Douglas 360°

Elementary school in Kenya to use Douglas College computers

By Nicole Chiu, CEIT

Dozens of Douglas College computers are making their way to classrooms at the Endana Primary School in Kenya. These computers will help enhance the school students’ learning experience through technology by providing them with access to online learning resources.  

When College computers are upgraded every few years, older computers, which are in good condition, are donated to local rotaries who ship it to places where educational resources are in short supply or are non-existent.

With the help of Bonnie Sutherland, Vice President of the not-for-profit, Rotary World Help, Douglas College computers will continue to be used for educating students. Bonnie has been supporting education efforts in developing countries for over 20 years.

“One of our goals is to install a library at Endana Primary School – a remote, desolate, dusty school with very few amenities,” she says. “What we do with these computers will change lives.”

Each year, the College replaces more than 400 computers. Some of the machines end up at certified environmentally-responsible recycling plants and others find new homes through charitable organizations, like Rotary World Help.

Building an IT career with Co-op

By Anasuya Kesavan, Marketing and Communications

Manupreet Kaur wanted real work experience. Despite having a degree in Electronics and Communications Engineering from India, she had never had an actual job.

“During my engineering degree, I took a few internships” she says. “But they were more like trainings. I wanted a job where I could work with professionals and practise my skills. Nothing beats the hands-on experience that you get by working on the field in a real work environment.”

Manupreet Kaur

When she came to Douglas and enrolled in the Post-Baccalaureate Diploma in Computer and Information Systems, she discovered the Co-op program, which enables students to apply for paid, full-time work terms related to their area of study.  Work terms are usually four or eight months and take place after a student has completed the second or third semester of their academic program.

With Co-op, Manupreet learned how to write a cover letter and resumé, look for job opportunities and practise interview skills. However, getting hired was not as easy.

“I applied for more than 20 jobs and got seven interview calls,” she says. “However, as a fresher with little experience, I got rejected by all. But my Co-op coaches continued to support me with additional preparation for interviews and encouraged me to keep on applying for more jobs.”

Manupreet found success by her eighth interview. She was hired as an Application and Infrastructure Student Analyst with the City of Edmonton.

“Although I was going to spend eight months in the Edmonton winter, I was on top of the world.”

At her workplace, Manupreet was one of two Co-op students providing support for a new software application to internal clients.

“When you are at school you get to do small projects,” she says. “Co-op gave me the opportunity to work on the POSSE Enterprise Platform, which is a big and complex system. While I was doing a lot of coding and making minor and big fixes in real time, I learned to deal with real, genuine problems that users face.”

“There was lots to learn, and that was challenging and exciting at the same time.”

She also got the opportunity to work on a mobile app with her fellow Co-op student, from Northern Alberta Institute of Technology (NAIT) in Edmonton.

Now, with real work experience under her belt, Manupreet is confident in finding work in the IT field after she graduates.

“I recommend Co-op to all students,” she says. “It’s the first step to start a career. I learned both technical and non-technical skills that will help me get more job opportunities within the IT sector.”

Students of 15 academic programs at Douglas College are eligible for Co-op. If you’re a student looking to gain skills and work experience, email the Career Centre at co-op@douglascollege.ca or call 604 527 5889.

The Learning Centre is here to help with study skills, writing and more

David Guedes, the Learning Centre

The Learning Centre provides free tutoring and academic support services for all Douglas College students. Visit us at our new location, Room S2662, in New West during the first two weeks of Summer Semester classes to enter a draw for a Tim Horton’s gift card!

About the Learning Centre
The Learning Centre is the peer tutoring and writing centre for Douglas College students. Students can book tutoring sessions online or by visiting the Learning Centre for help with:

  • Writing for all Douglas College courses
  • Course content for select first-year courses
  • Study skills to improve oral presentations, note-taking, study strategies, test preparation and time management 
  • English language tutoring for written and spoken English language skills for Douglas College classes, provided by TESL-trained, professional tutors

Students who prefer online feedback on their writing can submit written assignments to an online writing tutor for feedback. It is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Peer Tutors in the Learning Centre are students taking classes at Douglas or other post-secondary institutions who are hired based on instructor recommendation, academic performance and the ability to understand their own learning. Peer tutors benefit from paid training (including international certification as a tutor), leadership opportunities and participating in a learner-driven community. The Learning Centre is currently accepting applications for Fall 2019.

douglascollege.ca/learningcentre
New Westminster, Room S2662 (new location for Summer 2019)
Coquitlam, Room A1040

Staying safe on campus

By Nancy Constable, Safety, Security and Risk Management

Student safety on campus is a top priority at Douglas College. Read below to find out who to call and where to go in the event of an emergency.

1. Know your Campus Security numbers and save them in your phone.
Coquitlam: 604 777 6254
New Westminster: 604 527 5405
Anvil Centre: 604 777 6666 
NOTE: Call Campus Security 24/7 in the event of an emergency. In an urgent or life threatening situation, call 911 first, then please also call Campus Security to notify them of the emergency on campus.

2. Know your closest emergency exits and assembly areas.
Evacuation maps are posted in classrooms and near stairwells and elevators. Familiarize yourself with more than one way in/out of the building.

3. Sign up for emergency notifications.
Subscribe to DC Alerts to receive important notifications regarding emergencies on campus and advisories of campus closures (for example, due to heavy snowfall).

4. Know the College’s emergency procedures.
Review all emergency procedures, including the College’s lockdown procedure.

5. Speak up when you see something unsafe.
Report all safety hazards and incidents to Campus Security, including concerning behaviours.

6. Use the College’s Safer Walk service.
You can receive a security escort to the local SkyTrain station or to your vehicle in a campus parking lot/parkade by requesting a Safer Walk from Security.

7. If you need first aid, go to or call Campus Security.

8. If you need someone to talk to, contact the College’s confidential counselling services.
Counsellors can assist with managing personal challenges, career planning and figuring out how to ease the pressure of college life.
Coquitlam: 604 777 6185
New Westminster: 604 527 5486

Everything you need to know about CEIT services

Nicole Chiu, CEIT

As a Douglas College student, you have a variety of services at your fingertips, including IT services provided by the Centre for Educational and Information Technology (CEIT).

Here’s what you need to know to start your semester with confidence:

  1. College Network Access (CNA): To log into the College computers, Wi-Fi, Blackboard and other network-related services, use your CNA username: nine-digit student number / password: for first access, your password will be generated randomly and emailed to you after you’re registered for at least one course. For the Wi-Fi, connect to the Douglas College Internal network.
    NOTE: For security, change your randomly generated password on the first login. 
  2. CNA Password Portal: Register your personal email address (not your College email address) or phone number at password.douglascollege.ca. If you ever forget your CNA password, use the Portal to reset and create a new password.
  3. Blackboard: This is your one-stop portal to online courses and academic resources. Find out what else it offers on the Student Resources section. To access Blackboard from douglascollege.ca, hover over the Login drop-down menu at the top and select Blackboard-Community. Use your CNA credentials to log in.
  4. Microsoft Office 365This Canadian cloud service gives all registered students free access to Word, Excel, PowerPoint, one terabyte of OneDrive storage and a new College email address. Use this email address and your CNA password to log in to Office 365. The Office 365 address is sent to the personal email you provided to Douglas. Check more information and the FAQs for details.
  5. myAccount: Here you’ll find essential tools, such as course registration, waitlists and tuition fees. To log in, use your nine-digit student number and PIN – by default, your six-digit birthdate followed by Douglas (DDMMYYDouglas). If your default PIN was generated before April 29, 2019, your default PIN is your birthdate only (DDMMYY).
    NOTE: You’ll be prompted to change this PIN at your first access for security reasons.
  6. Printing: Every semester you may print up to 300 pages for free from any machine (libraries, computer labs or the New West glassed-in area in the concourse, a.k.a. the Fishbowl). For extra copies, use the PayPrint stations at both campus libraries, room N6212 (New West) and room A2030 (Coquitlam). Your quota is reset to 300 pages at the beginning of each semester. Consider the environment and print only what’s necessary.
  7. Lynda.com: This online resource offers thousands of video courses on a variety of different topics taught by industry experts. This subscription-based tool is available free for all Douglas College students with College Network Access (CNA) credentials.
  8. Eduroam: Access free Wi-Fi at other post-secondary institutions by using your Douglas College credentials. To log in, username: studentnumber@douglascollege.ca / password: Your CNA password
    For a list of participating Canadian institutions, visit: canarie.ca/identity/institutions/
  9. CEIT Support: Our Service Desk provides over-the-phone assistance with password/PIN resets, login issues and wireless connectivity, and technical support. For one-on-one technical assistance on campus, try our Students Helping Students service.

Get support from Douglas College counselling services

By Angela Katsamakis, Student Affairs and Services

College can be a stressful and confusing time for many students. Often, this has an impact on school performance. It may be helpful to talk to someone who can assist you with managing personal challenges and easing the pressure of college life.

Counsellors, located at both New Westminster and Coquitlam campuses, are trained to provide short-term personal counselling, career counselling and support with academic petitions or appeals. You may want to visit counselling services for free support if you are having trouble in areas such as:

  • Managing personal stress
  • Relationship problems
  • Grief
  • Family related concerns
  • Anxiety or depression
  • Adjusting to college life
  • Setting career goals
  • Making career choices
  • Understanding your rights and responsibilities according to College policy

How do you make an appointment?

Simply phone or visit in-person to make a 50-minute appointment. If you are in crisis, urgent appointments are available most afternoons.

Locations and hours

New Westminster Campus, room S4600
604 527 5486
TTY: 604 527 5450
Open Monday to Friday from 8:30am-4:30pm

Coquitlam Campus, room A1050
604 777 6185 
TTY: 604 777 6179
Open Monday to Friday from 8:30am-4:30pm

You aren’t alone – Counselling Services is here for you. More information is available on the Douglas College website.

Get tech support on campus from a student assistant

By Nicole Chiu, CEIT

If you run into a technical issue on campus this semester and need assistance, look no further.

The Centre for Educational and Information Technology (CEIT) will have one student at the New Westminster Campus ready to help with any tech questions for the upcoming Summer Semester – May to August – as part of their Students Helping Students (SHS) program.

Aayushi will be offering tech support at the New Westminster Campus all summer

Aayushi Mehta is only a phone call, text message or an email away from helping you resolve your technical problem. Whether you need help logging onto the College network, resetting your password or resolving a minor printer issue, Aayushi will make arrangements to meet with you for one-on-one assistance.

Aayushi is currently enrolled in the Computing Science and Information Systems Diploma program at Douglas College.

“This experience will help me learn and gain new skills as an IT professional,” she says. “I’m really looking forward to interacting with other students and helping them with technology.”

After her diploma, she hopes to work as a Data Analyst.

If you need technology related support on campus this Summer Semester, look for Aayushi in a red vest or contact her by phone or email.

Aayushi Mehta is available to help you in New Westminster.
Call or text: 604 396 4475
Email: nwshs@douglascollege.ca
Hours: 10am-6pm

CEIT Service Counters are closing. The SHS service will only be available by text, call or email. The CEIT Student Assistant will arrange to meet with students to help resolve technical issues.

How to get the most out of your college experience

Douglas College students at EDGE at the New Westminster Campus. David Denofreo photo

Elliott Slinn, Student Life

The college experience is about so much more than classes, books and grades. It’s about discovering yourself through a series of meaningful interactions, experiences and memories that’ll last a lifetime.

At Student Life we want to help you curate your experience through our four pillars: Get Oriented, Get Involved, Get Healthy and Get Experience. We offer events, programming and practical work experience, all to help you grow and learn as an individual in the Douglas College environment. Believe it or not, students who are active participants in campus culture are more likely to do better academically; when you’re invested, you care more.

Here’s a breakdown of what Student Life is all about:

Get Oriented: There are a few key steps that all successful students take to get settled at Douglas College, like New Student OrientationThe EDGE (which stands for Engage, Discover, Grow, Express, and is the annual, three-day team building, activity-based event) and First Year Fridays. Our orientation events will help you build a solid foundation and leave you feeling prepared for the challenges ahead.

Get Involved: There’s a wide variety of activities and events happening all the time at Douglas College. Student Life aims to get you involved, either as a participant or part of a team hosting a program. This is an excellent way to meet new people, make new friends and have fun doing it!

Get Healthy: We all know the phrase “health is wealth,” but this is more than just a slogan for us. We believe maintaining a healthy diet, exercising and taking good care of your mental health will help set you up for academic success. Your student activity fee includes a membership to the fitness centers at the New Westminster and Coquitlam campuses. Fitness classes, including yoga, Pilates, Zumba, core strength and boot camps are also offered.

Get Experience: If you want to graduate with a resumé that grabs attention and gets you hired, Student Life can help provide you with tangible work experience and practical skills; we want to see you succeed! By being a student leader, program assistant, orientation planner or graphic artist, you can develop your skills working in a team and take on leadership roles – all of which will help you stand out to your future employers.

Don’t be the last to know what’s happening at Douglas College: Follow Student Life on InstagramFacebook and the Douglas 360 blog.

From quiet to confident: how the Student Ambassador Program changed my life

By Shenisse Monzon, Student Ambassador

When I started my life as a Douglas College student back in 2015, I never pictured myself getting involved on campus. I was just focused on my studies and adapting to life as a college student. But my mother had other ideas.

My mother came with me to my orientation back in May 2015 and as soon as she saw the student panel filled with Ambassadors, she whispered in my ear that she could see me doing something like that – sharing my experiences with others on how my college life balances with my personal life. I, of course denied it, but she made sure I signed up for a bunch of activities on campus and one of them included signing up to be apart of the Student Ambassador program.

Shenisse Monzon

I had no idea what I was getting myself into, nor did I really know if I really wanted to do this and put myself out there. So many new changes were happening in my life, but as I look back now, I am happy with the decision I made.

My very first semester with the Student Ambassador program, I didn’t really do many events – I was very timid and still getting used to the transition from high school to post secondary. But as my second semester came along, I got more involved and started getting to know both campuses a bit better and building connections with not only fellow ambassadors and staff, but also with different mentors and other services within Douglas College. Being a part of the Student Ambassador program has given me many valuable skills that not only help me in a professional setting, but in a personal setting as well.

Being a part of a leadership group provides many opportunities for professional development. We participated in resumé building workshops and mental health awareness activities hosted by Douglas faculty and other experts. By taking advantage of these opportunities, you not only gain valuable skills, but you get to connect with fellow Ambassadors in a relaxed environment where you can get to know one another.

One of the biggest ways I benefitted from the Student Ambassador program was improving my public speaking skills. Before, I used to be afraid to speak in front of people, especially in big crowds. Once I became a Student Ambassador, all I did was talk to people. It helped me gain the confidence I was lacking and I slowly became less and less nervous about speaking in front of people. Eventually I became that person who sat on the student panels answering questions and sharing my experiences. In April 2017, I was even asked to represent the Student Ambassador program by delivering a speech at the Student Leadership Awards.

Volunteering for the ambassador program has given me so much knowledge and insight about Douglas College that when someone has a question, I can answer it with confidence.

As an Ambassador, you’re required to volunteer at least 20 hours per semester. There are lots of opportunities to help you fill those 20 hours, such as information sessions and welcome week. It’s okay if you can’t attend every event, as long as you fulfill the 20 hours each semester. You can volunteer at either campus, before or after class. Once you’ve completed two semesters as a Student Ambassador, you can start to take advantage of the perks, like priority registration and other freebies.

What I love most about volunteering is that I get to meet a lot of different prospective students that I can help with their questions or worries about going to post secondary, and how at ease they feel after we’ve talked for a bit. Through volunteering, I got to enhance my communication and leadership skills.

I have now been in the Student Ambassador program for four years and it has shaped my life in numerous ways. For me, it was a great introduction to the Douglas College way of life and what our school had to offer. I formed friendships that I know will last a lifetime. I also gained many skills that will help me with my future endeavors. And what is most rewarding for me is knowing that I can help prospective students with their transition from high school to Douglas College through my stories, experiences and impact.

Do you love Douglas College? Want to share your stories and help prospective students decide if Douglas is right for them? Join the Student Ambassador Program! Upcoming application deadline is May 12.

5 free tech tools all Douglas students need to know about

Nicole Chiu, CEIT

Some online applications can be expensive, especially on a student budget. Here are our top picks for tools to help you throughout your academic journey that won’t break the bank. For the ultra-low price of . . . free! you can reap the benefits of these online tools.

Lynda.com

Lynda.com is an online, subscription-based learning platform with thousands of video courses taught by industry experts on everything from software and web development, to photography and business.

This highly useful tool is available free for all Douglas College students with College Network Access (CNA) Credentials.

For log in instructions, visit the Lynda.com page of the Douglas College website.

Eduroam

Eduroam is a collaborative network of secure wireless access in educational institutes. It allows students to use their Douglas College credentials to access free Wi-Fi at other post-secondary institutions.

To connect, select the “Eduroam” network and enter the following credentials:

For a list of participating Canadian institutions, visit: www.canarie.ca/identity/institutions/

LastPass

Instead of reusing the same password or writing your passwords on a scrap of paper, try using a free password manager like LastPass. It helps you create strong passwords and stores them for you. It’s especially important to use strong passwords for all your accounts as it ensures that your information is safe from online attackers.

For your Douglas College accounts, use a minimum of 10 characters and a combination of at least three of the following:

  • Lower case letters
  • Upper case (capital) letters
  • Numbers
  • Special characters (!@#$%^&*()_+=~`.)

Take the password test to validate the strength of your password. Aim for a password that will at least three million years to crack.

For more information on accounts and passwords, visit the Logins & Passwords page.

myPath

Make sure you’re on track for graduation with myPath, an online tool designed to assist students in tracking their academic progress. It shows your entire academic record at Douglas College in an easy-to-read list of courses you have completed, or still need to complete, for your program of study.

Find out more about myPath at douglascollege.ca/myPath.

OneDrive

Upload your images, videos, and documents into the Cloud for easy access from any device with an internet connection*. As a Douglas College student, you have access to one terabyte of Cloud space on OneDrive, an internet-based file storage system provided by Microsoft Office 365. That’s enough space for a Word document with 85 million pages, over 300,000 pictures, and 41 days of video footage.

Additionally, you have access to a collection of services from Office 365. This service allows you online access to applications like Word and PowerPoint. Files uploaded onto your OneDrive will be private, and secure.

For more information on how to use Office 365, visit the Office 365 page on the Douglas College website. 

*When you leave Douglas College as a graduate or otherwise, you will lose your access to OneDrive and your files will be deleted. If you know you will soon be leaving Douglas, move your files onto your computer or upload them onto another Cloud storage service, like a personal version of Microsoft OneDrive.