Forging Partnerships Across McGill and Beyond

2010-2011 Issue 2

The Faculty Partnerships and Summer Studies team (left to right): Jasna Hancevic, Dr. Leah Moss, Benjamin Isaac and Brittany Wallace

New SCS Unit to Work with Faculties and Wider Community

It’s no secret that McGill faculties and schools do a phenomenal job in their respective domains, regularly winning prestigious awards and attaining the highest rankings on Canadian and international lists. The newly formed Faculty Partnerships and Summer Studies unit has a laudable mandate to create synergies between Continuing Studies and various academic units to deliver McGill’s renowned expertise to university and external audiences.

Dr. Leah Moss, the Director of the new unit, explains: “Our role is to go out to the greater McGill community and see what their professional development and special-project needs are. We ask them, ‘What is the ideal continuing education program for your sector? What would you love to do if you had the resources?’ Then we assess these intriguing and dynamic opportunities and take concrete steps to bring the most feasible ones to fruition.”

So far, this initiative has attracted great interest. Moss and her colleagues have been talking to groups and individuals in the faculties of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, Arts, Dentistry, Education, Engineering, Law, and Music, and at the School of Architecture, the Aboriginal Affairs Work Group, the Office of Sustainability, and the Institute for the Public Life of Arts and Ideas. “We want to see how we can combine their expertise, resources and intellectual property with our expertise in areas such as adult learning programming, marketing and project management.”

Some of the seeds planted by this new initiative are already sprouting. In March, Continuing Studies began supporting the Faculty of Dentistry’s continuing education programs. In conjunction with that faculty, Continuing Studies provides all the coordination, registration and logistical support necessary, as well as providing expertise for program delivery. “Such continuing education programs are crucial for the professional development requirements of many professions and can be a great fit for us,” says Moss.

There are many other collaborations under way. For example, every summer the School of Architecture runs a sketching school as a mandatory activity for architecture students to spend time outside Montreal drawing or painting. Continuing Studies will soon market and coordinate this creative opportunity for School of Architecture alumni to participate in as well. Continuing Studies worked with the Faculty of Education’s School of Information Studies to develop, administer and analyze a survey on the knowledge management
needs of various organizations. Survey findings will inform relevant professional development initiatives in this
area.

“The beauty of such partnerships,” concludes Moss, “is that they’re the perfect blend of faculty expertise and Continuing Studies expertise. The academic units provide the intellectual content and we provide the adult learning, delivery and logistical support. And based on the interest so far, it’s a very practical model that
will bring many excellent McGill initiatives to new audiences.”

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