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Change (with)in Academic Coaching

October 26, 2022

Academic Coaches have long worked one-on-one with RRC Polytechnic students. They guide students to achieve their academic goads and overcome obstacles by looking at new approaches to learning.

Our academic coaches are exceptional listeners. They raise self-awareness, stick closely to the agenda, and encourage the student to take responsibility for themselves.

In our coaching model, we look at options; we look at choice. We are searching for “what is possibly, in this situation?”

When students access academic coaching, they are stating that they are not accepting the default choice (to do nothing). In his writings on the philosophy of education, John Dewey underscores this importance of choice and change: “The self is not something ready-made, but something in continuous formation through the choice of action.” Coaching is about raising self-awareness as a precursor to the nature of the choices we make.

This fall term, we’ve explored various ways to offer Academic Coaching and advanced the program with two key practices:

  1. Recognizing the value in an authentic coaching sessions. When students and academic coaches have the opportunity to observe, provide feedback and see common issues, students can see that they aren’t alone in their challenges and coaches can home in on skills – all of which leads to ways forward for students.
  2. Bringing our Peer Coaches into the fold. Peer coaches are peer tutors with additional training to help ease the transition to college for new students. The insight peer coaches provide as both students and coaches inform our coaches on what students are currently experiencing. And, as like many supports, there is a certain amount of reciprocity:
Peer Coach, Kim Patricia Reyes, Business Management

“What I like about being a peer coach and a peer tutor is the ability to share my experiences with students and, at the same time, learn from them too. It’s like having a conversation with a friend but having the ability to help and support them as they go through the adventures of being a college student.” Peer Coach, Kim Patricia Reyes,

Our Peer Coaches joined the Academic Success Centre’s Academic Coaching meetings. Their presence and input add to the richness of our coaching community. Meeting topics include moving from online to in-person learning, retaining information throughout the terms for multi-level/stackable courses, and adapting to changes in a timetable.

This fall, we have offered students the opportunity to attend a Group Coaching session. In these sessions students hear about a relatable issue or goal that a peer has, and options to work through the issue or meet the goal. Students are invited to contribute to the conversation or be active listeners.

The next Group Coaching session is scheduled for Monday, Nov 21st at 12pm in the NDC Library Classroom CM-27.  For more information, visit https://library.rrc.ca/academic_coaching/welcome

Through Group Academic Coaching, Academic Coaching Training + Development, Peer Coaching and one-on-one Academic Coaching, we provide students with impactful questions, “what makes this an issue now, what have you already tried, what are the implications of doing nothing or carrying on as things are?”; a bank of resources and, most importantly, the opportunity to identify and address and move a goal forward.

Submitted by Dayna Graham and Nick Schroeder, ASC

October is Dyslexia Awareness Month

October 19, 2022

image source: Pixabay
image source pixabay

Did you know that October is also Dyslexia* Awareness Month? Did you know that 1 in 5 people have dyslexia? Do you know what dyslexia is?

Dyslexia is a learning disability that affects the ability to read, write, and comprehension skills. Dyslexia is something that affects more than just how your brain processes words and their sounds. It can affect many other areas of the brain such as phonemic awareness*, motor control, memory, spatial awareness*, and more. People with dyslexia cannot “try harder” to catch up with their peers. It’s a neurobiological disorder*, which means that when you compare the two brains of someone with dyslexia and without you will notice that their brains respond differently when learning new words, spelling, etc.

Dyslexia is something that is a lifelong struggle. Which, in turn, affects adult learners in a variety of ways. They might be hesitant to do assignments with heavy reading, could be stressed out about deadlines, or avoid places like the library altogether.

Library and Academic Services is ready to help all students and we can cater to the unique set of needs that someone with dyslexia may need such as:

    • A collection of audiobooks
    • Auto renewals for physical books
    • Videos with closed captioned options
    • eBooks with dyslexia friendly fonts
    • One on one reference support services
    • And more!

Dyslexia (duh·slek·see·uh): A brain-based learning disorder that affects the ability to read, write, and spell.

Phonemic (fuh·nee·muhk) Awareness: The ability to focus on and manipulate different sounds in spoken words.

Spatial (spay·shl) Awareness: Knowing where your body is in relation to objects or other people.

Neurobiological (nur·ow·bai·aa·law·jee·col) disorder: Disorders of the nervous system caused by genetic, metabolic, or other biological factors.

Written by Justine Hawley – Resource Management Technician

Library Offers Expanded Support for Research at RRC Polytech

October 17, 2022

man in lab coat conducting research

Library and Academic Services is expanding to greater support the scholarly communication lifecycle for researchers at RRC Polytech!

Research Services Offered

Researchers and faculty can benefit from Library Research Services in numerous areas including:

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Searching for Information Sources

We can assist you with advanced searches in discipline specific and larger databases; developing search strategies; grey literature searches; and with knowledge synthesis projects (including systematic reviews in the Health Sciences).

Open Access

A librarian can help you with selecting Open Access journals for publication or with complying with the Tri-Agency Open Access Policy on Publications.

female with safety glasses and blue gloves on

Author Support
(for scholarly communications)

We can help you navigate the steps between writing and having your work published by traditional and alternative publishers.

Research Data Management

Assistance with writing Data Management Plans (DMPs), data handling best practices, data description, storage, and preservation. Learn about what the Tri-Agency Research Data Management Policy applies to the research data you collect.

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Research Impact

Support for understanding measurements of citation and bibliometrics.

Research Ethics

A librarian can help you with the steps towards receiving Research Ethics Board (REB) approval – necessary when conducting research involving human subjects.

Research Consultations Now Available

Research consultations with a research librarian are now available, in person or via Teams!

You can book a research consultation by filling out a Research Consultation Request Form. The form allows you to attach any protocols, initial searches, or documentation for the librarian to review beforehand to ensure a productive consultation.

Library and Academic Services is looking forward to supporting you in your research endeavours!

Written by Chris Read, MLIS – Research Services Librarian

Let’s Talk Tutoring

October 7, 2022

Tutor Appreciation Week: October 3-7, 2022

The start of October marked Tutor Appreciation Week. This is a fitting time. As we move along this fall term, students develop an awareness of their course and academic strengths and weaknesses.   

Tutoring is one conduit of academic support–tutoring provides students with the opportunity to engage with and review content in a supportive environment.  

Tutors help to improve understanding and performance. What’s more, students often feel more comfortable asking questions in a 1:1 situation, and our tutors’ kind and student-centred approach instills a feeling of academic confidence in a safe space.

Studies point to a trend in the relationship between academic supports and students’ passing their courses and staying in college.  

We are grateful to have over 50 peer and staff tutors who support over 200 courses. Our writing tutors, EAL specialists and academic coaches, round out an extensive level of support for our diverse student body. For a look at the courses covered, visit Courses We Tutor In.

Alex’s story: how a tutor changes lives

Alex has always held a keen interest in the education field. This interest, combined with a highly influential tutoring experience in Israel, paved the way for Alex to support hundreds of RRC Polytech students in a myriad of programs including Civil Engineering, Business Administration, Trades, Electrical Engineering Technology, Nursing and Early Childhood Education.

Photo of Alex Shatokhin reviewing Business Finance.
Alex Shatokhin, tutor, reviewing Business Finance with a student

At 12 years old, Alex’s parents wanted to send him to a school with strict admission requirements. Alex didn’t pass the admissions test math component. So, Alex’s parents found a tutor for him.  

This tutor was part of a team of professors at the University of Tel Aviv who developed standardized math tests. The tests were more challenging than grade 12 advanced placement tests. If you–as a 13-year-old–passed these tests, you were eligible to start working on your bachelor’s of math. Yes, you read that correctly!  

After two years of tutoring under this professor, Alex took his first university course (at age 15). Alex attributes many aspects of that tutoring experience to his success in math.  He was taught to learn the big picture in math and after that, learn in a focused, piece-by-piece way in areas such as logic and calculus.   

Now, Alex has taken on the role of tutor. He supports students in areas such as math and accounting, statistics, and statics and strengths. Alex is a calming presence. He is quietly confident in math and science and has exceptional observational skills. He excels at sitting with students and seeing what they are writing down, understanding their facial expressions, and identifying their needs and approaches to course content.   

When asked what he likes most about tutoring, Alex will share example after example of students going from a failing grade to a B+, or successfully helping students who have one try left to pass a course. It’s these results, when students’ grades improve, indicating increased understanding, that Alex appreciates the most. Alex strives to bring positive value to students’ academic life.   

If you were to ask students what they appreciate about Alex you’ll hear, “he cares.” Furthermore, he has a way of breaking down problems into simpler/smaller steps, thus reducing anxiety. With reduced anxiety, comes higher clarity and capacity to work on course content.  

Perhaps the lessons from his tutor back in Israel influenced Alex’s tutoring style. What we know for sure, is that Alex’s style speaks to our diverse population of students. Tutors like Alex play an important role at our college. They bring patience, commitment, and understanding.   

An opportunity to pause and express our thanks

“Students depend on our tutors each day to help them perform well and succeed in their academic career and College journey.”

Kerry McDonald, Director, Library and Academic Services

As Kerry McDonald, Director of Library and Academic Services states, “We welcome the opportunity to pause and express our thanks to our tutors. Students depend on our tutors each day to help them perform well and succeed in their academic career and College journey.  A BIG thank you to our tutors for all the support and guidance you give to students and for the kindness and compassion you show with each student interaction.  We appreciate you and are glad to have you on our Team!”  

A Final Note

To end, remember to share supports such as Tutoring at the Academic Success Centre with your students, and take a moment to thank the staff and faculty around you as we are all part of a supportive campus community.

Reference  

Casazza, M. & Silverman, S. (2013). The Path to College Completion – Meaningful Access and Support. Council of Learning Assistance and Developmental Education Associations, p. 15. 

Submitted by Dayna Graham, Student Case Manager and Faculty Liaison (Academic Success Centre)

Niizh Manitoag: Two-Spirit Spotlight

September 26, 2022

pow-wow 2019 - Indigenous dress and dancing

September 30th marks the day in which we as Canadians take time to reflect on our relationship with the Indigenous peoples of Canada. We use this day to acknowledge the mistakes of our past and to work towards a better future together where we are all equals on Turtle Island.

There are many Indigenous identities all through our lands, each of them bringing something unique to Canada’s culture. We would like to take the time to acknowledge the queer Indigenous culture and spotlight the Canadians who identify themselves as Two-Spirit.

The term Two-Spirit was coined in 1990 at the third annual Native American/First Nations Gay and Lesbian Conference in Winnipeg. Two-Spirit comes from the Ojibwa words niizh manitoag (two-spirits). Two-Spirit individuals are regarded as sacred and had many special roles in their tribes.  Despite colonization, violence, and prejudice, Two-Spirit individuals have continued to be resilient and be leaders in their Indigenous communities as well as a strong voice in LGBT2S+ communities. Red River Polytech would like to extend our appreciation for the work being done to make this community visible through Canada’s history and future.

If you’re interested in learning more about Two-Spirit peoples and Reconciliation, visit CCDI Consulting: LGBTQ2+ Inclusion at Work. They will be hosting a free webinar in November.

University of Winnipeg also has a wonderful archive on the history of Two-Spirit people in Manitoba. Information on how to access that can be found here: University of Winnipeg: Two-Spirit Archives.

Written by Justine Hawley, Library Resource Management Technician (on behalf of RRC Polytech’s Gender and Sexual Identities Network)

Truth and Reconciliation Week 2022: Selections from the Library’s Collection

September 22, 2022

RRC Polytech’s fourth annual Truth and Reconciliation Week, with activities scheduled throughout the week of September 26-29, 2022. This event is dedicated to deepening our understanding of Canada’s history, Indigenous cultures, and sparking a conversation around Truth and Reconciliation.

Truth and Reconciliation at Library and Academic Services

Library and Academic Services is actively responsive to Truth and Reconciliation, diversity, inclusion, and equity, through our work, policies, and engagements. One way we do this is by building a collection that is rich in resources about Truth and Reconciliation, Residential Schools, and Indigenous Experiences. Through these books, videos, guides, and other resources, we all have the opportunity to increase our understanding, which leads to healing and strengthened relationships. This week and always, we invite you on a Truth and Reconciliation journey through the Library’s collection!

Guides to Get You Started

screenshot of the residential schools guide

Guides are a great place to start on any topic as they highlight resources hand-selected by Library staff. Of particular interest is our Residential Schools guide.

Noteworthy Books

Below is just a sample of our noteworthy books about Truth and Reconciliation. Click on a book cover to learn more about and request an item.

Outstanding Videos

Both CBC’s Curio.ca and National Film Board offer outstanding videos on this topic. To view a few hand-selected options, click on an image below. (note that login may be required to view online resources).

Questions or Comments?

We welcome questions and comments from the College community! Feel free to connect with us in person at the Notre Dame and Exchange District Campus Libraries or through Ask Us Chat at library.rrc.ca.

Written by Linda Fox – Library Technician, Program Support and Promotion

Truth and Reconciliation at Library and Academic Services 

September 21, 2022

Library and Academic Services is committed to advancing Truth and Reconciliation through awareness, understanding and education. We strive to actively respond to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada’s Calls to Action and to integrate this dedication in our work, policies, and engagements. In recognition of our ongoing commitment, we’ve compiled a selection of our work towards these priorities as an active report on our progress.  

Our work, along with featured Guides and books from our collections, is now shared on a new webpage at library.rrc.ca/TruthandReconciliation. This page serves as an active report as our commitments are ongoing and continue to develop with time and knowledge.  

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We do not share this information to celebrate ourselves, but to bring awareness to considerations made thus far and to create accountability for what more we can do. Committing to advancing Truth and Reconciliation is an ongoing dedication and we encourage recommendations in how we can further advance understanding and engagement in our programs and services. 

As for the ‘’legwork’ required to compile the collective work from the four units that comprise Library and Academic Services, it was a shared effort. And in this I do celebrate the participation and assistance of everyone involved. It is difficult to take inventory of our actions and thoughts, and to explicitly classify each gesture that was made with diversity and equality in mind. 

For more information on the College’s commitments, please explore the 2022-2026 Strategic Plan as well as the Truth and Reconciliation and Community Engagement 


Written by Sarah Lee – Library Technician, Library Resource Management

Honouring International Week of the Deaf: Selections to Read and Watch

September 14, 2022

What is International Week of the Deaf?

International Week of the Deaf takes place September 19-25, 2022, and is an annual opportunity to honour and build awareness of the Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing community. This year’s theme is “Building Inclusive Communities for All,” which reminds us to foster connections with and understand the concerns of Deaf people.

The Library honours this occasion with a selection of resources to read and watch, which the RRC Polytech community can learn from and enjoy.

Selections to Read – Print Books

Deaf around the world cover art

Deaf around the world: the impact of language

A compendium of work by scholars and activists on the creation, context, and form of sign languages, and on the social issues and civil rights of Deaf communities.

A journey into the deaf-world cover art

A journey into the deaf-world

A compelling story of this much-misunderstood minority as it struggles for self-determination.

Deaf empowerment cover art

Deaf empowerment: emergence, struggle, and rhetoric

Examines the Deaf social movement in America from its inception in the mid-19th century through its growth and empowerment in the late 20th century.

All of us together cover art

All of us together: the story of inclusion at the Kinzie School

A warm, encouraging testament to the dedication and hard work of the Kinzie teachers and parents. Reading about it is a wonderful, uplifting experience that also could serve as a model for any community.

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Access: multiple avenues for deaf people

Presents an accomplished group of contributors who address the major technological, institutional, and societal advances in access for deaf people, as well as the remaining hurdles.

Selections to Read – Ebooks

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Signs of Hope: Deafhearing Family Life

Tells the story of a narrative inquiry with three deafhearing families. For many of us, deafness represents loss and silence. For others, being deaf is a genetic quirk; an opportunity for learning, spiritual adventure and reward. For yet others, it is the most natural thing in the world.

Deaf epistemologies, identity, and learning: a comparative perspective

Noted scholars and researchers examine the many ways that deaf people see and acquire deaf knowledge.

Man without words cover art

A man without words

Vividly conveys the challenge, the frustrations, and the exhilaration of opening the mind of a congenitally deaf person to the concept of language.

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Sign language, sustainable development, and equal opportunities: envisioning the future for deaf students

Offers creative and open-minded explorations of the construct of sustainability that are informed by their work with deaf individuals, deaf communities, families of deaf children, and other stakeholders.

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Language, Power, and Resistance: Mainstreaming Deaf Education

Explores how different types of power are used in the deaf education system to establish, maintain, and also resist medical views of deafness. 

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Deaf Eyes on Interpreting

Brings Deaf people to the forefront of the discussions about what constitutes quality interpreting services.

Selections to Watch – Streaming Video and DVD

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Through Deaf Eyes [DVD]

Exploring nearly 200 years of Deaf life in America, this film presents the shared experiences of American history–family life, education, work, and community connections–from the perspective of deaf citizens. 

Deafology 101 cover art

Deafology 101: a crash course on deaf culture [Streaming video]

Presents a highly entertaining lecture on deaf culture by Ken Glickman, author of “DEAFinitions” and other humor books.

Note: This video has been digitized from an older VHS master. For best picture quality, set your browser to a smaller window.

Dance of words cover art

The Dance of Words [Streaming video]

Features young artists who have embraced their deaf identity in adulthood after spending a difficult childhood in the grey zone between hearing culture and deaf culture. These emerging artists show how they are using the arts to build a deaf culture that makes them proud. They shine a spotlight on their community while promoting and advancing deaf culture with a keen sensitivity.

Have Questions or Comments?

Library staff love to hear from the College community about our collection! Feel free to connect with us in person at the Notre Dame and Exchange District Campus Libraries or through Ask Us Chat at library.rrc.ca.


Written by Linda Fox – Library Technician, Program Support and Promotion

Welcome to our space: a virtual tour of the Notre Dame Campus Library

August 25, 2022

All of the staff at Library and Academic Services are happy to extend a warm welcome to everyone returning to campus. We’re looking forward to providing a safe study space and continuing to offer supports to students and staff, both in-person and online.

Alan Chorney, Manager, Information and Programming Delivery with Library and Academic Services.

Staff and services nearby to help you succeed

For an overview of our free services, stop by in person at ATLAS (Academic Success Centre), the Library Service Desk or visit our website at library.rrc.ca. Library and Academic Services is not just a great place to study, but a supportive team of enthusiastic staff who are here to help you succeed.

Your ideal study space: a virtual tour

Our Notre Dame Campus (NDC) location offers multiple spaces to study. A variety of setups are situated under the skylight, by a window, in a study room, in private carrels, or at tables with whiteboards nearby. Find your ideal study space at the NDC Library!

We look forward to meeting you – online at library.rrc.ca and in person at the Notre Dame or Exchange District Campus Libraries. All the best in your studies at RRC Polytech!

Written by Linda Fox, Library Technician – Program Support and Promotion

Goodbye Stress, Hello Success: 5 Ways to Overcome College Worries

August 22, 2022

Another school year is just around the corner and although it is always an exciting time, it can also be a little stressful! Check out these free resources and supports to help you feel successful and calm throughout your studies.

1. Take advantage of dog therapy

photo of a dog with a person

Studies have shown that spending time around furry friends can boost our mood, lower our stress, and give us a stronger sense of belonging.

Learn more in this online article (RRC Polytech login may be required) >> Putting Away Pre-Exam Stress: The Effect of Therapy Dog Sessions on Student Well-Being

Did you know that Red River Polytechnic has provided therapy dog visits in the past? Read more about it in Campus Well-Being’s newsletter.

2. Know you’re not alone

screenshot of video: Crisis on Campus

Being a student can stir up a lot of negative emotions and for those who already struggle with mental health, it can feel hopeless. High numbers of students seeking help has led academic institutions to provide easily accessible mental health supports to students.

Check out this online video by CBC to learn more (RRC Polytech login may be required) >> Crisis on Campus: Mental Health Demands Surge


3. Set aside time to be mindful

cover art of mindfulness for students

How can mindfulness activities help you be successful while keeping your stress levels at a minimum? Mindfulness for Students provides tips and tricks to better studying, active listening during lectures, and even how to properly prepare for exams. This book is a great tool for your life in and outside of the learning environment.

Learn more and borrow this print book (RRC Polytech ID card required to borrow) >> Mindfulness for Students

Learn about Campus Well-Being’s tips for promoting mindfulness through stretching >> 7 Stretches To Try at Your Desk

4. Spend time outside

cover art of nature rx book

Clinical studies have shown that spending time outside lowers stress and boosts mood. Many colleges are striving to implement programs in which students can spend more time in nature and gain an appreciation of the great outdoors while also lowering the anxiety that can come with the stresses of college.  A great guide for educators wanting to provide opportunities for fresh air in their programs and a great read for students to understand why getting outside is important for your mental well-being.

Read this ebook online (RRC Polytech login may be required) >> Nature Rx: Improving College-Student Mental Health

5. Learn tips for writing success

cover art of how to write better essays

A step-by-step guide which makes the writing process a breeze! Offering suggestions from how to avoid plagiarism, to how to effectively organize your idea, How to Write Better Essays is sure to help you hand papers in with confidence.

Learn more and borrow this print book (RRC Polytech ID card required to borrow) >> How to Write Better Essays

Did you know the Academic Success Centre offers writing support? Learn more by visiting ASC Supports for Students – Writing Centre

Additional free supports offered at RRC Polytech

If you would like to learn more about the mental health supports offered at the College, please explore the following links:

For the full list of student supports, visit www.rrc.ca/supports.

Guest post written by Hilary Ottenbreit, Library Information and Technology student