Our Approach to Student Success
We advise students proactively
Navitas colleges use an approach that aims to break down the stigma of asking for help by reaching out to students before support is needed. Asking for help can be intimidating for anyone, but especially for students who come from cultures where there may be shame or hesitancy surrounding seeking support. Proactive advising creates opportunities for students to engage with staff, faculty, and other students, in environments that are conducive to developing authentic relationships. Students feel safer, less intimidated, and are more likely to ask for help when they need it. This is an essential part of the Navitas experience.
Every student has a peer support
Navitas students and alumni who have successfully transferred to the partner university are eligible to volunteer in a peer support program, to provide personal and academic support to current Navitas students by using their own experiences to offer relevant advice. These advisors complete thorough training on Navitas programs, transfer requirements, mental health, response and referral skills, and medical insurance.
Guidance Advisors are a huge asset to the Navitas community. Students develop a different type of relationship with peers; speaking to a peer can be less intimidating than speaking to a staff member.
We celebrate academic excellence
An event that recognizes students’ academic and community engagement achievements from the previous semester or year is an important part of the Navitas college culture. Students typically receive a variety of awards and certificates during a special ceremony. Teaching awards may also be presented in which students nominate instructors who demonstrate teaching excellence and positive contributions to the college community in the previous year.
We take attendance
Tracking attendance is an important indicator of success and wellness for international students. It creates opportunities to check in with students to determine how well they are adjusting to life in Canada, helps to identify students at-risk early on, to offer proactive advising, to decrease chronic absenteeism, to increase retention and engagement, and to create a community of support.
We take misconduct seriously
Navitas colleges strongly emphasize academic integrity to all students. We begin with educating students on the importance of academic integrity in Canadian post-secondary education and communicating each college’s strict, progressive policy on academic misconduct. Student Advisors work to ensure students understand this policy and will invite them for meetings if a claim of misconduct is made. These meetings always begin with a wellness check to identify any challenges outside of the classroom potentially impacting academic choices and performance. The goal in all scenarios is to connect students to the root of any challenges and to provide appropriate interventions to help them overcome the barriers they may be facing.
We follow up with students regularly and our door is always open
Student Follow-Up is a preventative measure that supports Navitas students on their path to success. Advisors follow up with students for many reasons, including helping those who exhibit at-risk behaviours, miss classes, demonstrate changes in behaviour, fail academic assessments, require medical insurance support, or require other additional support.
Navitas staff are trained to recognize instances where intercultural issues may be impacting students’ experiences. Some students might feel shame or embarrassment to reaching out about sensitive issues. Drop-in advising is also an effective method for advisors to be available and accessible to students, without limitations on appointment length. Students feel comfortable knowing the student success team is there to support them through challenges they are facing.
We talk weekly
All colleges have psychoeducational support groups based on the idea of group therapy and community support. Hosted weekly, the program creates a safe space where students can have an honest discussion about their experiences as international students. Relationships, social support, and mental health all contribute to academic performance. Intentionally designed psychoeducational support programs align with Navitas’ objective to support students holistically in addition to providing a platform for students to connect with and support each other. This helps to prevent isolation and fosters psychological safety for students to be able to express themselves openly and authentically with their peers. It also helps students to build their emotional intelligence and to create non-evaluative spaces to practice speaking English.