One of the key issues in student retention and helping to build Carleton University’s reputation as a leader in post-secondary education is to ensure a comprehensive array of student support services exists. We already have these services in abundance – Health Services, Academic Advising, Writing and Learning Support Services, the Library, faculty/departmental initiatives such as the Science Students Success Centre, etc – but students needing help don’t always know who to ask or even what questions to ask. Moreover, some students don’t advocate for themselves or are easily discouraged if sent to the wrong place.  At the same time, any member of Carleton’s faculty and staff are often seen by students as having accurate and up-to-date knowledge on all the support services and how to access them.

With these things in mind, our strategic impact group (SIG) asked:

  • How can the various support services for students be made more visible and accessible?
  • How can users quickly connect to the correct service?

One look at a typical student walking down the hall with a cell phone in one hand and a computer in the other suggested a possible solution. We propose that an interactive app or online tool could be designed to respond to questions asked in the way that people actually ask them – even when they don’t specifically know what they want. This tool could triage the question and outline available resources, allowing students, staff, faculty, and parents’ access to information anywhere, at any time.

Group members:

  • Michelle Cosh, HR Partner, Human Resources
  • Kyle Gallinger, Shift Manager, University Safety
  • Julie Lavigne, Librarian III, Library
  • Julia Wallace, Director, Integrated Science Institute
  • David Wood, Director, School of Linguistics and Language Studies
  • Anne Young, Manager, Operations & Communications, Registrar’s Office