Undergraduate Education

Messaging from Vice-Dean Teaching, Learning & Undergraduate Programs, Professor Katherine R Larson

Dear UTSC students,

Happy New Year and welcome to the new term! 

Although most of our interactions continue online this year, our commitment to you and to your academic experience is stronger than ever. Faculty and staff continue to work with great dedication and creativity to support you in your online courses and co-curricular activities and to ensure that you have the resources you need to thrive academically and to prioritize your health and well-being in the context of this extraordinary year.

Departmental staff and faculty are crucial resources for you. Be sure to take advantage of online office hours, and don’t hesitate to reach out to your instructor or to your department if you have any questions. If you are experiencing any technical issues during your courses, you should contact the Student Helpdesk at IITS.

The Centre for Teaching and Learning offers a wide range of online academic supports for students, including writing help and English language development, math and stats tutoring, as well as peer tutoring through Facilitated Study Groups (FSGs) and broader learning resources. Find out more at https://uoft.me/AcademicLearningSupport. If you require additional support as a result of a disability, we encourage you to contact AccessAbility Services so that appropriate accommodations can be put in place. Whether you are in your first year of university or preparing to graduate, the Academic Advising & Career Centre is also available to support you virtually.

If you have questions about processes related to academic petitions or time zone conflicts for exams, please reach out to the Registrar’s Office. General resources and a FAQ for students related to COVID-19, including updates about access to study space, Wi-Fi, and computers on campus can be found at UTogether Students.

University can be a stressful time, and we also find ourselves grappling collectively and individually with ongoing uncertainties related to the pandemic. If you are in need of personal support, the Health and Wellness Centre offers access to online confidential counselling through the MySSP App. Many departments also have embedded counsellors who are available online this year.

Finally, I want to underscore the University of Toronto Scarborough's commitment to equity, inclusion, and anti-racism. These priorities took on new urgency over the summer of 2020, and UTSC is engaging in fundamental ways with the challenges to equity that have been illuminated during the pandemic. As one example of this work, a campus-wide curriculum review is underway to ensure that UTSC’s commitment to inclusion, Indigeneity, and anti-racism are embedded across programs and in our pedagogical approaches and supports. The working circle that is leading this process will be reaching out to students during the winter term to hear about your experiences and your hopes. We value your feedback and encourage you to submit your comments and ideas to curriculum.utsc@utoronto.ca at any time.

Although our circumstances are very different this year and we miss having the opportunity to work with you in person, we hope that your experiences this term enable you to forge new paths, build life-long connections with your peers, and engage in transformative learning that will shape your contribution to our world and our historical moment. Know that we are here to support you and to ensure that your experience at UTSC is both academically and personally rewarding.

 

Professor Katherine R Larson

Vice-Dean Teaching, Learning & Undergraduate Programs

January 2021

 

Vice-Dean Teaching, Learning & Undergraduate Programs Messaging to Students

Fall 2020 Welcome New & Returning Students

Dear UTSC students,

Welcome to the new term and to the start of the 2020-2021 academic year!  Whether this is your first week at university or whether you are a returning student, we are delighted that you have chosen to be a part of the UTSC community.

Although many of our interactions will be online this year, our commitment to you and to your academic experience is stronger than ever. Faculty and staff have been working throughout the summer with great dedication and creativity to prepare for the fall term and to ensure that your transition to online courses is as smooth as possible.

We recognize that this academic year is unlike any other. Know that we are here to support you and to ensure that your experience this year is both academically and personally rewarding.

Departmental staff and faculty are crucial resources for you. Be sure to take advantage of online office hours, and don’t hesitate to reach out to your instructor or to your department if you have any questions. If you are experiencing any technical issues during your courses, you should contact the Student Helpdesk at IITS.

The Centre for Teaching and Learning offers a wide range of online academic supports for students, including writing help and English language development, math and stats tutoring, as well as peer tutoring through Facilitated Study Groups (FSGs) and broader learning resources. Find out more at https://uoft.me/AcademicLearningSupport. If you require additional support as a result of a disability, we encourage you to contact AccessAbility Services so that appropriate accommodations can be put in place. Whether you are a new student or preparing to graduate, the Academic Advising and Career Centre is also available to support you virtually.

University can be a stressful time, and we also find ourselves in a moment of significant uncertainty. If you are in need of personal support, the Health and Wellness Centre offers access to online confidential counselling through the MySSP App. Many departments also have embedded counsellors who are available online this year.

Finally, I want to underscore the University of Toronto Scarborough's commitment to equity, inclusion, and anti-racism. These priorities have taken on new urgency over the summer of 2020, and UTSC is engaging in fundamental ways with the challenges to equity that have been illuminated during the pandemic. This letter is arriving in your inboxes during a Canada-wide Scholars Strike (https://scholarstrikecanada.ca/schedule/) taking place on September 9th and 10th, which is providing opportunities both in and out of the classroom for faculty, staff, and students to engage in ongoing dialogue and work to dismantle anti-Black racism and related inequalities. U of T Scarborough will be prioritizing further initiatives in this area in the coming year.

U of T Scarborough is a truly inspiring and exciting place to be. Although our circumstances are different this fall, we hope that your experience this year enables you to forge new paths, build life-long connections with your peers, and engage in transformative learning that will shape your contribution to our world and our historical moment.

We are excited to meet you and to be in dialogue with you, and we wish you all the best for the year ahead.

 

Professor Katherine R Larson

Vice-Dean Teaching, Learning & Undergraduate Programs

September 2020