By Karen Chhabra, Ruth Fraser, Chelsie Letendre and Andria Wrench, Student Affairs and Services
We believe in supporting our students, both inside and outside the classroom. If you need help choosing courses, dealing with personal problems, improving your study skills and more, we’ve got the services to help you succeed.
Accessibility Services works with students to remove barriers related to learning disabilities, mental health issues, mobility impairments and sensory impairments. We work with you and your instructors to create an individual plan for accommodations and support. We can help plan for temporary, long-term, or intermittent needs. If you are anticipating or experiencing barriers to access, Accessibility Services can help with:
- Exam accommodations
- Reading, writing and studying technology
- Note-taking assistance
- Accessible course materials
- Sign language interpreters
- Applying for disability-related StudentAidBC grants
- Building self-advocacy skills
College can be a stressful and confusing time, but you don’t need to face it alone. Douglas College counsellors are here to help you find ways to manage personal challenges, plan your future career and manage the pressures of college life. There are three types of counselling services offered to Douglas students:
Personal counselling helps you deal with personal concerns that may be affecting your studies or well-being.
Career counselling helps you explore your academic and career goals.
Educational counselling and student advocacy helps you understand your options and choose a course of action if you are facing academic difficulties, including academic probation, grade appeals and more.
A fun, casual group for both domestic and International students to get together and talk about issues related to culture, diversity, experiences in Canada, student life and current events. It’s a great way to meet new people, learn about different cultures, support each other and practise English in an informal environment.
Indigenous Student Services supports students who are Indigenous, First Nations, Metis or of Inuit backgrounds – this means status and non-status Natives from North America – so that they can succeed as self-directed, independent learners. The Indigenous Student Services centres at both campuses offer a number of services, including:
- Culturally appropriate support services, activities and events at the College and in the community
- One-to-one support with an Indigenous Student Advisor
- Student assistants who offer peer mentorship and additional support through weekly virtual group chats
- Information about funding options, bursaries, scholarships, awards and student loans
- Assistance finding accommodations and child care
- Access to a range of academic workshops
- Opportunities to participate in and witness traditional cultural presentations
In addition, the Indigenous Student Services centres provide quiet study spaces and information on Indigenous history and culture.
If you have experience in Ministry of Children and Family Development Care, alternative secondary education, or are a first-generation or mature student, a Student Support Navigator is here to provide outreach and guidance. They can assist with:
- Familiarizing you with the campuses and services available
- Applying for the Provincial Tuition Waiver Program and additional bursaries
- Accessing counselling and mental health supports
- One-to-one support with goal setting and tracking
- Building connections to the community
- Referrals to additional support services
By Maia Odegaard, Marketing and Communications
Despite having almost 20 years of teaching experience under her belt, Alexa Ferris is always looking for opportunities to improve. When the opportunity came up to enrol in a program designed specifically for working teachers who want to take their math and science teaching beyond the textbook, she jumped at the chance. Alexa didn’t want her students to ever experience the same struggles with math and science that she did growing up.
The struggle was real
“I remember sitting on the carpet in Grade 5 while the teacher used a projector to show us fractions and I hated every second of it. I had no idea what he was talking about,” Alexa shares. “Later, when I was in Grade 11, I went to my chemistry teacher for extra help and he said to me, ‘Well, girls shouldn’t take chemistry.’ It was like the kiss of death.”
Alexa makes sure to tell her students all about her experiences in school, good or bad. If they are struggling with math or science, it helps to know their teacher was once in their shoes.
When serendipity strikes
One day a brochure made its way to her staff room, detailing a unique program from Douglas College. The Mathematics and Science Teaching Graduate Diploma (MSCT), designed for teachers like Alexa, helps K-8 teachers who may not love teaching math or who struggle to think outside the box with their lessons. Thanks to the MSCT program, she’s received her Teacher Qualification Service upgrading as well as a job offer to teach at a newly built school.
“The instructors leading this program were nothing short of amazing. Our physics instructor was Jennifer Kirkey. Her passion for everything she did was contagious – I would love to be able to harness one 100th of her energy,” says Alexa. “It was so obvious that all of my instructors in the Math and Science Teaching program love what they do. They gave 100 percent all the time.”
Not only did Alexa enjoy her enthusiastic instructors, she was a huge fan of the hands-on experiments, activities and field trips. From geology activities that involved crafting layers of earth from fudge, to biology trips to the Reifel Bird Sanctuary, there was never a dull moment – inside or outside the classroom.
“My most memorable moment has to be a physics experiment involving water bottles and a tablecloth,” recounts Alexa. “Our instructor stood the bottles up on the tablecloth, which was spread across a big table. We each took a turn pulling the cloth out from under the bottles and I was the only student who could do it – it was like magic!”
Gone but not forgotten
Seven years on and Alexa is still referring to the projects and notes she kept from her MSCT program, full of notes and activities.
“I’m so glad that I did this program after having taught for some time. It wouldn’t have been as effective if I hadn’t had some experience beforehand,” Alexa says. “Even as a working single parent with three young ones, it worked with my schedule and was so worth it.”
By JC Joaquin, Psychiatric Nursing student
I was a Student Ambassador for Fall 2019 and Winter 2020 Semesters. As a new student, I saw the Student Ambassadors mingling in the concourse during events and it looked like a lot of fun. I wanted to be more involved with the College community and thought becoming a Student Ambassador would be a great way to do that. I was also very interested in participating in the recruitment of new students – one of the duties Student Ambassadors have – because I had just gone through that transition from high school to college myself and wanted to share my knowledge and experience with others.
Fake it till you make it
At first, I was a bit apprehensive about the program because I was worried I wouldn’t have enough confidence to be successful in a leadrership position. But after I participated in numerous information sessions about becoming a Student Ambassador and learnt more about the inititives I would be involved in, I became excited about stepping outside of my comfort zone and taking on new challenges.
Over the first few weeks, I came into my own, honed my public speaking skills and really got to connect with prospective students. I was also able to start with small, simple leadership tasks and work my way up to bigger roles with more responsibility.
Get involved as part of a team
I participated in events such as Counsellor’s Day, when the College hosts high school counsellors from around the region, information sessions and high school visits where we talked to prospective students. The Student Ambassadors also attended team-building meetings and would get together to organize events and prizes, all of which proved to be an important learning experiences in teamwork.
Over two semesters as a Student Ambassador, I enjoyed working with my team members and even made new friends. Even though Summer Semester 2020 will be online, Student Ambassadors will still be able to work as a team virtually and do their part online to promote Douglas College.
Expand your network and professional skills
Monthly Student Ambassador meetings offer plenty of opportunities for professional development. These meetings illustrated the basics of communication to employers (in this case, Douglas staff), how to mitigate conflict in the workplace, professional self-conduct and so much more. Events also offered us the chance to practice these skills, Counsellor’s Day in particular. It placed an even greater emphasis on punctuality and accountability, and made way for professional connections, friendships and – my personal favourite – hearing about the ins and outs of being a counsellor for high school students. Summer Semester will continue to offer professional development sessions and opportunities to connect, just in an online format.
After two semesters as a Student Ambassador, I decided to move on to a new role. I’m now a Campus Tour Leader – taking prospective students on tours (once in-person services start back up) of the campus – and my time as a Student Ambassador really prepared me for this role. As a Tour Leader, I have to talk a lot about Douglas College; however, all those management and communication workshops I attended as part of the Student Ambassador program molded me into the confident person I am today, and I have no fears about public speaking.
Overall, I think the Student Ambassador program is a great way to jumpstart your involvement in the College as the program presents many unique opportunities. Above all else, there’s a phenomenal family vibe, which makes Douglas College feel like home.
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! Apply May 22.
By 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 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.
For the Summer Semester, Student Life has gone digital! Follow our social media channels to take part in the physically distanced fun, like games nights, contests and more! We’re on Instagram and Facebook as @StudentLifeDC on both platforms.
Here’s a breakdown of what Student Life is all about:
There are a few key steps that all successful students take to get settled at Douglas College, like New Student Orientation and The EDGE (which stands for Engage, Discover, Grow, Express, and is the annual, three-day team building, activity-based event). Our orientation events will help you build a solid peer community and leave you feeling prepared for the challenges ahead.
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!
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 centres at the New Westminster and Coquitlam campuses. Fitness classes, including yoga, Pilates, Zumba, core strength and boot camps are also offered.
If you want to graduate with a resumé that grabs employers’ 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 becoming 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.
By Melissa Nilan, Marketing and Communications
You’ve seen them on the SkyTrain and walked past them at the mall. You’ve sat beside them in bus shelters and spotted them in newspapers… but just who are the people in our 50th Anniversary ad campaign? They’re not models; these are real Douglas students, working hard to achieve their educational and career goals — just like you.
Navjot Singh has big dreams of owning a small business. Inspired by local immigrant communities, the General Business student plans to open a restaurant.
“There are so many people in Metro Vancouver from overseas, so I want to offer people a taste of home — maybe have a Chinese-Indian fusion menu.”
He’s even got the name picked out already.
“I’m going to name it after my mother,” he explains. “My father left when I was only a year old, so she was a single parent for a while, and I want to honour her.”
To get the business know-how to succeed in his venture, Navjot is getting his General Business Diploma. He completed his Bachelor of Business Administration in India and came to Douglas to learn business from a North American perspective.
He’s also loving Douglas’s hands-on learning approach, which is different from how he learned back home.
“The main difference between Indian and Canadian education is that here it’s more practical. Instructors focus on real examples, and our projects involve working with real companies. It’s really inspiring to meet all these different businesspeople and see the impressive things even a small company can achieve,” says Navjot.
In addition to his education and hands-on experience, Navjot says his favourite sport is also a key contributor to his future success.
“I played state-level soccer in India, so it’s a big part of my life. Through soccer, I’ve learned dedication and leadership, both of which are important if I want to own a business.”
By Jessica Harrison, Global Engagement
Greetings from Global Engagement! In case you don’t know, we are part of Douglas College International and oversee lots of cool initiatives like field schools, exchanges and other study abroad opportunities, as well as on-campus events like Global Engagement Days, a once-a-year chance for students to gather on campus and share aspects of their culture and more.
We are excited to announce some new programming for the Summer Semester. Here are some activities to look forward to:
- Want to win some sweet prizes? We’ll be running contests over the course of this semester. Be sure to follow our social media channels: Facebook Douglas College International and Instagram @douglasinternational
- Some of these will be part of the contests, and some will just be for fun. In either case, they’ll be a great way to connect and stay involved with GE.
- Do you have a funny travel story? Do you have a disaster travel story? Where in the world do you want to visit most? We will be asking everyone to film videos in response to the questions we release. For every question that you reply to, you have a chance to win a prize!
- We believe it’s important to discuss topics affecting people around the world. If you are interested in global issues – climate change, globalization, gender equality, etc. – these discussions will be for you.
Information detailing our activities over the Summer can be found online. We will also be releasing information about activities on our Facebook and Instagram accounts, so stay tuned!
Curious about studying abroad in the future?
So far, all programs are going ahead as scheduled for Fall Semester! If you missed out on applying for a study abroad opportunity this year, now is the time to start planning for 2021! Our deadline for the next round of exchange applications is Sept. 30, and information about countries you can go to can be found on our website.
If you do a one-semester exchange, you are eligible to receive a scholarship of up to $4,000!
Email email@example.com if you would like more information or to schedule an advising session.
The Global Engagement team wishes you all a wonderful, safe Summer, and we’re looking forward to seeing everyone soon!
By Maia Odegaard, Marketing and Communications
Helena Chima always knew she wanted to be a scientist. She also knew it would require a solid education – and a little help paying for school from Financial Aid.
After researching her options, she decided Douglas was the perfect place to begin her education. “There are multiple reasons I chose Douglas – small class sizes, more one-on-one time with professors and the fact that I received the President’s Entrance scholarship, which meant all my time at Douglas was paid for.”
Douglas offers 16 entrance scholarships valued at up to $5,000 a year. Recipients who keep their grades up can renew their scholarships every year to a maximum of four years. That means you could potentially receive $20,000.
Helena graduated with an Associate of Science and transferred her credits to SFU to finish a Bachelor’s Degree in Biomedical Physiology. From there, she’ll go to medical school to complete her education.
Got questions about how you can get help paying for school? Contact Financial Aid for information about scholarships, bursaries and awards you may qualify for, as well as advice on student loans and grants.
College Network Access (CNA)
To log in to the College computers, Wi-Fi, Blackboard and other CNA services, use your CNA username (nine-digit student number) and password. For first-time login, a password will be generated and emailed to you after you have registered for at least one course.
CNA Password Portal
Register your personal email address (not your College email address) or phone number in the Password Portal. If you forget your CNA password, use the Password Portal to reset it.
Access myAccount for all essential tools, including course registration, wait lists and tuition fees. To log in, use your nine-digit student number and PIN (your six-digit date of birth) followed by “Douglas” i.e., DDMMYYDouglas. For security reasons, you will be prompted to change this PIN when you login for the first time.
One of the primary platforms for online learning is Blackboard. This is your one-stop site to access online courses and academic resources. Access Blackboard from douglascollege.ca, hover over the login drop-down menu at the top and select Blackboard-Community.
Your instructors will choose one of these tools in order to communicate with you:
- Blackboard Collaborate Ultra web conferencing tool
This allows you to connect with your instructors using your web camera, record your online sessions for future reference and share PowerPoint presentations. Please note: There is no Canadian number for making audio calls on Collaborate. If you use the audio call option, it will be charged as a long distance call. Please refer to this link for information and options on how to use your phone without incurring long distance charges.
This online video conferencing tool lets you connect with your instructors for information on how to access BlueJeans. To test audio in advance of a meeting visit the BlueJeans website.
Your faculty or instructor will be in touch with you with more information on what tools they will use to communicate and teach. The tools used for remote learning is solely at the discretion of the faculty.
This 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 address you provided to Douglas. To view your email address, login to myAccount > personal information > view email address.
Store your files securely using OneDrive on Microsoft Office.
This online resource offers thousands of video courses on a variety of topics taught by industry experts. LinkedIn Learning is a subscription-based tool free for all Douglas College students with CNA credentials.
Access your applications from anywhere and on any of your personal devices with Citrix. This virtualization system allows you to securely access applications like Adobe, MS Office and Visio as long as you have an internet connection – including non-Windows machines and mobile devices.
For tech support, email the Service Desk at firstname.lastname@example.org and a technician will respond in priority sequence.
By Elliott Slinn, Student Life
The Student Leadership Awards are a time of celebration and recognition for the Douglas College community. This annual event brings together students, staff and faculty to acknowledge the many outstanding accomplishments within the College. Traditionally the awards are held at La Perla Ballroom with over 100 students, staff and faculty dressing up in their fancy attire for a night of celebration.
Because classes and programming have moved online, we couldn’t hold the Student Leadership Awards in person – but that didn’t stop us. Pivoting with the changing times, we brought the selection committee together virtually to choose the winners (which is never easy, with so many excellent nominees), and recognize them online.
Living Big Student Leader of the Year Award
Winner: John Paul Escala, Bachelor of Physical Education and Coaching
“John Paul is extraordinary in his involvement in campus activities and volunteering. He works towards making a difference in the community.” — nominator
“I’m always so excited to help others achieve their dreams and achieve their goals.”John Paul Escala
Winner: Hayley Biller, Bachelor of Science in Nursing
“Hayley’s energy and enthusiasm to be involved in the broader nursing community is something her classmates admire and look up to her for.” — nominator
“I’m just so happy to be a Douglas College student, it’s been an incredible journey.”Hayley Biller
Community Builder of the Year Award
Winner: Paula Andrea Mendoza, Bachelor of Applied Psychology
“Paula’s enthusiasm and passion for helping others is what stands out the most. She always keeps her composure and is willing to offer her assistance in the best way she can.” — nominator
“My journey at Douglas has been more than I was expecting. It’s been full of amazing experiences, adventures, joys and challenges that have helped me become who I am today.”Paula Andrea Mendoza
Winner: Ashley Smith, Bachelor of Child and Youth Care
“Ashley is a strong youth advocate. She stands up for what is right and comes from a place of passion and lived experience.” — nominator
“I’m super passionate about creating community and spaces for former youth in care.”Ashley Smith
Up and Coming Leader Award
Winner: Amrita Ramkumar, Bachelor of Business Administration
“She consistently demonstrates a drive to continue to learn and improve herself. I am excited to see her flourish as an outstanding leader.” — nominator
Winner: Angelo Toledo, Associate of Arts
“Angelo is always willing to support. He is flexible, polite, active and positive. I’m really glad to have him on the team.” — nominator
Winner: James Nguyen, Computer and Information Systems
“He is good at communication and motivating fellow students. He creates a positive vibe and makes everyone around him feel comfortable.” — nominator
Outstanding Contribution to Student Engagement by a Faculty Member
Winner: Holly Salmon, Learning Centre
“I truly believe Holly is a role model for all of us at the Learning Centre to look up to.” — nominator
“I look for connections to form as a supplement to the learning that they do in the classroom.”Holly Salmon
Outstanding Contribution to Student Engagement by a Staff Member
Winner: Tracy Ho, Douglas College Students’ Union
“She is always trying to come up with ways to help. She is thoughtful, caring and passionate about the work she does and it shows every day.” — nominator
By Melissa Nilan, Marketing and Communications
To succeed in the competitive financial industry, Jeremy Spiridigliozzi knew he would need a bachelor’s degree. Having decided on financial services as his major, he put his innate money smarts to work and concluded that Douglas made the most sense financially and academically for his education; in retrospect it was a good investment.
“The BBA in Financial Services is as credible as any university degree, but the tuition costs at Douglas are substantially lower. From a financial standpoint, it just made sense. Plus, I benefited tremendously from the small class sizes; I was engaged in class and could get one-on-one support from my instructors,” he says.
Jeremy chose to study financial services because it combined his interest in money management with the opportunity to help others.
“I really enjoy the investments and planning aspects of financial services, and have always been organized and a diligent saver,” says Jeremy. “Being able to help others is awesome. I enjoy sitting down with people and assessing their financial needs, discovering their goals, and then helping them create a plan to be successful financially.”
Putting theory into practice in the real world
After just one year in the BBA program, Jeremy was ready to put his knowledge to the test in the real world: he applied for – and got – a job at TD Canada Trust as a teller.
The following year, he acquired his mutual funds license and was promoted to Financial Service Representative (FSR), where he was doing everything from opening accounts and processing mortgages to handling client’s investments. He used this work experience to build on the knowledge and skills he was learning at Douglas.
“The BBA really laid down the foundation of what I know about finance and business. It gave me the knowledge and tools I needed to begin practicing in the real world. I loved that I could learn something in class and see it applied at the workplace at the same time,” says Jeremy.
Since he graduated, Jeremy has left TD and is now a Business Development Associate and on the path to become an Associate Investment Advisor at Canaccord Genuity, an international boutique wealth management firm. There, he assists the Vice President Investment Advisor with his clients’ investment portfolios while working toward getting his investment advisor license.
Jeremy recommends other financial services students seek work experience while they’re studying.
“Get a job at a bank and try to apply your schooling as much as possible. You’ll get a thorough experience of what the industry is like and if it’s a good fit for you.”