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REPORT ON THE STRATEGIC PLAN 2014–2019 

The present annual report reviews our progress toward the objectives identified in our strategic plan 2014–2019, entitled This Is the Face of Change. The strategic plan reflects Saint Paul University’s mission to contribute creatively to the humanization of society:

  • As a Catholic institution, we are dedicated to promoting the understanding of the Christian faith, its integration into daily life, and the values of Christian humanism in a spirit of ecumenical openness.
  • As a bilingual institution, we seek to provide a favourable environment for our English- and French-speaking communities, with particular attention to the richness of our cultural diversity.
  • As a centre of higher learning, working in partnership with other institutions, we strive to promote excellence in teaching, research, and professional development.

Our work is governed by our strategic orientations, which are to promote social justice; the creation of a space for discussion between the public and religious spheres; and the development of leadership and spirituality. Our five strategic priorities are:

  • renewed programs of study;
  • activities that encourage students to continue their studies;
  • commitment to a comprehensive education with easy access to services;
  • outstanding staff competence and influence;
  • community engagement.

Building on our strategic plan, the action plan guides and engages our administrative, teaching and support staff in reaching our objectives. Our latest assessment indicates that the University is on track to achieve those objectives.

 

  1. New programs of study

The year 2016–2017 was a very productive one for the Élisabeth-Bruyère School of Social Innovation, with the creation of a minor, a certificate and a bachelor of arts in Social Innovation, as well as a graduate diploma in Social Organization Development. Also, a master’s and a doctorate in Social Innovation are currently in the works. In support of these programs, the Social Innovation Workshop Mauril-Bélanger will open its doors in Winter 2018.

The Providence School of Transformative Leadership and Spirituality has made progress with the approval of a master’s in Transformative Leadership and Spirituality, currently offered in English. Also, the Faculty of Canon Law signed an agreement to offer the master’s and licence in Canon Law at Saint Patrick’s College in Maynooth, Ireland, through a combination of online and on-campus courses, using the model developed with Broken Bay Institute in Sydney, Australia. Finally, a certificate in Theology is now being offered entirely online. 

Furthermore, a number of major bridges were built with the following Ontario colleges: La Cité (36 agreements), Algonquin (24 agreements), Boréal (23 agreements) and St. Lawrence (21 agreements). These agreements allow the University to recognize up to 60 credits in conflict studies, public ethics, social communications or human relations. The enhancement of these agreements is ongoing.

  1. Activities that encourage young people to continue their education

Keeping students in the education system happens through links created with secondary schools. Every opportunity to give students an in-class experience at Saint Paul University helps them gain a new perspective on postsecondary studies. In 2016–2017, over 650 Grade 11 and 12 students participated in 42 workshops on leadership, conflict resolution, public ethics and media in the context of the Specialist High Skills Major program (in French only), as well as the Forum on Bullying. In addition, a student ambassador program was created. Around 30 of these student ambassadors contributed to the success of activities including Orientation 2017, open houses and the Meet and Greet for Saint Paul University Future Students.

Student retention and the success of all our students are also crucial. To achieve these goals, our campus must be a place where everyone can grow and develop. That is why a number of themed activities were held, including Halloween, Earth Day, Black History Month, and a festive gathering just before Christmas that brought together Canadian and international students, in partnership with the student association and Pastoral Services. A buddy program between Canadian and international students was also launched. We know that the Student Life Centre, which opens its doors in fall 2017, will help us achieve this goal.

 

  1. A guarantee of comprehensive training and available services 

A range of training was offered to ensure our students’ success, especially when it comes to how to cite and reference sources and bibliographies based on the student’s program of study and the faculties, on presentation tools, databases, e-books, digital culture, Windows tools, visualization tools, social media for research, plagiarism and academic fraud, and managing a budget.

We need to make every effort to assist students during their studies. That is why a “Library” component was integrated into some regular courses, to encourage students to go to the Library and become familiar with the materials there and with the research and learning tools. In the same way, the Writing Centre is now located in the Library; together they offer, in collaboration with the Faculties, custom research training. There is also an ongoing training program for all our staff.

 

  1. Outstanding staff skills and reputation

Above all, it is our professors who ensure the reputation of Saint Paul University. To showcase their skills and their excellence, a separate web page was created. Administrative staff also play a major role. Academic and administrative services for students are constantly evolving and require continuous updates, which is not without its challenges.

The combined effort of both professors and administrative staff over the past few years is reflected in the rate of satisfaction: 96% of students in their final year describe their overall experience of Saint Paul University as good or excellent*, one of the best scores in Canada!

* According to the National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE) 2017.

 

  1. Involvement with our communities

In an effort to contribute more to societal debates, half a dozen research and teaching chairs were envisioned in 2016–2017, of which three have already received some funding.

As a result, the Chair in Bioethics will pay particular attention to public policies, the rights of patients and pastoral services concerning all issues related to bioethics. The Chair in Social Justice and Integral Ecology will develop, in a collaborative manner, policies, programs and social engagement strategies to develop a national community of best practices in these areas. Finally, the Chair on Aging in an Aging Society will seek to influence Canadian decision makers by emphasizing best social, clinical and spiritual practices to improve the quality of life, mental health and well-being of seniors and their families.