The From Intention to Action program was developed to be the first comprehensive retention and mental health program of its kind. It is based on 15 years of experience working with the diverse needs of university populations. Each program component was selected based on what staff have learned from assisting students with learning disabilities. FIT: Action students were to benefit from the counselling/coaching approach which has been provided to students at Carleton’s Paul Menton Centre for Students with Disabilities (PMC).
2010-2012: Students on Academic Warning
When the FIT: Action program began in 2010, we recruited students on Academic Warning (AW). The purpose of this pilot was to assist students who were in academic difficulty. Our goal was to support them in achieving their academic goals and to help them return to Good Standing in their chosen programs. Throughout this year-long program, students developed an understanding of their difficulties, learned new study strategies, received one-on-one weekly support, and had their success monitored. The very large majority of students were no longer on Academic Warning at the end of the school year.
2012-2013: Two separate groups
After successful years working with students on Academic Warning, this program became open to all undergraduate as well as graduate students who are feeling overwhelmed and stressed in addition to those on AW.
We believe that academic difficulties sometimes arise because students are unable to balance personal and school-related stresses. Research has shown that working one-on-one with a Coordinator to develop better coping skills and learning strategies can lead to improved academic functioning and a greater sense of well-being. Accordingly, the mandate of the FIT: Action program is to prevent potential academic failure due to stress.
Currently: Overwhelmed students
FIT: Action is now considered a mental health support program with a learning strategies component. As such, we are the best fit for students who are feeling overwhelmed and need this intensive counselling support. However, this is a holistic program and we believe that to help students in coping with stress, there may be some focus on learning strategies and time management skills, alongside internal factors like motivation and procrastination. Therefore some of our students, but not all, are on AW or struggling academically.