By: Ellen O’Connor

Students of the school of Media and Design now have the opportunity to test out a new website that will help them navigate through their program with the assistance of department staff.

Launched Sept. 10, the Media and Design’s Student Success Website provides students within the faculty with the resources and staff connections they need to effectively manage their time and stress so they can succeed academically.

“The main thing is to connect them and to constantly remind that that they are not alone and we are here to help them,” said Michael Falcone, the site’s author. “They tend to forget, especially when things don’t go well.”
The department-based website is the first of its kind at Algonquin.

Falcone, the academic coach for the communications and script writing programs, said it is an organized and accessible “one-stop” public resource to communicate to students which services to use, when to use them and for which issue.

David Kawooya, a second-year public relations student, said he likes is that it provides instant information that pertains to his faculty and program.

“It looked easy to navigate and easy to find your services,” said Kawooya.

Deborah Buck, student success specialist, often sees a high volume of students visit her office for academic guidance, but she said that many students are unwilling or too busy to stop by in person.

“A lot of people today like finding things on the web, that’s what they’re used to, and we’re trying to add that to our support system,” said Buck.

After many unsuccessful attempts at trying to locate a staff member’s office, Alex Miller, a first-year interactive multimedia development student, finally turned to the internet to resolve his issue via email and within the hour he received the information he needed.

“I never had to sit down and take time out of either of our schedules to figure out if we could do anything and what we would do,” said Miller.

The homepage boasts a blog that students and staff can use to communicate, a staff directory and links to services such as ITS and Blackboard.

Falcone said the website also teaches how to manage time and stress so media and design students can maintain their creativity and spontaneity while under pressure.

“I’m trying to break a barrier where students believe that stress and time management is common sense, but really it is a skill that is learned and re-learned,” said Falcone. He added that once students become aware they have options to deal with stress, the better their approach will be.

This skill is particularly important to develop when it comes to deadlines, which Kawooya said all students must deal with.

“If you can go to the website that provides information of how to manage your time, then you’ve automatically improved yourself as a student and improved yourself as a future perspective employee going into the work field,” said Kawooya.

Falcone and Buck are hoping media and design students will take advantage of the website and collaborate with the staff so they can continually work to create a service that students will use.

“It’s not perfect but it’s a good first step and we want to see how this works,” said Buck.

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