By Julia Smeed, Innovation Hub Project Lead
The Innovation Hub has engaged in over one hundred honest conversations with U of T students. From these conversations we have gained a number of insights that can help us to design innovative programs, services and resources to better support students. Twenty five ideas were also imagined by the students and staff in the Innovation Hub. We have prepared a comprehensive report of our findings which can be obtained by contacting us.
We’ve also gathered feedback about these prototype ideas from students during our Innovation Hours and in our online survey. We’re pleased to announce that based on this feedback, the Innovation Hub intends to bring together partners to move forward with initial planning discussions around the following 7 ideas:
- Student-Led Equity Training for UofT Staff: Students develop and deliver a staff training program, focusing on equity, diversity, and inclusivity.
- Chill Spots: Use spaces that students already frequent to set up community spaces that could include charging stations, couches and microwaves, and be facilitated by community animators.
- UofT Concierge: Establish a central location on campus that acts as an initial contact point for wayfinding and referrals. The concierge would also have an online component, connecting students to a 24-hour response tool.
- Student-Faculty Exploration Café: re-purpose an existing central space on campus to act as a hub of activities that support faculty and TA engagement with students.
- Neighborhood Communities: virtual communities to connect students who live in the same geographic area which may include programming such as social events and study groups
- Future Readiness Course: a course, customizable by discipline, that will incorporate career education and skills development, placement opportunities, and partnerships with UofT alumni for mentorship and career learning.
- Knowledge Management System: Information on programs, services and resources for students at UofT lives everywhere. Students could be better supported by a system that brings all of this information together in an accessible and easy-to-navigate way.
We would like to extend an invitation to the UofT community to participate in early discussions about these project ideas, and opportunities to connect with other similar projects underway on campus. By mid-May we’ll be scheduling initial exploration conversations about these projects. Please let us know if you or a member of your team would like to be included in those meetings by contacting us.
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