Red River College Polytechnic’s Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) Strategy talks about promoting group knowledge and literacy at various times throughout the year. Black History Month celebrates the contributions of Black Canadians in areas such as politics and literature while not losing sight of the country’s history of racism and discrimination.
Part of promoting that knowledge and literacy starts with a library collection and access to information for people wanting to learn more about Black History Month and participate in events happening throughout the month. The Anti-Racism Steering Committee and the Library offer their Black History Month Book Tasting Events from 11:00-1:00 on February 27 at the EDC Library and NDC Library (Active Learning Classroom, CM27) on February 28 from 11:00-1:00.
Book tastings offer a way to browse books within an event resembling an evening at a restaurant, complete with tablecloths and cutlery in some instances. If you want to expand your knowledge palate this month, here are some resources ranging from notable print titles to online resources.
Around the Library
Take another look at our Anti-Racism Learning Toolkit, especially the section on Anti-Black Racism for curated resources about Black Canadians. Among notable titles:
The Government of Canada, through Canadian Heritage, has a website with information about upcoming events around the country, YouTube videos, and data about black communities in Canada. The site also displays this year’s Black History Month theme in Canada, “Ours to Tell,” to hear the stories of Black Canadians in their own words, not only from history but within the present, including stories of success.
There are times you can benefit from meeting with a tutor. You may have specific questions or want something explained another way. You may want someone to observe you working through pinch points; offering solutions that are responsive to your needs.
At the Academic Success Centre, found in the Notre Dame Campus and Exchange District Campus libraries and online, there are many ways you can access tutoring and writing supports.
Drop-In Help Desks are one of those ways.
There are two streams of Help Desks – Writing (general writing skills and nursing writing) and clustered around courses or programs. Trades Math, Business Math and Accounting and Engineering Math are all examples of these clusters.
How does Drop-in tutoring work? Easy! Visit the schedule at Help Desk Drop-In Tutoring and attend. Bring your questions, assignments or course notes/materials; a staff tutor will be more than happy to help with your course !
In addition to helping you untangle a question, assist with the writing process and/or provide opportunity for review, Help Desks provide comfort, confidence and foster active learning – you may feel more comfortable asking questions in a Help Desk setting. Furthermore, you become actively engaged in your learning process – you get to identify and articulate what you want to review. All this leads to academic improvement and an increased value to your college experience.
We look forward to seeing you at one or more of the following Help Desks:
NDC Drop-In, Help Desk Tutoring Schedule Winter 2023
Trades Math Help Desk
4-6pm ATLAS Marc B. Scott S.
ATLAS Scott S.
Engineering Math Help Desk
12-2pm Tutor Nook Tian T
12-1pm Tutor Nook Tery T.
Health Sciences Math Help Desk
10-12:30pm Tutor Nook Lena B.
Business Math and Accounting Help Desk
10-11am ATLAS Chani S.
Writing and English Language Drop-In Tutoring
2-4pm Tutor Nook Emilie J.
11am-1pm A309 Meg L.
11am-1pm Tutor Nook Kaleigh Q. & 12-2pm A309 Cheri R.
Health Information Management Help Desk
3-5pm F201 Caleb F.
Chemistry/Math/Physics Help Desk
2-4pm Tutor Nook Tery T.
EDC Drop-In, Help Desk Tutoring Schedule Winter 2023
The events of Inclusion Week only go until November 4, but the work continues for the remaining 51 weeks. Library collections reflect this ongoing work with efforts to keep current and provide access for those wanting to learn more after the last speaker finishes. LibGuides curate resources to help facilitate discovery on specific topics. While some Indigenous guides cover the legacy of residential schools and encountering racism in various settings, two more guides provide resources about diversity and further exploration of racism in Canada’s past and present.
Intercultural Competence & Diversity
One of the earliest guides in our collection, Intercultural Competence & Diversity, introduces viewers to experiences previously unknown but still a daily reality for groups such as the disabled or Black Canadians, to name a few.
In addition to videos and books, organizations feature mainly those in the 2SLGBTQIA+ community taking steps toward their true selves. A keyword section recommends search terms to put into OneSearch for further reading and viewing on specific topics.
The guide includes topics related to sexuality, disability issues, and the anti-black racism section.
Anti-Racism Learning Toolkit
The Anti-Black Racism page from the last guide links up with the Anti-Racism Learning Toolkit, a guide devoted to educating about racism with a Canadian focus. The History of Racism section provides websites and other resources about incidents within Canada’s History, including Japanese Internment camps, the Komagata Maru, and many others. Some resources reflect Canada’s past, and plenty of resources help understand the country’s present. Again, a keyword section will supply words to research a topic within the larger subject.
A new addition to the guide is the Anti-Racism Training Section. It’s designed to do alone or as part of a group with videos, articles, and some documentaries requiring college credentials for viewing. Reflection questions can stimulate conversation or pause for thought on the issues.
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:
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.
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:
“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.
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.
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
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
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).
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.
Support for understanding measurements of citation and bibliometrics.
A librarian can help you with the steps towards receiving Research Ethics Board (REB) approval – necessary when conducting research involving human subjects.
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 byChris Read, MLIS – Research Services Librarian
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.
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.
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)
Exam Accommodations at Red River College Polytechnic work closely with Student Support Services to provide students with documented disabilities the opportunity to accurately demonstrate how well they have mastered course material by removing disability-related obstacles to performance.
Exam accommodations are highly individualized and are determined according to the nature of the student’s disability, course objectives, and learning outcomes. Exam accommodations include, but are not limited to, reduced distraction exam environments, extended time, oral exams, scribes, and the use of assistive technology to support exam taking.
Visit the Exam Accommodations page to learn more about exam accommodations as well as the eligibility requirements and processes to receive accommodations. On this page, you’ll also find additional resources available for students and faculty.
You can also come visit us at the Notre Dame Campus in room D110, or in Manitou a bi Bii Daziigae, room E440.
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.
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
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.
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).