Ontario University Registrars' Association

2018 Program

Collaborating in Changing Times
February 13-16, 2018 • Toronto Marriott Downtown Eaton Centre Hotel

See who is attending the OURA 2018 Conference – Final OURA 2018 Attendee List
Click here for the Session Chart.
To download a printable program, please click here.
@ouraconf  | #OURA2018

Session Legend


Tuesday, February 13, 2018

6:00 pm – 7:30 pm Registration desk open

Pick up your Conference badge, Final Program and registration package.

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

7:00 am – 5:00 pm Registration desk open
7:45 am – 8:45 am Breakfast for all attendees
8:50 am – 9:00 am Welcome and Opening Remarks
Tracy Al-idrissi, OURA President and Registrar, Trent University
9:00 am – 10:00 am Plenary I: Engaging Students and Understanding Their World
Blake Fly, Motivator, Author, Speaker

How do you get the attention of students? Once you do, how do you keep it? Students in your school need to feel like they matter from the start at orientation until the end at graduation.For nearly a decade, Blake lived and closely worked with thousands of students in a college setting. The conversations that happen in an office are valuable, but living in the same environment as students will teach you so much more. This keynote is filled with Blake’s lessons learned from his front-line work with students. He shares strategies, systems and insights that will help any professional engage students when they first arrive and acknowledge them along the way.People will walk away with strategies to implement actions of appreciation, recognition and thoughtfulness into the daily routines of students, staff and campus partners. Each idea will start a series of actions that let students and staff know how much they matter, essentially creating a more positive campus community for all of its members.Topics to be addressed include:

  • The “Engage and Acknowledge” Spectrum
  • Developing systems and tools to meaningfully and authentically interact with students
  • The 3 motivators for students and leveraging them to get the attention of students
  • Approaching work with the student in mind, at all times
  • 500 Extra Hours: Generating extra hours in your work week, regardless of your role
  • Finding fascination (rather than frustration) in the student world
  • Saying thank you: Making others matter through the power of appreciation
10:00 am – 10:20 am Refreshments/networking & move to breakout session rooms
10:20 am – 11:10 am BREAKOUT SESSIONS – Block A (50 minutes)
A1 – Flooding the System: New Program Development and Program Repackaging in a Time of Competition for New Enrolments
Presenters: Joe Stokes,  Registrar, UOIT;
Alain Malette, Senior Director, Recruitment, Admissions and Market Development, University of Ottawa

University enrolments have been declining in many disciplines across the Ontario university system, and although total undergraduate enrolment has increased, there are signs that the system may be nearing a plateau. At the same time, universities have been aggressively creating new programs at both the graduate and undergraduate levels, and have been re-branding existing programs in order to raise program profiles, and increase market share.In the summer of 2017 the University of Ontario Institute of Technology and the University of Ottawa began a collaborative project that sought to identify trends in new program creation and program repackaging, and the implications these moves have had on the Ontario system. This presentation will review some of the higher level findings, and discuss possible connections to system trends and institutional realities.

A2 – The 3-Minute Thesis: Helping Students Articulate What They Do
Presenters: Marta Bailey, Assistant Director, Graduate Communications and Postdoctoral Affairs, University of Waterloo; Angela Rooke, Manager, Professional Skills and Postdoctoral Affairs, University of Waterloo

The Three Minute Thesis (3MT) competition was developed by the University of Queensland in 2008 to promote effective presentation and communication of graduate student research. Since then, the 3MT has spread internationally. In this presentation, speakers from the largest 3MT competition in Canada will share how the 3MT has become an integral component of their graduate student professional development programs and how it has expanded to provide additional outreach opportunities.

A3 – Breaking Down the Barriers Through an Inter-Faculty Social and Learning Network: Exploring the Benefits of the University of Toronto’s Engineering Engagement & Development Network
Presenters: Estelle Oliva-Fisher, Assistant Director, Student Experience & Teaching Development, University of Toronto; Cori Hansen, Assistant Director, First Year Student Success & Transition, Faculty of Applied Science & Engineering, University of Toronto

Ever wonder how you could increase communication between colleagues all the while, learning valuable and applicable skills? Or perhaps how we could ensure that we are all employing best practices in our profession, helping others to do the same, and ensuring efforts are not duplicated? This poster session will present and explore the benefits of an inter-Faculty social and learning network: The Engagement & Development Network. Participants will leave the session with integration and session ideas, learned lessons, and suggestions for increasing cross-departmental communication and engagement. Join us as we present an initiative that was established in 2014 to increase communication and skill development amongst student affairs professionals within a large, multi-departmental faculty.

A4 – Revisiting Electronic Letters
Presenters: Mwinchande Chande, Assistant Registrar, Information Systems & Security, Brock University; Tania Melnyk, Manager, Student Information and Services, Brock University

This session will outline the journey of automating University letters. Join us to learn about the processes, successes, challenges, and lessons learned.

A5 – Invigilator Training: Now On-line
Presenters: Michelle Green, Manager of Examinations and Special Projects, Ryerson University; Sarah Weisbrod, Examinations Assistant, Ryerson University

Examination invigilators need to know a lot to make exams run smoothly and protect academic integrity – from what shoes to wear, to announcements, rules, and policies, to what to do if someone is suspected of cheating or in the event of an emergency. Being responsible for an exam can be daunting for the first-time invigilator. However, for administrative staff, hiring and training a constantly-revolving staff pool can be exhausting and time-consuming! To streamline our processes and support our invigilators and professors, Ryerson University collaborated with the Career Centre to create invigilator group interviews, and collaborated with the Academic Integrity Office to re-imagine the training and put it online. Come for a demo, and see what challenges and lessons we learned along the way.

A6 – Speed Networking
Facilitator: Lionel Walsh, Assistant Vice-President, North American Recruitment, University of Windsor

Kick off your Conference experience with a structured networking session designed to help you get to better know, and learn from, other registrarial colleagues.

11:10 am – 11:25 am Move to next block of sessions
11:25 am – 12:25 pm BREAKOUT SESSIONS – BLOCK B (60 minutes)
B1 – Thank University
Presenter: Blake Fly, Motivator, Author, Speaker

This session will help you reduce your work and increase your impact as a leader on campus. Blake will share strategies to weave sincere and relevant methods of appreciation into every single interaction you have with your students, your staff, your colleagues and beyond. This is great for delivering feedback, getting replies to emails, increasing buy-in for meetings and motivating students and colleagues during the stressful times of the year. You can apply these strategies to your email inbox, your campus committees, and your everyday life. Bring something to write with. Your cell phone will also come in handy.

B2 – Private Schools in Ontario
Presenters: Michael Rethazi, Education Office and Private School Inspector, Private Schools and International Education (PSIE) Unit, Ministry of Education; Christine Riedel, Coordinator, Private Schools and International Education Unit, Ministry of Education

This session will provide participants with an overview of the private school system in Ontario, including:

  • The path to become a private school, both non-inspected and inspected;
  • Notice of Intention to Operate (NOI);
  • Validation process;
  • Inspection process;
  • When things go well;
  • When things don’t go so well;
  • Ties to the Ontario School Information System (OnSIS) and Ontario Universities’ Application Centre (OUAC); and
  • Complaint procedures.

This session may benefit those working with applicants to post-secondary education who present transcripts indicating attendance at private schools in Ontario.

B3 – Grad Studies Roundtable I: Admissions/Recruitment, Student Life and Advising

This round table will feature discussion regarding graduate level admissions and recruitment activities and best practices. Student Life topics can include engaging students on campus, health and wellness, parental supports and academic advising. Delegates are invited to bring their questions and be prepared to contribute their universities’ best practices to the discussion

B4 – Help! I Have No Money Left in My Meal Plan! Resources and Tools to Help Staff Help Students Manage Their Money
Presenter: Kevin Maynard, VP and COO, Canadian Foundation for Economic Education (CFEE)

This session will explore a range of strategies and resources designed to assist staff in helping students acquire financial knowledge and apply that knowledge to make informed decisions about money matters. The focus will be on improving financial competence through the development of skills and knowledge that are age appropriate, and relevant to real life challenges of young people. The workshop will explore key resources developed by CFEE (www.cfee.org): Building Futures in Ontario; Talk with Our Kids About Money; Money and Youth; Entrepreneurship: the Spirit of Adventure; and the Globe and Mail: Classroom Edition. Attendees will link these resources to the financial challenges that occur as young people experience life events. All participants will receive free resources to assist their students in that journey. By the end of this session, participants will know that easy to use, relevant resources are available online for free, and that they will be able to implement those resources for their students, themselves, and their own families.

B5 – Goodbye Customizations
Presenters: Sarah Wong, Functional Analyst, Enrolment Services, Wilfrid Laurier University; Marilyn Watson, Coordinator: Records, Enrolment Services, Wilfrid Laurier University

Say goodbye to customizations! The Enrolment Services department at Wilfrid Laurier University embarked on a large innovative project to re-design our program codes for student records using baseline Banner functionality which was essential for the implementation of Degree Works. The impact of this change was widespread throughout the University and collaboration was a key component for a successful outcome. We will talk about the degree simplification proposal submitted in preparation for the project, the project team, the expected and unexpected challenges we faced, and the breadth of the impact of these changes.

B6 – How to Make Your Quality Innovation Footprint
Presenter: Monique MacKinnon, CEO, Energetic Evolution

“Making a difference” works best when collaborating and innovating become part of the vision within the Office of the Registrar and the overall university. Attendees determine their unique innovation Footprint “Legacy” from the four options provided through a quick, user-friendly quiz. This self-awareness allows you to optimize your individual and collaborative contribution. It also gives you career flexibility and mobility.

12:25 pm – 1:25 pm LUNCH
1:25 pm – 2:25 pm BREAKOUT SESSIONS – BLOCK C (60 minutes)
C1 – Immigration Advising, Legal Status and Records: What Every Student Advisor Needs to Know
Presenters: Cristina Puha, International Student Immigration Advisor, University of Toronto Mississauga; Neil Neebar, Associate Registrar, Student Records, Registration and Institutional Analysis, University of Toronto Mississauga

The session will provide an overview of the immigration process for study permits, visitor visas, work permits and the documents required by Immigration Refugee and Citizenship Canada for these type of applications. Learn how institutions can better assist their international student population complying with that. Get an insider’s look at the process of assessing immigration documents for legal status and fee exemption and how this information is recorded and managed.

C2 – Reducing the Noise! Collaborative, Cohesive and Strategic Communications to Current Students
Presenter: Laura Purdy, Manager, Communications, Registrar’s Office, UOIT

This session will address several student-facing communication challenges and issues, such as cannibalization, timeliness, accuracy and volume. The Registrar’s office at UOIT overhauled and created a new university communication strategy for current students. Based on data and research collected from 2013 to 2016, UOIT strategically implemented and created new processes, protocols and planning to create the desired communication culture that provides students with timely, relevant, and thoughtful communications.

C3 – Examinations Roundtable
Facilitator: Michelle Green, Manager of Examinations and Special Projects, Ryerson University

Scheduling and running examinations has its own set of challenges and solutions, including increasing class sizes and limited space, scheduling and conflicts, examination procedures and academic integrity, training and scheduling invigilators, and leveraging and limiting technology. This facilitated discussion encourages you to bring your issues to the table, ask questions to the group, find out what your colleagues are doing, and share resources. In addition, Ryerson will discuss its early efforts to reduce the numbers of final exams!

C4 – Re-visioning Graduate Student Funding
Presenters: Mario Verilli, Executive Officer, Faculty of Graduate Studies, York University; Almey Tse Soriano, Manager, Student Affairs, Faculty of Graduate Studies, York University; Juan Arangote, Financial Officer, Faculty of Graduate Studies, York University

Driven by the principles of academic excellence, transparency and student success, The Faculty of Graduate Studies implemented a new funding model to offer competitive funding packages to support graduate students in research-based master’s and doctoral programs. In early 2016, FGS began formulating the creation of the York University Fellowship, which would cover tuition and would, moreover, be indexed to increases in tuition fees.

This presentation will take participants through York’s journey in implementing this new funding model while at the same time demonstrating some of the tools (e.g. funding calculator, funding guide, etc) that were developed to help the York community transition to this new way of funding its students.

C5 – Can I Ask You a Question? Ryerson’s Internal Knowledge Base as a Multi-Purpose Resource for Staff Training and Registrarial Information Distribution
Presenters: Carly Basian, Coordinator, Client Services, Ryerson University; Kereen Allison, Manager, Client Services, Ryerson University

Ryerson’s Office of the Registrar (RO) houses over 10 departments, all of which work in tandem. It is crucial for RO staff to have access to information that pertains to each RO department. The Internal Knowledge Base (IKB) contains over 1,200 questions and answers to all things Ryerson, with a focus on the RO. This session will explore: 1) how RO departments develop and store information on the IKB and how this facilitates knowledge sharing across the RO; 2) how the IKB is used as a staff training tool; and 3) how IKB metrics inform communication initiatives targeted at students.

C6 – Mindfulness
Presenter: Wendy Stanyon, Associate Professor, Faculty of Health Sciences, UOIT

Living with high levels of sustained stress can have a serious impact on both our physical and psychological health. Practicing mindfulness can help individuals better manage stress and build their resilience. Jon Kabat-Zinn, Founder of the Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction program at the University of Massachusetts, defines mindfulness as “awareness that arises through paying attention, on purpose, in the present moment, non-judgmentally.” This presentation will highlight the science of mindfulness and the associated benefits; provide participants with an opportunity to engage in different mindfulness practices; and outline strategies for incorporating mindfulness into daily life. A list of reputable mindfulness websites will also be provided.

2:25 pm – 2:45 pm Refreshments available as you move to breakout session rooms
2:45 pm – 3:45 pm BREAKOUT SESSIONS – BLOCK D (60 minutes)
D1 – Developing and Facilitating an Academic Advising Training Program
Presenter: Paul Sileika, Coordinator, University Academic Advising, Ryerson University

Academic Advising training is not always planned out in advance. Due to time or budget constraints many advisors learn the ropes while on the job. At Ryerson University we have a decentralized advising model, so all training was originally the responsibility of each individual program department. With the introduction of a new Advising Community of Practice and the additional support of the Coordinator, University Academic Advising, a training program has been implemented for the first time. The program is called Interpersonal Approaches to Advising and offers advisors a chance to connect with each other and learn some effective approaches on setting the stage for high-impact advising, setting goals with students, and taking the path toward degree completion.This session will go through the consultation and curriculum development of our training program, it’s first cohorts as well as the opportunity to try some of the training hands on. Expect a lively session!

D2 – How to Cultivate Trust and Grow Commitment
Presenter: Monique MacKinnon, CEO, Energetic Evolution

With the speed of change increasing, the Registrar’s Office needs to be more open and flexible in how it strategically leads, works and collaborates with others. Growing personal and interpersonal trust is an effective adaptation strategy. This engaging session teaches you how to grow your trust, reliability and consequently sustain strategic leadership and stakeholder relations’ success. Three practical hands-on exercises and group discussions get you pointed in that uplifting direction.

D3 – Cultivating Collaboration: A Staff-Initiated X-Learning Project
Presenters: Carol Altilia, University Registrar, York University; Helen Lee, Executive Assistant/Strategic Project Lead, Office of the Registrar, York University

The Office of the University Registrar has a mission to create a coherent student experience. As part of a broader change initiative, our staff have created a comprehensive curriculum to support collaboration, reduce silos and foster a consistent service standard. Units offer learning experiences to their colleagues to showcase their work and demonstrate how it contributes to student success. This stimulates innovation by creating space to discuss mutual service challenges between units and contemplate solutions. In this presentation, we discuss how the initiative emerged, the logistics of delivery, development outcomes for staff and how it supports partnerships across the portfolio.

D4 – Course Enrolment Made Easy: How Course Match Optimizes Both Student and Faculty Satisfaction
Presenters: Nicola Woods, Director, Academic Services and Registrar, Rotman School of Management, University of Toronto; Matt Boulos, Founder and CEO, Cognomos, Inc.

The Rotman School of Management at the University of Toronto recently implemented an innovative new course enrolment system for its elective courses: Course Match. Using complex algorithms based on Nobel Prize-winning economics, Course Match acts on behalf of students to find them the best possible schedules based on their preferences while optimizing the allocation of seats for the entire student body. Within the first year of implementation, the Rotman School has seen a dramatic increase not only in student satisfaction, but also in that of the senior academic leadership due to the efficiency of the allocation results. Attend this session to find out more about this next generation course enrolment system and how it might be applicable in your school.

D5 – CEGEP: Building Bridges
Presenters: Julie Pocock, Admissions Officer, University of Waterloo; Janet Rodrigues, Admissions Officer, University of Waterloo; Patrice Lemieux, Academic Advisor, CEGEP John Abbott College

Over the past few years, Ontario universities have collectively broadened their admission policies to provide more transparent and accessible transfer pathways for students in the post-secondary sector. As an extension of this work, the University of Waterloo has explored the CEGEP educational system, and has focused on the development of more robust and equitable admissions policies for students in this unique sector. In this session, Waterloo admissions officers will outline their current CEGEP admissions policies for students completing 1-, 2- and 3-year diplomas, as well as how entrance scholarships and advanced standing is awarded. They will be joined by an academic advisor from CEGEP John Abbott College who will speak about university admissions from a CEGEP perspective, and participants will be encouraged to explore different topics and best practices during a group discussion.

D6 – The Journey of a Self-Professed Successful Student Searching for Success in Life
Presenter: Carla Tucker, Senior Student Recruitment Officer, Nipissing University

Carla’s MEd Thesis focused on the traditional notion that to be successful in life, one must be successful in school. In this study, she describes herself as a successful student searching for success in life. She focuses on the role that formal education played in her decisions to become an educator and later as an educator perpetuating that notion.Carla examines her own definitions of success, how success correlates with traditional educational norms and standards for success, as well as the historical relevance of formal education by retrospectively retelling her own narrative. She challenges the need for formal education and argues for reform.

3:45 pm – 4:00 pm Refreshments and move to next block of sessions
4:00 pm – 5:00 pm BREAKOUT SESSIONS – BLOCK E (60 minutes)
E1 – Admissions Roundtable and Annual General Meeting

Whether this is one of your first OURA Conferences or you are a seasoned attendee, plan to join your admissions colleagues for an update on the Undergraduate Admissions Standing Committee’s activities over the past year and an opportunity to participate in the selection of the 2018-2019 Standing Committee Executive. A short roundtable discussion provides an opportunity for the sharing of ideas and information related to key issues of interest to undergraduate admissions. Please plan to attend.

E2 – Graduate Studies Roundtable and Annual General Meeting

Whether this is one of your first OURA Conferences or you are a seasoned attendee, plan to join your Graduate Studies colleagues for an update on the Graduate Admissions Standing Committee’s activities over the past year and an opportunity to participate in the selection of the 2018-2019 Standing Committee Executive. A short roundtable discussion provides an opportunity for the sharing of ideas and information related to key issues of interest to graduate admissions. Please plan to attend.

E3 – Records & Systems Roundtable and Annual General Meeting

Whether this is one of your first OURA Conferences or you are a seasoned attendee, plan to join your records & systems colleagues for an update on the Records & Systems Standing Committee’s activities over the past year and an opportunity to participate in the selection of the 2018-2019 Standing Committee Executive. A short roundtable discussion provides an opportunity for the sharing of ideas and information related to key issues of interest to records & systems. Please plan to attend.
E4 – Student Finance Roundtable and Annual General Meeting

Whether this is one of your first OURA Conferences or you are a seasoned attendee, plan to join your Student Finance colleagues for an update on the Student Finance Standing Committee’s activities over the past year and an opportunity to participate in the selection of the 2018-2019 Standing Committee Executive. A short roundtable discussion provides an opportunity for the sharing of ideas and information related to scholarships & awards. Please plan to attend.
E5 – Undergraduate Recruitment Roundtable and Annual General Meeting

Whether this is one of your first OURA Conferences or you are a seasoned attendee, plan to join your recruitment colleagues for an update on the Undergraduate Recruitment Standing Committee’s activities over the past year and an opportunity to participate in the selection of the 2018-2019 Standing Committee Executive. A short roundtable discussion provides an opportunity for the sharing of ideas and information related to student finance. Please plan to attend.

E6 – Academic Advising Roundtable

Back by popular demand: If you are involved in Academic Advising, plan to attend this roundtable discussion on hot topics and issues of interest and concern to Academic Advising. We want your input and ideas (and enthusiasm) so please plan to attend!

Thursday, February 15, 2018

7:30 am – 5:00 pm Registration Desk Open
7:30 am – 8:45 am Buffet Breakfast
8:30 am – 9:00 am
Closed Session for OURA members only
OURA Annual General Meeting
Immediately following breakfast, the formal business of the Association will be discussed at the Annual General Meeting.
9:10 am – 10:15 am Morning Remarks and Plenary II: Personal Productivity Matters
Adriana Girdler, President & Chief Efficiency Officer, Cornerstone Dynamics

Individual efficiency impacts your organization’s objectives and goals. The more efficient you are the better able you are to flex with demands of everyday work life. Learn techniques that will direct you to become more efficient and therefore more productive. Now who wouldn’t want that!Learning Objectives:
1. Learn how to organize your work environment to increase your personal productivity;
2. Learn how to prioritize your activities so you are always achieving your professional goals;
3. Learn how to manage meetings so they don’t manage you;
4. Learn the #1 disruptor to work place productivity and how to stop it

10:15 am – 10:55 am EXHIBITS OPEN/Refreshments/NETWORKING
10:55 am – 11:55 am BREAKOUT SESSIONS – BLOCK F (60 minutes)
F1 – Ontario Ombudsman’s Oversight of Universities
Presenters: Wendy Ray, General Counsel, Office of the Ontario Ombudsman; Sue Haslam, Director of Investigations, Office of the Ontario Ombudsman

The Ontario Ombudsman’s Office began jurisdiction of universities on January 1, 2016. Since then, the Ombudsman’s Office has dealt with over 380 complaints on topics such as academic decisions and appeals, fees, admissions and program requirements. As an office of last resort, it does not replace or redo the work of the university ombudsman or other appeal bodies, but it can review whether the university’s processes and policies were fairly followed. Attend this session to get an inside look at complaint trends, how the Ombudsman’s Office can help, and what you can expect if the Ombudsman’s Office calls.

F2 – What is Net Tuition Billing? – Panel Discussion
Panelists: Representatives from Waterloo, Western, Guelph and McMaster

For the Fall 2017 semesters, colleges and universities across Ontario were involved in a pilot program with MAESD to implement a “Net Tuition Billing” process and a Net Tuition Summary Statement.Four universities will demonstrate their Net Tuition bill and will speak to:

  • Challenges
  • Solutions
  • Missed That!
F3 – Bad Case of Gastritis: Student Exam Anxiety and Centralized Exam Deferment
Presenter: Kerry Morrison, Academic Advising Coordinator, UOIT

Anxiety experienced by post-secondary students is on the rise and we often see students deferring final examinations as a strategy to cope with their anxiety. However, from data gathered over the last three years at UOIT we can see that deferment of exams can actually have a negative academic impact on the student. To help Academic Advisors be more proactive and supportive to students rather than prescriptive, we have worked collaboratively with campus offices to implement a new centralized deferral process. The newly centralized process also provides a more consistent student experience. In this presentation, we will explore UOIT trends in deferrals, deferral processes, impacts for key stakeholders, and some discussion of interventions to support students.

F4 – An Overview of Education in Thailand and Vietnam
Presenter: Aditi Kadakia, Senior Manager, Knowledge Analysts, World Education Services

This session will introduce you to tips and techniques used to review and evaluate documents from Thailand and Vietnam. This session will highlight commonly issued academic credentials and lay out a thorough understanding of the education systems of Thailand and Vietnam. This session will include hands-on review of sample documents from Thailand and Vietnam and discuss potential difficulties in acquiring them. This session will review insights about Thai and Vietnamese study mobility trends as well.

F5 – Delivering Accommodated Tests and Exams: Sharing Our Challenges and Best Practices
Presenter: Lucy Bellissimo, Deputy Registrar, York University

Over the past three fiscal years, York University has experienced double digit growth in the demand for accommodated test and exam services. This growth has occurred in a proportion much greater than enrolment growth and at a quicker pace than in the seven years prior. In consulting with other universities, we know that we are not alone in facing this challenge. The goal of this session is to share some of the statistics around our process as well as the recent actions we’ve taken to address demand. The session will also include an interactive workshop where we can discuss our respective practices and learn from one another. Registrants will be sent a survey of questions in advance to help make this a productive workshop where we can take away tangible information and ideas.

F6 – Pitching Your Ideas
Presenters: Soeun Outh, Manager, Student Recruitment, Ryerson University; Kareem Rahaman, Ryerson University

Intrapreneurs are essential to innovation at universities. How an employee communicates ideas to gain support from colleagues and supervisors is crucial in the project moving forward. This session seeks to address successful project pitches, the process of idea development and communication, and how to add impact and creativity to projects assigned.

F7 – Vendor Session: Diversify and Strengthen International Student Admissions with Cambridge English Qualifications
 Maureen Moore, Cambridge English

Having the right English language skills is essential for international students to be academically successful when studying overseas. This presentation will introduce Cambridge English Qualifications designed for higher education, and provide information on how accepting the exams helps institutions in Canada to enroll high-achieving students with the right English skills.

12:00 pm – 1:30 pm Awards Luncheon
1:30 pm – 2:30 pm BREAKOUT SESSIONS – BLOCK G (60 minutes)
G1 – It’s in the Mail – Net Estimate Letter
Presenter: Lindsay DeClou, Senior Policy Advisor, OSAP Transformation Branch, Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Development

For the first time ever, college and university applicants will receive a letter in the mail from OSAP that outlines the net cost of tuition for all institutions that students have applied to through OUAC and/or OCAS. The letter will have a table that includes:

  • Tuition
  • OSAP – Grants & Loans
  • Awards – School, Other
  • How much tuition the student pays
  • What’s left for Other costs.
    MAESD will provide information on this exciting new initiative that involves OCAS, OUAC, colleges and universities and OSAP.
G2 – Challenges Along the Way: Building U of Toronto’s Course Information System
Presenters: Julian Weinrib, Special Projects Officer, Office of the Vice-Provost, Innovations in Undergraduate Education, University of Toronto; Gerald Lindo, Senior Project Manager, Next Generation Student Information Services IT group, University of Toronto

The University of Toronto’s Course Information System project is a multi-stream initiative that will ultimately touch every administrator, academic and student in the university. The project began two years ago and, as expected, for any project of this size, it has had its share of successes and challenges. Over its lifetime, it has evolved into an exceptional tool for our instructors, Department Leads and Exams Office resources.This presentation will review the project’s progress, highlighting the need for phased development methodologies that take into account parallels with other projects within the university. The ways the system addressed the individual needs of its stakeholders while moving forward towards promised goals will also be discussed.

G3 – Developing and Facilitating an Academic Advising Training Program
Presenter: Paul Sileika, Coordinator, University Academic Advising, Ryerson University

Academic Advising training is not always planned out in advance. Due to time or budget constraints many advisors learn the ropes while on the job. At Ryerson University we have a decentralized advising model, so all training was originally the responsibility of each individual program department. With the introduction of a new Advising Community of Practice and the additional support of the Coordinator, University Academic Advising, a training program has been implemented for the first time. The program is called Interpersonal Approaches to Advising and offers advisors a chance to connect with each other and learn some effective approaches on setting the stage for high-impact advising, setting goals with students, and taking the path toward degree completion.This session will go through the consultation and curriculum development of our training program, it’s first cohorts as well as the opportunity to try some of the training hands on. Expect a lively session!

G4 – Project CONNECT: Enhancing Service Excellence in the Registrar’s Office
Presenters: Lori Russell, Manager, Information and Client Services, UOIT; Susan Allward, Associate Registrar, Student Awards and Financial Aid, UOIT

Project CONNECT was launched in April 2015 to examine the current service model in UOIT’s Registrar’s Office. From April 2015 to November 2015 research was conducted, including: review of other post-secondary institutions service models, review of literature and engagement with staff. After a review of the research it was decided to centralize our service model for all frontline transactions.We began this journey in January 2016. In August 2017 we moved into our new building and successfully launched the Information and Client Services department that provides transformational service for: financial aid, awards, student accounts, registration, records, admissions, and general information. Join us as we share our journey, including:

  • How we incorporated financial aid and awards;
  • Our successes;
  • Teachable moments;
  • Getting staff buy-in;
  • What we would have done differently
G5 – Old Questions and New Answers About Institutional Recognition: International Admissions Case Studies
Presenter: Victorina Baxan, Admissions Counsellor, Enrolment Services, University of Toronto

Determining educational institutions’ recognition remains one of the major issues when assessing international students’ applications for admission. This session will share challenges and best practices for determining the status of educational institutions with a focus on the top ten countries of origin of University of Toronto international students. Through an examination of terminology, types of recognition bodies, as well as country-specific evaluation resources and methods, the session will highlight contextual differences and provide practical recommendations.

G6 – Team Building Through Creative Play
Presenter: Lionel Walsh, Assistant Vice President, North American Recruitment, University of Windsor

In this active session that focuses on teambuilding, participants will learn fun and effective theatre games, and non-traditional and creative ways to communicate. Attendees will participate in the games so comfortable clothing and shoes are advised.

2:30 pm – 3:05 pm EXHIBITS/Refreshments/NETWORKING
3:10 pm – 4:10 pm BREAKOUT SESSIONS – BLOCK H (60 minutes)
H1 – Tour Ryerson’s ServiceHub
Presenter: Kevin Goodchild, Assistant Director, Client Services, Ryerson University

In August 2015 Ryerson launched the ServiceHub, the one-stop for prospective, applicant and current student inquiries. Combining the front-facing client service units of the Registrar’s Office, undergraduate admissions, student financial aid, enrolment services and student fees, the newly-designed space revolutionized how we serve students. Join us as we take a tour through the ServiceHub. (Note: This session involves a 10-minute walk between the hotel and Ryerson).

H2 – The Evolution of Academic Scheduling at Trent University
Presenter: Heather Crowley, Manager, Systems and Projects, Trent University

Academic scheduling at Trent University has seen many changes in the past five years, from retirements and restructures to increased enrolment and program expansion. The scheduling team has doubled in size, moved to a paperless process, and evolved from posting the timetable on a static html page to a dynamic and personalized page for students and faculty.We have a strong relationship with IT, who works to support the team by expanding and improving our integration with Colleague, making data transfers seamless and efficient.
These improvements in our process have allowed the scheduling team to fully utilize our Infosilem implementation to optimize the academic schedule for our undergraduate students.

H3 – How Machine Learning Will Change the Admissions and Enrolment Landscape
Presenter: Emilie Cushman, Founder and CEO, Kira Talent

Machine learning is evolving the way we live and work. From natural-language processors, like Siri and Cortana, to photo recognition technology in Facebook and Google, we are progressively teaching machines how to make our lives easier and help us work faster. What does this shift mean for higher education admissions teams? No, robots will not take over your job. But technology will make admissions easier, smarter, and faster. Looking at some key research on machine-learning potential and case studies of success in other industries, we’ll explore how machine learning may change the way we recruit, assess, and enroll students in the future, and how schools can start planning today for the technological revolution ahead.

H4 – Dollars and Sense: Laurier’s Response to Financial Literacy
Presenters: Luke Jeffery, Graduate Student, Michigan State University; Necia Martins, Associate Registrar, Financial Aid and Services, Wilfrid Laurier University

As a result of growing concerns surrounding the effects of financial illiteracy, many institutions across Canada and North America face the challenge of providing adequate support to their students with often limited means to do so. This session will explore how one Ontario university responded to its campus financial literacy needs by reviewing best and emerging practices; evaluating new and existing campus partnerships; assessing student needs; and creating a 4-year strategic plan to guide ongoing efforts.

H5 – Fraudulent Activity Trends in the Study Permits Program
Presenter: Albert Tang, Intelligence Officer, Canada Border Services Agency

This session provides a general overview of the study permit program administered by IRCC and CBSA’s role in the program. Program integrity issues and concerns relating to the study permit application process in the context of college/university studies will be addressed including, fraudulent/counterfeit/altered supporting documents, and genuine documents obtained via fraudulent means. Fraudulent activity trends from a CBSA/IRCC perspective, including the most recent trends of concern, lessons learned and best practices for the way forward will be discussed. Participants will also learn of the reporting mechanism for suspicious activities and what information may be relevant for effective administration or enforcement of IRPA (i.e. revoked offers due to fraud, nature of fraud, possible organizers or trends identified).

H6 – Staying Clear of a Stress Mess
Presenters: Renu Kanga Fonseca, Director, Student Recruitment and Admissions, University of Toronto Mississauga; Andrea Carter, Assistant Dean, Student Wellness, Support & Success, University of Toronto Mississauga

Post-secondary environments are competitive. This competition not only extends to our students but also to faculty and staff. Some days it all goes wrong, some days we feel like we don’t know how to do our jobs. Imposter syndrome is real! While we work with our students to strive, stretch, and succeed, they are often unable to manage setbacks and failures. Teaching these lessons is even more challenging and begins with our own understanding of stress, anxiety and failure.The University of Toronto Mississauga campus has developed initiatives to de-stigmatize failures, address anxiety and depression, and increase resiliency. We will examine how all of us attempt to cope with stress, anxiety, and failure in the postsecondary environment. We will also discuss ways to build resiliency by understanding stress and anxiety as they relate to mental health versus mental illness. This workshop provides tools to help you support yourself, your colleagues, and your students.

Join other delegates and the 2018 exhibitors at this end-of-day reception. You’ll have a chance to win vendor-sponsored draw prizes AND we’ll draw for a free registration to the 2019 Conference.
Friday, February 16, 2018
7:30 am – 12:00 pm Registration Desk Open
7:30 am – 8:45 am Breakfast
8:50 am – 9:55 am Remarks from OURA President 2018-2019

Plenary Session III – The Fourth Industrial Revolution, the Age of Augmentation and Why Canada Needs to Double Down on Postsecondary Education
Dwayne Matthews, Life and Education Strategist

The exponential convergence of several technological fields has started the 4th industrial revolution and the age of augmentation. This digital transformation of life will bring paradigmatic changes, as mobile platforms unleash access to a new type of super intelligence that will change humanity.

People all around the globe are faced with these almost invisible forces that are altering paradigms around work, education, and long-standing social pillars. Many people define themselves by their education, their social norms as well as the job that they do. At the same time, the automation of work due to this convergence has intensified labor force transformations and it is estimated that approximately 2 billion jobs will be lost to automation by 2030.

Most of the world’s labor force is neither aware of nor prepared for this paradigm shift. This conversion, however, creates a massive need for those who have a technical background, as well as opportunities for individual creativity and societal contribution previously unseen. Postsecondary institutions will have to meet this need as they deal with the effects of the transformation on their models. Institutions that get this right will earn their place as international educational leaders and those that do not will be swept away into the history books. Now more than ever Canada needs to double-down on its postsecondary educated populations and prepare them for the about-face necessary for the fourth industrial revolution.

9:55 am – 10:10 am Refreshment Break
10:10 am – 10:50 am BREAKOUT SESSIONS – BLOCK J (40 minutes)
J1 – How to Use Data to Increase Efficiency: A Student-Driven Online Approach
Presenters: Jennifer Moore, Enrolment Services Coordinator, Trent University; Christine Liew, Enrolment Services Administrator, Trent University; Linda Pinto, Enrolment Services Administrator, Trent University

At Trent, we expect our students to register using our online portal. However, each year we were overwhelmed with manual registration requests. In 2012, the Registrar’s Office began tracking why students were not able to register online. Our data showed that our staff were registering over 1500 students due to prerequisite waivers being granted by faculty and Chairs. In 2015, we worked with IT to implement a new, student-driven online prerequisite waiver system. We then worked with academic departments to train staff on the new process, troubleshoot issues, and we continue to tailor the process to meet the needs of students and departments.

J2 – You Talkin’ to Me?
Presenter: John Popham, Liaison Officer, McMaster University

Each year, institutions pour endless financial and human resources into attempting to stay ahead of the social media curve. From Hollywood-caliber YouTube productions to 10-second snapchat stories, what is the golden ticket to online success? Which tweet or Instagram story will convert your audience into applicants? Join us as we delve deep into our own successes and failures and help you to identify the proper platforms and implications for your institution to make sense of this wacky online world.

J3 – Summer OSAP
Presenters: Mohammed Rawoof Shaik, Senior Programmer and Analyst, University of Toronto; Michael Kwan, Information Technology Programmer and Analyst, University of Toronto

Summer OSAP enrolment for students was a paper-based business process at Enrolment Services. In late fall of 2016 we commenced an IT project to transform the paper-based summer OSAP process to a digital process that would be ready for the Summer 2017. The need for this arose due the volume of applications required to be processed in a short period of time by staff. The digital web-based application successfully processed 5000+ applications for the Summer 2017. In addition, various automated procedures and scheduled jobs have helped improve business processes and saved man-hours spent processing and handling paper applications.

J4 – Safety Abroad: Innovation in Student Travel Support Services
Presenter: Evan Moir, User Experience Designer, University of Toronto

This presentation will discuss the approach and progress of an ongoing project that seeks to re-invent and redesign the business processes and information systems used by the Safety Abroad program offered by the Centre for International Experience (CIE) at the University of Toronto. With the number of students taking advantage of international study and research opportunities expected to grow quickly in the coming years, the CIE saw an opportunity to rethink how they provide travel preparation and emergency response services to students travelling abroad. The project is a collaborative effort between the CIE and U of T’s Enterprise Applications & Solutions Integration group.

J5 – Grad Studies Roundtable II: Funding, Scholarships and Financial Aid
Facilitator: Alice Brummell, Coordinator, Student Support and Financial Aid, School of Graduate Studies, University of Toronto

This round table will feature discussion around graduate level TRI-Council (SSHRC, NSERC and CIHR) scholarships, external and internal award opportunities, funding principals and best practices, as well as OSAP changes and how they affect graduate students. Delegates are invited to bring their questions and be prepared to contribute their universities’ best practices to the discussion.

J6 – 101 Admissions Roundtable
Facilitators: Erika Danziger, Manager, Undergraduate Admissions, Ryerson University
Ellen Dubelt, Manager, Ontario Secondary School Admissions, University of Toronto

Back by popular demand – OUAC 101 Admissions! This is an opportunity to share knowledge and best practices with your colleagues from other institutions. Building on discussion from last year’s conference and this year’s Admissions Workshop, this session will cover topics such as 101s with post-secondary studies, automated systems, summer school extensions, reconsideration requests, waitlist procedures, special consideration policies and practices. Come ready to learn, share, and network with your admissions peers!

10:45 am – 11:00 am Refreshment break and move to breakout session rooms
11:00 am – 12:00 pm BREAKOUT SESSIONS – BLOCK K (60 minutes)
K1 – Women in Leadership: Advancing at High Speeds in Higher Education Presenters: Marisa Modeski, Assistant Director, Student Recruitment, Ryerson University; Soeun Outh, Manager, Student Recruitment, Ryerson University; Sasha Trivett, Manager, Recruitment, Trent University

This session aims to address opportunities for women in leadership to expand networks as well as develop strategies for success in climbing career ladders, and share tips on successful transitions to and within leadership roles. Drawing on experience from colleagues across Ontario universities, the session would include interaction from the audience, and invite colleagues from all genders and positions to share knowledge and experiences.

K2 – A Revised Approach to the Language of Student Communication
Presenter: Anik Powell, Manager, Student Financial Assistance, Ryerson University

Ryerson is seeing a substantial shift in the quality of its student interactions since adopting a different approach in writing its mass communications. Communications have moved from “enforcement-oriented” language to a more conversational, approachable language and students are responding in positive ways.

K3 – English Language Learners: Unequipped or Underestimated?
Presenter: Lorretta Neebar, Interim Registrar and Director of Enrolment Management, UTM

The demographic make-up of the student body at post-secondary institutions across the country has become increasingly diverse in recent years. Students are coming to us from all over the world and in many cases their first language is not English. Whether they are new immigrants or international students the language barrier for these English Language Learners (ELL) can create similar challenges. While many institutions have established language skills programming to support students in their transition and skills development, the academic success of these students is a common question and concern. A review of the academic performance of ELL after their first year of study at the University of Toronto Mississauga helped us identify:
1. How these students performed in comparison to their peers;
2. Opportunities for new/enhanced communication skills programming; and
3. How we could support/enhance our admission processes.This presentation will demonstrate the importance of data driven decision making in all elements of strategic planning for student success and how a strong statistics team positioned within the Office of the Registrar can have a significant impact on strategic enrolment management.

K4 – Non-101 Undergraduate Admissions Roundtable: Current Trends and Topics
Facilitators: Rosemary Guido, Assistant Registrar, Admissions, Faculty of Applied Science and Engineering, University of Toronto; Lynda Onorati, Senior Admissions Specialist, Enrolment Services, University of Toronto

This round table will aim to share trends and challenges that admissions offices face when assessing non-101 applications. Building on discussion from the October 2017 Admissions Coordinators Workshop, we will cover topics such as mature student policies, time gaps in applications, acceptable courses from Canadian high schools, international applications with mixed curricula, etc. Bring your questions, concerns, trials and triumphs to share with other colleagues.

K5 – ARUCC Groningen and Student Mobility: Crossing the Digital Divide
Presenters: Joanne Duklas, Researcher and Consultant, Duklas Cornerstone Consulting
Charmaine Hack, University Registrar, Ryerson University

The ARUCC Groningen and Student Mobility Initiative is a multi-year project with the vision of advancing national and international student mobility through trusted student data exchange at the national and international level. Our partners include the Pan-Canadian Consortium on Admissions and Transfer (PCCAT), the Canadian Postsecondary Education Standards Council (CanPESC), and the Canadian University Council of Chief Information Officers (CUCCIO). This project imagines a fully digitized world of student credentials so that institutions no longer need to assess credentials from paper and students are readily supported when applying to institutions within or outside of Canada. Join us for an update on the project and contribute to the vision. For more information: arucc.ca (click on “Task Force Groningen”)

K6 – The Art and Science of Collaboration
Presenter: Dayana Kibilds, Manager, Undergraduate Recruitment, Western University

The more siloed the campus, the more common the problem: the hardest part of change is getting all stakeholders on the same page. You need buy-in. You need to turn nay-sayers into advocates. How do you get people on different campuses, departments, and across faculties to agree? In this session, you will hear about two significant shifts in communication strategy. One example comes from admissions at Penn State and one from development at Cornell. You will leave with an understanding of a proven method to get groups to agree on a shared strategy and become the champions of its implementation.

12:00 noon Conference concludes