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September 24, 2018
Mount 101
Thanks to contributions from two generous donors – The Windsor Foundation and the McCain Foundation – Mount Saint Vincent University is pleased to be launching a new program to support incoming undergraduate students, called Mount 101

Mount 101 is a free program for all incoming undergraduate Mount students (including mature and transfer students) that will facilitate the development of skills critical to university success (e.g. study and research skills) while also providing information about the Mount’s support services (e.g. the  Learning Strategist, Writing Centre, Counselling services, and more).

Student success programs like Mount 101 help navigate the transition to university. They increase the chances students will stick with their studies, and they are particularly helpful for first generation and non-traditional students.

“We’ve heard from many students over the years that they wish they had known about certain services or had the opportunity to hone certain skills before they were at a crisis point,” said Paula Barry-Mercer, Associate Vice President of Student Experience. “This program is aimed at filling information gaps early-on – hopefully preventing students from reaching those critical junctures.” 

“We are sincerely grateful to our supporters at The Windsor Foundation and the McCain Foundation, without whom Mount 101 wouldn’t be possible,” continued Paula. “Their contributions will mean better experiences and bigger successes for countless students as they make the often-challenging transition to university.” The Windsor Foundation committed $400,000 to the initiative and the McCain Foundation, $300,000 to support the peer mentorship component.

A pilot of the program took place last year, and program content and delivery have been modified for this year. All undergraduate students who are enrolled at the Mount for the first time this fall have already been connected with the program and some students have already successfully completed it in its entirety. In order to gain maximum benefit, students have been encouraged to complete the program by November.

The online program

Mount 101 includes both an online program and a mentorship component. The online program introduces students to university, giving them information about expectations and approaches that they can build on as they begin their studies. The program, which has three parts, will take between six and eight hours to complete. As an asynchronous program, the entire program doesn’t need to be done all at once. Rather, students can complete the program at their own pace and revisit it as often as required throughout their studies at the Mount. Completion of the program is a prerequisite for registration for the 2019-2020 academic year.

The three parts of the program include:

Part 1: Welcome to the Mount! 
1. Living the Undergrad Life 
2. Exploring the Mount 

Part 2: Preparing for Class 
1. Digging into Study Skills and Active Learning 
2. Levelling up Your Reading Skills 

Part 3: Engaging in Research and Writing 
1. Ramping up for Research 
2. Boosting your Writing Skills 
 

The Mount Mentors

Through the peer mentorship component of Mount 101, incoming students will be matched with senior-level students who will provide support in navigating the program. While the mentors’ primary role will be information sharing, this aspect of the program will also help with student integration. 

“We’ve built in a mentorship component because we know it’s harder to go it alone,” said Paula. “Mentors are senior-level students with lots of Mount insight to offer. They’ve ‘been there’ and ‘done that’, and now they want their experience to benefit others.”

Mount MentorsPictured above: Mount Mentors

The Mount’s commitment 

All incoming undergraduate students at the Mount will be enrolled in Mount 101 and connected with a student mentor. Such an approach reflects the Mount’s commitment to ensuring accessibility of education and support to individuals who might not otherwise be offered the opportunity – it’s part of an ongoing effort to help all students find academic and personal success.