foremost youth-research and -marketing firms. He is an industry-awarded researcher and strategic planner who specializes in understanding the changing patterns of consumer behaviour. He has also made a name for himself as a television host, pundit, and media personality. He is frequently seen on television, whether it’s guest-hosting on BNN or delivering a weekly pop culture report on Global’s morning show. He is a frequent contributor on the radio to Newstalk 1010’s Moore in the Morning and to Viewpoints, and in print he writes a regular column for Marketing magazine.

He’s also a go-to commentator for media outlets from MTCV to National Public Radio to the Wall Street Journal. He also sat on the Board of the Canadian Fund.

10:00 am – 10:40 am Refreshment Break/ Exhibits Open
10:40 am – 11:10 am 30-minute Breakout Sessions

Leadership 4 – Building Strategic Enrolment Intelligence Data: An Overview and Discussion (Part I)
Presenters: Lucy Bellissimo, Deputy Registrar, York University and Clara Wong, Director Administrative Systems, York University

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Most Universities have either begun or are planning projects to turn data within their various systems into strategic enrolment intelligence. York University began this process in 2010 and have implemented management information dashboards and metrics to help guide enrolment management activities and inform strategy. In this session we will share important considerations to include as part of your projects to build enrolment intelligence. This session is divided into two Parts. It is strongly recommended that attendees register for both halves in order to gain full benefit of the session.

This session is divided into two Parts. It is strongly recommended that attendees register for Part I and Part II to fully benefit from the content presented.

Graduate Studies 4 – Academic Integrity at Western

Representatives from Western will talk about their online course for graduate students. If you have a similar course on Academic Integrity, come prepared to share information with the group.

Admissions 4 – China: Globalization of China’s Curriculum
Presenter: Lidia Mestnik, Senior Admissions Counsellor, University of Toronto

A review of China’s standard curriculum and changes to the Gaokao that are going to be tested, plus the changing nature of the Gaokao, and the surge of international curricula. How do undergraduate admissions process these applications? Is proof of English facility always needed? Is China alone in offering varying curricula?

Records & Systems 4 – Transcript Service Enhancements
Presenter: Yvette Ali, Associate Faculty Registrar, Records & Associate Director University of Toronto Transcript Centre

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UofT is committed to providing students with same day service for transcript orders with an intuitive and simplified ordering process. Transcripts are consolidated and include the student’s full academic history; however, the ordering process can be delayed for students with older records because these are held in the student’s home Faculty. This session will explore recent initiatives at UofT to meet its service goals, including the user-friendly revamp of the on-line transcript ordering system, the migration process of older paper records onto Nolij Web (an electronic file management system), and the redesign of the transcript website.

Scholarships & Awards 4/Liaison 4 – Net Tuition Calculator
Presenters: Carac Allison, Manager, Web and IT, Student Services, Western University
Valerie Sarkany, Manager, Student Financial Services, Western University

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Western's Tuition Calculator is a web application developed in collaboration with the Student Financial Services team. It enables prospective students and their parents to assess the financial reality of studying at Western. Users use drop downs to select details such as the program they are considering applying to and what they believe their entering average might be. Cost and potential financial aid are then displayed visually. This was a project requested by the President. This presentation will share how the development team assessed similar online tools at other institutions; how we determined what functionality we wanted to include; and the usage and reaction from prospective students.

11:10 am – 11:25 am Move to next breakout session
11:25 am – 11:55 pm Breakout Sessions

Leadership 5 – Building Strategic Enrolment Intelligence Data: An Overview and Discussion (Part II)
Lucy Bellissimo, Deputy Registrar, York University and Clara Wong, Director Administrative Systems, York University

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This is Part II of the session discussing important considerations to include as part of your projects to build strategic enrolment intelligence data. Part II continues the information sharing from Part I and includes an interactive discussion with attendees of the types of enrolment intelligence being built and considered within their institutions.

This session is divided into two Parts. It is strongly recommended that attendees register for Part I and Part II to fully benefit from the content presented.

Graduate Studies 5 – Mobile Student Self-Service
Presenter: Tracey Sinclair, Assistant Director, Graduate Admissions & Records Systems, University of Waterloo

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Waterloo recently released a new mobile user interface for undergraduate and graduate student self-service. We will review our implementation including timeline, communication plan, student testing and feedback, rollout strategy, functionality, and user analytics.

Admissions 5 – Advanced Placement (AP) Capstone and the Future of AP: Promoting Rigor through Skills-Based Learning and Critical Thinking
Presenter: Joel Presti , Associate Director, International Implementation, The College Board

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This dynamic session will explore AP Capstone, an innovative diploma program that launched Fall 2014. The first cohort of schools included more than 130 U.S. and international high schools, including ten Canadian high schools. AP Capstone incorporates a new interdisciplinary approach to learning. Through AP Research and AP Seminar, Capstone’s foundational courses, students develop the independent research, collaborative teamwork, and communication skills necessary for an increasingly interconnected global environment. Joel Presti, Associate Director of International Implementation at College Board International, will provide insights into how the program has impacted students and teachers around the world and what Canadian universities should know about it.

Records & Systems 5 – Automated Course Wait Listing
Presenters: Carolyn Posa, Assistant Registrar, Student Records & Legislated Reporting; Ryerson University
Alda Toste, Manager, Operations Support, Ryerson University

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In response to high student demand, Ryerson University piloted automated course wait listing in Fall 2014 and Winter 2015, using delivered functionality in PeopleSoft. This session will provide an overview of the basic functionality, our experience, where we are going, and will provide insight for any institution thinking of introducing automated course wait listing, whether in PeopleSoft or other systems.

Scholarships & Awards 5 – Scholarships and Awards Roundtable
Moderators: Members of the Standing Committee on Scholarships & Awards

A roundtable discussion on hot topics such as entrepreneurial awards, organizational structure of Award offices, best practices to increase award applications, and students with disabilities & scholarships.

Liaison 5 – School Booking Solution
Presenters: John Popham, McMaster University
Kyle Kuchemy, New Motto

Learn about McMaster's new all-in-one online recruitment event planning solution. This mobile-friendly solution can house school information in a searchable database, allows for defined user roles, and is able to import existing delimited text file(s) to quickly add/update school information. This solution also has the ability for administrators to map out school visit schedules and calendars, allows admins to assign schedules to reps, send email notifications, and much more.

12:00 pm – 1:30 pm Awards Luncheon
1:30 pm – 2:45 pm Breakout Sessions

Graduate Studies 6 - It’s Not What you Say but How you Say it: Exploring trends, strategies and challenges in recruiting and communicating with prospective and new graduate students.
Presenters: Marta Bailey, Director, Graduate Communications & Postdoctoral Affairs, University of Waterloo
Michael Bittle, Communications Coordinator, Wilfrid Laurier University
Colette Steer, Recruitment and Events Manager, School of Graduate Studies, Queen’s University

If we want to stay competitive, grow or attract better quality students we must understand and react to the following realities: 1) students engage information differently than before: they are online, they don’t like to be marketed to and they scan for information and 2) students face increasing demands to be competitive in today’s knowledge economy.

In short, graduate programs must evolve their communication and recruitment practices to remain competitive.

This panel will provide the perspectives from four graduate schools in Ontario. We will discuss contemporary challenges facing graduate school communicators and recruiters and explore initiatives we attempted to better engage prospective students and ensure that new students are off to the path for success.

Admissions 6 – Saudi Arabia: Admissions Practices for Undergraduate Studies
Presenter: Ari Mihael, Assistant Director, Evaluation Services at World Education Services

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Familiarize yourself with the Saudi educational system, including an in-depth look at essential documents, designed to give undergraduate admissions officers the tools to choose the most qualified students from Saudi Arabia.

Records & Systems 6 – Electronic Survival in the Jungle of Today's World
Presenter: Ronald Ferguson, Assistant Director, Admissions and Integrated Systems, Undergraduate Admissions Recruitment, Ryerson University.

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Ryerson Admissions, PASS Team, and Applications Processing will describe their adventures and best practices on these and related topics:
1. Working with limited budgets and staffing, and impossible schedules
2. Using inexpensive budget-friendly notebook computers
3. Running desktop computers and server applications remotely with notebooks, tablets, and smartphones
4. Surviving scheduled and unscheduled power outages
5. Training faculty and staff one-on-one just in time with small fleet of notebooks
6. PowerPoint training material
7. Shared drives
8. Google Drive for real time collaboration
9. Virtual Machine software to solve compatibility issues between Mac and Windows
10. Submitting reference and other forms with existing email technology
11. PeopleSoft automation, Choose>Ryerson, Document Uploading, and NOLIJ all working together.

Scholarships & Awards 6 – Income Contingent Loans & The Future of Accessibility
Presenter: Lorne Sossin, Professor & Dean, Osgoode Hall Law School, York University

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As part of a variety of new accessibility initiatives, Osgoode Hall Law School at York University announced in September 2014 a new Income Contingent Loan Pilot Program. Based on a "study now, pay later" approach, the program will see participating students pay their law school tuition only upon graduation when their salaries reach a pre-determined threshold of affordability. If students choose less remunerative career paths, the loans will be forgiven over a period of years. This method of advancing accessibility is intended to deal both with the "sticker shock" of tuition at the front end and career choice constraint at the back end. This session will explore the Osgoode initiative and address some key questions: Will this program work? Can it be scaled up? What assumptions should accompany the design and funding of income contingent loan programs? How should the success of such accessibility initiatives be determined? What's next on the accessibility horizon?

Liaison 6 – How Students Choose Institutions: Preliminary Results from a 4-phase Longitudinal Survey
Presenter: Paul Jarvey, Research and Analytics Coordinator, Higher Education Strategy Associates

Between September 2014 and May 2015, Higher Education Strategy Associates is conducting a series of four longitudinal surveys that follow students as they choose a postsecondary institution. Take a peek inside the preliminary results from this series of over 1,200 in-depth qualitative interviews with current grade 12 covering the following topics:
• Emerging trends in reliance on social media
• Reactions to marketing materials and other recruitment vectors
• Correlations between demographic factors and choice pathways
• Factors that influence choice of institution and program
• Why and when students change their minds
• How aboriginal and high-needs students differ

Vendor Session 1A – Student Flow Management: A Complete Experience
Sid Mandel, Vice President, Operations–North America, Q-nomy Inc.

Student Flow Management is defined as the processes involved in any contact between students and back office personnel. The Q-nomy team will discuss the science used to determine best practices and show examples of universities and Colleges using collected data and automated systems to transform their current processes into a collaborative reception and processing center, both virtual and in person, for all student contacts.

The Q-nomy team will guide attendees through the methodologies and experiences which enhance the College and University Service Desks as well as detail the approaches in which your students can have a positive experience.

Q-nomy is the leading provider of complete student experience solutions to tertiary education facilities around the globe. Q-Flow, V-Flow and Great Visit are the flagship products which provide the service centres in Colleges and Universities the tools to meet and exceed service delivery expectations.

Vendor Session 1B - Why Another English Language Proficiency Test? How PTE Academic Can Strengthen Your International Student Admissions Process
Marcie Mealia, Client Relationship Manager Canada, PTE Academic

The vast majority of universities in Canada are looking to increase the number of international students on their campus, and proof of English language proficiency is a crucial component of the international student admissions process. Unfortunately, issues such as fraudulent test scores and inadequate preparation plague both the university and test-taker alike. PTE Academic, the leading computer-based English language proficiency test, was developed in response from higher education to combat these types of issues by creating an English test that more accurately measured the communication skills of international students in an academic environment as securely and efficiently as possible. PTE Academic provides accurate, objective, secure, and relevant test scores that allow universities to have much more confidence that admitted students have the right level of English to study at your institution.

2:45 pm – 3:15 pm Exhibits Open/Refreshment Break
3:15 pm – 4:30 pm Breakout Sessions

Leadership 7 – Re-Thinking Higher Education
Ken Steele, Co-Founder, Academica Group and Editor, Academica Top Ten

Colleges and universities face demands for change from all sides: students want more flexible, career-relevant and experiential programs; provincial governments want expanded access and enhanced student success, while also demanding ever-greater efficiencies and measurable outcomes, even while students arrive less prepared and requiring more supports than ever; the federal government is encouraging more applied research, commercialization and economic impact; employers want more “job-ready” graduates; and faculty want to maintain personal and professional quality of life.

In the 20th century, PSE institutions scaled up traditional teaching by applying industrial-age models, resulting in ever-larger lecture classes, multiple-choice exams, simplified grading systems, contingent faculty, managerialism and labour unionization. Scaling up the traditional system further is not an option: the time has come to rethink some of our longstanding assumptions about residency requirements, course credits, the agrarian calendar, intellectual Darwinism, disciplinary silos, the humanities, lecture classes, libraries, textbooks, social interaction, and student evaluation. For some kinds of learners, and some programs, the time and technology have come to open our minds to consider flexible hybrid delivery, gamification and simulations, interdisciplinary courses, active and experiential learning, intelligent textbooks and adaptive learning platforms, competency-based credentials and expanded transcripts incorporating co-curriculars, work experience, and badges.

Graduate Studies 7 – Saudi Arabia: Admissions Practices for Graduate Studies
Presenter: Ari Mihael, Assistant Director, Evaluation Services, World Education Services

This session will help you familiarize yourself with the Saudi educational system, including an in-depth look at essential documents, designed to give graduate admissions officers the tools to choose the most qualified students from Saudi Arabia.

Admissions 7 – Ryerson Admissions & Recruitment Integrated Online Approach
Presenter: Ronald Ferguson, Assistant Director, Admissions and Integral Systems, Ryerson University

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Ryerson Undergraduate Admissions and Recruitment has created, developed and implemented an integrated, online system for applicants, staff, and faculty that includes the Choose>Ryerson applicant portal, the Document Upload Page for academic and non-academic submissions, the NOLIJ Electronic Content Management systems for processing applications with workflow, and PeopleSoft auto-evaluation and assignment customizations. Ryerson UAR is applicant-friendly, green, paperless, safe, and secure.

Records & Systems 7 – U of T… Transforming Data into Meaning
Presenters: Sinisa Markovic, Assistant University Registrar, University of Toronto
Christine Beckerman, Business Intelligence Administrator, University of Toronto
Alex Agostino, Business Intelligence Project Leader, University of Toronto

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This session will discuss a partnership between UofT’s Enrolment Services, Faculty of Arts & Science and UTBI (University of Toronto Business Intelligence). Our presentation will discuss how UofT took transactional data from our student system and transformed it to ‘useable’ business data to support decision-making at the University. Our session will include a discussion on: • Why is this a partnership between IT and the university administration and academics • How transactional data is transformed into business data to support institutional reporting • An overview of our Cognos end-user reporting tools • The types of data the University now holds in its data warehouse to support student reporting from recruitment to graduation

Scholarships & Awards 7 – FCAC: Insights into Measuring Program Effectiveness
Presenter: Maria Vranas, Acting Manager, Financial Literacy, Financial Consumer Agency of Canada

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FCAC will share the results of its pilot project to test a proposed evaluation framework. The objective of the project was to assess whether financial education programs have measurable outcomes on participants knowledge and behaviours. An overview of FCAC’s Financial Basics program will be provided with suggestions on how it could be implemented at a post-secondary level.

Can pre and current post-secondary financial literacy education generate an impact? Do financial literacy interventions assist students and the general public in their future financial success? Insights into Measuring Program Effectiveness will help illustrate what works for financial literacy education and what doesn’t.

Liaison 7 – Cultural Equity, Diversity and Inclusion: Building Inclusive Leadership
Presenter: Darrell Bowden, Education and Awareness Coordinator, Office of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion, Ryerson University

The overall intent of the workshop is to provide participants with the knowledge and understanding of tools and strategies that can be used to create schools and communities that welcome and value diversity. In response to a growing multi – ethnic/cultural post-secondary educational environment, more institutions of higher learning are recognizing that equity, diversity and inclusion training is an effective business practice, that can yield compliance with legislative obligations (i.e. Human Rights Codes, AODA, etc.) This workshop aims to demonstrate how inclusion works through individuals, ideas, and institutions with the goal of understanding that we must think inclusion from the start, thereby allowing all members of the community to participate fully in all aspects of campus life.

Vendor Session 2 - Campus Scheduling at Ontario Universities
Presenter: Pierre Guay, Director of Sales, Infosilem

Infosilem is the scheduling software provider of choice for Ontario Universities, and for good reasons. The majority of Ontario Universities, actually 17 out of 21, are long-time users of Infosilem's Academic Scheduling Solutions to efficiently manage and optimize their course and exam schedules.

Over the last few years, 11 Ontario Universities have also embraced the management of their Campus Scheduling operations with our Enterprise solution. Come and see, with a real live example, how Infosilem EnCampus™ - Enterprise addresses the scheduling and reporting needs of Ontario Universities.

4:30 pm – 5:30 pm Closing Vendor Reception and Prize Draws (incl. FREE REG for 2016 Conference)
Friday, February 13, 2015
7:30 am – 12:00 noon Registration Desk Open
7:30 am – 8:45 am Full Breakfast Buffet
8:55 am – 10:00 am

Plenary Session III – Dr. Ivan Joseph, Award Winning Performance Coach | Leadership & Cultural Transformation Expert

Dr. Ivan Joseph, Ph.D, leads individuals, teams, and organizations to success. While serving as a professor and soccer coach at Graceland University (a century-old liberal arts university in southern Iowa), he developed the soccer program from the ground up, leading both the men’s and women’s teams to a #1 national ranking and the men’s team to a National Championship, in just five years. The NAIA (National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics) recognized Dr. Joseph as National Coach of the Year in 2006, and three times he received Coach of the Year recognition in the Heart of America Athletic Conference.

In his current role as Director of Athletics at Ryerson University in Toronto, Dr. Joseph is guiding the transformation of the Ryerson Rams athletic department, raising the academic average of athletes, increasing team performance, and he has recently completed a $100 million dollar renovation of historic Maple Leaf Gardens–a project so big and inspiring, Prime Minister Stephen Harper himself showed up to turn on the lights.

An educator and organizational leader who has brought about cultural transformation, Dr. Joseph is a sought after speaker on developing personal and organizational leadership. He speaks about self-confidence, the “grit” to persevere in spite of setbacks, and leading teams to success. Dynamic and inspiring, the stories and lessons he shares apply to business and to life.

Born in Guyana, Dr. Joseph grew up in Toronto where he was a nationally ranked high-school track and field athlete. He has a BA in Physical Education and Health, a MA in Higher Education Administration, and a PhD in Sports Psychology.

10:00 am – 10:15 am Refreshment Break
10:15 am – 11:30 am Final Breakout Sessions

Leadership 8 – Follow-up Transformational Leadership Roundtable with Dr. Ivan Joseph

Graduate Studies 8 – Roundtable II on Hot Topics
Deborah Russell, Chair, Standing Committee on Graduate Studies

Admissions 8 – Filling the Gaps: An Action Plan for Increasing Stakeholder Transfer Literacy
Presenter: Christine Arnold, Doctoral Candidate, Department of Leadership, Higher and Adult Education, University of Toronto/OISE

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While the foundational structure of the Ontario credit transfer system (partnerships, models and innovative programming) has received primary attention from government, agencies and administrators, the development of the transfer information system has been limited. Information processing and transmission, selection, organization, reduction and conceptualization are important if there is to be a common understanding or ‘transfer literacy’ among stakeholders.

This multi-institutional study examines the extent to which the college-to-university transfer information system is performing efficiently and identifies (a)symmetries in stakeholders’ understanding of this process. Research findings indicate that misperceptions largely stem from variations in administrative policies and procedures. For example, administrator and student acquisition of academic records and the deciphering of credit value/hours, generic/unassigned/unspecified credits, exclusions/exemptions and GPA calculations were cited as sources of tension. Similarly, degree and program requirements, reach backs and the timing of program major and minor declarations require increased student awareness.

Participants attending this session will familiarize themselves with college-to-university credit transfer policies and procedures across Ontario institutions; discuss information dissemination strategies and breadth during admission and enrolment; consider administrator engagement with students, departments and institutions; and reflect on micro and macro policy modifications to improve the credit transfer student experience.

Records & Systems 8 – Staffnet
Presenter: Carac Allison, Manager Web and IT, Student Services, Western University

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Staffnet is the Intranet for Student Services staff at Western. Developed in Cold Fusion this portal provides a suite of specialized administrative services in six major groupings of functionality:
1. Impress: Photo and Identity Management.
2. Qand: Metrics and Reporting.
3. Form Flow: Student Application Workflow.
4. Timebook: Role-Based Scheduling.
5. Status Stamps: Staff Decisions and Actions.
6. PeopleSoft Plus: PS Functional Extensions.

It is also includes the Innovation Exchange: a marketplace for fresh ideas from all levels of staff. This presentation involves three distinct acts. Act I: Old Staffnet: what we learned from our first intranet and the stakes for the new project. Act 2: Consultation, development and release. Act 3: Lessons learned.

Scholarships & Awards 8 – Why Are Students Leaving Facebook?!” – The Future of the Digital Community In PSE
Presenter: Hamza Khan, Coordinator, Student Affairs Creative, Ryerson University

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Blame it on intrusive advertising, increasingly convoluted user experiences and your grandmother: 11 millions teens have left Facebook since 2011. And the exodus shows no sign of slowing down. Meanwhile, Snapchat’s users (aged between 13 and 23) are sharing more than 400 million photos per day (compared to Facebook’s 350 million photos per day, from its 1 billion worldwide users). And if Facebook’s failed $3 billion acquisition attempt of Snapchat indicates anything, it’s simply this: the social media behemoth feels threatened by the upstart startup’s potential to erode it’s marketshare of the next generation: our incoming students.

This should be a wake-up call for all of us in post-secondary education. We’re in the middle of a paradigm shift in which everything we know about digital community building is in a state of flux. In student affairs, we’re preoccupied with student development and transition. We work hard to retain students and facilitate their holistic development. To date, we’ve relied primarily on Facebook and Twitter as tools to support teenagers and young adults who increasingly spend more and more time online and on social media (reports indicate that the average teen spends between 3-6 hours per day!) But what happens when our audiences aren’t paying attention to us anymore? What do we do when students are moving in droves to platforms where everything we know about “canned & planned” digital marketing is useless?

It’s time to embrace a new approach to digital engagement. Gone are the days of disrupting students during the academic cycle and then shoving our programs and services in their faces. Instead, it’s time to become a part of their daily lives – even if this means sending them the occasional funny face on Snapchat.

Liaison 8 – Easy Answers to Hard Questions
Presenter: Micah Schieven, Student Recruitment Officer, University of Toronto

“Is your campus safe?” “What’s your average class size?” “Do you accept private school courses?” These are some of the questions that tend to make recruiters cringe. Many of our prospective students simply have the wrong idea of what a university is, and what really happens at one. Their misconceptions often lead to these inevitable awkward questions. A good recruiter can use this to their advantage, turning the conversation around to not only educate the student about the system and what to expect, but also promote their institution in the best possible way. Attend this engaging session to compare notes, exchange ideas, and learn the best way to finally answer the question, “What’s good about your school?”

11:30 am Conference concludes


To view Conference programs and papers from previous OURA Conferences,
please click on the links below:
2014 2013 2011 2010 2009 2008 2007 2006 2005