Our consultations yielded rich insights, drawing on the experiences of hundreds of students, employees and partners to construct a plan right for the times. In the spirit of the consultations, where we posed questions to engage the participants in conversations about our strategic purpose and direction, here are three questions about our strategic direction and our responses.
How can we prepare Seneca students for successful futures in a rapidly evolving world and economy?
Our work starts with an enduring commitment to our students: Whatever your educational aspirations or entrepreneurial ambitions, however far along you are in your search for a career that you can be passionate about, Seneca will help you define your future. We do that through high-quality programs delivered by outstanding faculty working with outstanding, supportive staff. We prepare you for the accelerating pace of change and tomorrow’s world of work by offering programs with a wide range of experiential learning opportunities, a cross-disciplinary approach and our key core literacies underpinning the curriculum. We have a broad range of support services including tutoring, mentoring and leadership development available to our students. We will help you get ready.
- High-quality programs providing relevant career and life skills
- New and renewed programs to meet the demand for a highly skilled workforce and fill emerging labour market needs
- Rigorous curriculum design, quality assurance and program review processes
- Teaching excellence
- Current and connected faculty who are active in their academic and professional communities
- A commitment to Seneca’s Teaching Standards, authentic assessments, contextual learning activities, and the thoughtful use of technology tools
- Great student experiences
- Opportunities for cross-disciplinary learning, entrepreneurial skill development, and work integrated learning
- A comprehensive range of connected student support services
What does engaged citizenship look like in the 21st century, and how can Seneca make sure its graduates are ready to participate and lead in their communities?
Our consultations underscored the importance of equipping our students with a broad set of skills and experiences to be successful. Whether it was employers describing the ideal graduate, or faculty emphasizing the importance of ethics, professionalism and the core literacies, the words of our founding president Dr. William T. Newnham ring as true today as they were 50 years ago: “The Seneca graduate will make an informed and perceptive citizen.”
In virtually every conversation we had there was emphatic support for continuing to stress Seneca’s core literacies, a group of 10 key areas of knowledge that comprise the essential skill set for the successful graduate. It is part of the tool kit that will help our students not simply navigate but thrive in a world of change.
- Exemplify Seneca’s core literacies
- Evidence of core literacies being taught, practised and assessed in our programs
- Opportunities for students and faculty to develop the core literacies in context
- Provide opportunities to develop professionalism, confidence and character
- Broaden the opportunities for students to develop leadership skills
- Expand international and volunteer learning opportunities for students and employees
- Reflect in all we do a deep respect for the diversity of our community and each other
- Embrace an inclusive and supportive environment for students and employees
- Ensure our curriculum, academic community, and language reflect diverse ways of thinking and being
How can Seneca provide leadership in postsecondary education that benefits our students, our employees, our communities and our partners?
At Seneca, we believe in collaboration. Even in a highly competitive higher education market, we are proud to be the leader in transfer agreements and pathways with colleges and universities because they help students achieve their goals, whether locally or abroad. Partnerships with employers are important to creating expanded experiential learning opportunities and developing applied research projects, equally benefitting the communities we serve. Collaboration with our students is vital to understanding how we can enhance the learning and campus community experience. And, it is the collaboration among our employees, within departments and across the institution, that creates the respectful teaching and learning environment that enables us to achieve our shared goal of supporting our students’ success.
All of this rests on a solid financial base where our approach to enrolment and revenue growth create opportunities to invest in our people, services and facilities. That is how we lead – by working with others, by bringing true value to our partnerships – both inside and outside of Seneca – and by always continuing to improve what we do.
- Lead in credit transfer and pathway options to, from and within Seneca
- Play a leadership role in the evolution of the system by creating a hub-and-spoke model to improve student mobility
- Expand partnerships, articulation agreements and pathways with colleges and universities in Canada and abroad
- Build and strengthen student-centered partnerships with employers, communities, academic institutions and people
- Increase the participation of industry in applied research and entrepreneurial activities
- Expand international partnerships to increase opportunities for both students and employees
- Provide our employees an outstanding place to learn and work
- Enhance opportunities for cross-department collaboration, communication and innovation
- Increase learning and development options for employees
- Maintain a solid and sustainable financial foundation for the future
- Smart growth in enrolment, revenues and assets
- Increasing self-sufficiency in capital projects
The Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) report has challenged all Canadians, and all Canadian institutions, to respond to generations of discrimination and abuse of Indigenous people with a positive and urgent response to the TRC’s calls to action. The national system of colleges, polytechnics and institutes has drawn up an Indigenous Educational Protocol that Seneca signed in a 2015 ceremony at our Newnham Campus, located on the traditional territory of the Mississaugas of the New Credit.
We have taken inspiration from the Indigenous community in the design of our new Centre for Innovation, Technology and Entrepreneurship (CITE). We thank our Aboriginal Education Council for its support and ideas in the conception of the building. Seneca is committed to supporting the TRC’s calls of action to the postsecondary community, and is actively working on expanding our Indigenous focused curriculum in our nursing, early childhood education and journalism programs.
Our First Peoples@Seneca office supports hundreds of Indigenous students at Seneca with a variety of services and activities, including counselling, financial aid, social activities, an elder and opportunities to engage in traditional ceremonies.
Seneca is working with colleges and universities across Ontario and Canada to share lessons and learnings on incorporating Indigenous teachings into our programs, and reflecting Indigenous culture and history at our campuses.