Five Things We’re Thinking About Right Now

2014-2015 Issue 1


We sat down with some of the School of Continuing Studies’ Directors to ask a question we typically pose to our students: What do you have in mind?


DJPJudith Potter, Dean of the School of Continuing Studies

1. Our students
“What do they need from us? What services can we offer that will help them be successful in the workplace? It’s very important to me that the School is out there serving students, because they’re our primary concern.”

2. Offering a Degree Program
“The development of a part-time degree program designed for working adults is very high on my wish list. It’s an important aspect of serving the needs of our clientele.”

3. La vie en français
“We definitely want to increase our French language activities, but we want to do more. For example, we’ve recently received seed funding from the provincial government to develop a McGill portal that promotes the University’s French opportunities to the surrounding community.” Spearheaded by Manon Gadbois, Faculty Lecturer and Program Coordinator for the French Part-Time Program, the School of Continuing Studies will serve as the project’s coordinating body, as well as providing content.

4. Diversifying Delivery Models
“I’d like to see increased range in our delivery modes. It’s not always convenient to come to McGill for an evening, so we have to adapt the way we deliver our programs to ensure they’re convenient. That includes online programs, hybrid learning, intensive formats… These are some of the things that have come out of who our clientele are and how we can better serve them.”

5. Location, Location, Location
“I’d love to situate the School so that it’s more immediately visible to the community. Having Client Services on the 11th floor inhibits our visibility and is not particularly welcoming. Moving the School to the lower floors of the building would give it a higher profile and provide increased access. Changing that kind of interface with the community is something I’d really like to see.”


JADr. James Archibald, Director of Translation & Written Communication

1. The Global Marketplace
“The industry is becoming increasingly international; we have to look at the competitiveness of Canadian translators from that perspective.”

2. The Fourth Dimension
Although Translation and Written Communication currently offers courses in three languages, Archibald would like to add more, perhaps “Italian, Arabic, Portuguese, or Chinese.”

3. Hitting the Stacks
The unit has an on-going partnership with McGill’s Humanities and Social Sciences Library, which has increased both its paper and virtual holdings in translation studies. It’s also made its updated Translation Study Guide available to students online.

4. Embracing Technology
Computers help translators increase their output and revenue; Archibald would like to see the unit get a dedicated computer lab.

5. International Colloquium: Translation Studies and Geopolitics
A call for papers has been issued for this multi-national event scheduled to take place in April.


CSDr. Carmen Sicilia, Director of Career & Professional Development

1. Think Small
Although the unit offers one and two-day courses and workshops, Sicilia wants go even shorter, offering ‘mini modules’ that can be taught in a few hours.

2. New Partnerships
Upcoming courses were developed in cooperation with World Bank and Grand Council of the Crees.

3. More Online Formats
“The students love it because they can study from their home or office, and instructors love it because it’s interactive.”

4. Summer Studies
“I’d like to provide full programming for international students who wish to study abroad in the summer months.”

5. Bachelor Degree
Like Dean Judith Potter, Sicilia would love to offer a part-time degree for adult learners. Also on her wish list? “Our own building” for SCS.


FAFiras Alhafidh, Director of Language and Intercultural Communication

 1. The Student Experience
Alhafidh embraces new technologies because students love using them. “They’re a motivational tool for our students.”

2. M-learning
The trend of E-learning on a computer has given way to M-learning on a mobile phone. “Not everyone has access to a cyber café, but everyone has a smart phone. Face-to-face contact is irreplaceable in the classroom, but these tools can enhance the learning experience.”

3. ReLANpro
The language-learning software incorporates cloud technology and claims to have “the most teacher-friendly platform.”

4. Health Canada
A new partnership will see the unit handling the online component of English-language training for health care staff throughout Quebec.

5. An Eye on the Future
“My vision is for L&IC to be the Canadian reference for language learning. Both nationally and internationally, our goal is to become the standard in the market.”


SLDr. Sue Laver, Director of the McGill Writing Centre

1. New Media Journalism
“The emergence of new technologies has changed the face of journalism quite radically. The born-digital generation is looking for a new kind of journalism program. From one point of view, new technologies mean that pretty much anyone can be a journalist these days, but certain goals and standards remain important: exceptional writing skills is one of them.”

2. More Summer Courses
“I would like to develop a summer writing institute in collaboration with internal and external partners, complete with guest speakers, workshops, and writing studios.“

3. Serving more SCS Students
“One of my major goals is to increase SCS students’ use of the MWC’s tutorial service. We offer the tutorial service on evenings and weekends in large part to accommodate those who are studying while working full-time.  We’re also looking at creating workshops that focus on the types of assignments that students in SCS courses are frequently required to write – especially for career-related purposes.”

4. Offering Academic and Professional Writing Courses for Francophones
“We’re often asked whether we plan to offer courses, tutorial services, and workshops for those who write in French.  The MWC doesn’t have that mandate at present, but it’s certainly something we will consider as the MWC evolves.”

5. Course Delivery Methods
“At the moment, the MWC doesn’t offer online or hybrid courses, but as long-time users of educational technologies, we embrace the fact that it’s the way of the future. We see the development of non-traditional formats as a priority.”


JPJean-Paul Remillieux, Director of Instructor Services & Educational Technologies

1. The new 12th Floor Computer Labs
“We worked a lot on improving our facilities, and we now have one of the most state-of-the-art teaching labs in Montreal.”

2. The Student Experience
“I want to make sure their time is well spent. I don’t want them to travel just to listen to an instructor; they can do that from home. If they come to class, there’s a reason for it.”

3. Video
“The use of video educational content for online activities has evolved a lot; it will be a big thing.”

4. Making Teamwork Work
“Right now, we use AdobeConnect for online group work. We’re always looking for tools that are as transparent and intuitive as possible.”

5. VideoScribe Software
“It’s a presentation tool, and it’s amazing. A beautiful product.”


GMDr. Guy Mineau, Director of Faculty Partnerships & Summer Studies

 1. Going Abroad
With both students and academic institutions putting increasing emphasis on international experience, McGill is in negotiations to offer programming to schools located in China, America, and the UK.

2. The WOW Factor
“Non-McGill students are only here for a short period of time. I want to wow them so they become our ambassadors.”

3. The Big Picture
“We’re looking for something sustainable. What courses can we offer that would result in long-term partnerships?”

4. Becoming Montreal’s Cultural Hub
“PACE has already partnered with the Musee des Beaux-Arts de Montreal, the McCord, and the Institute de Nouveau Monde. We want to become a hub for the city’s cultural communities.”

5. The Next Big Thing
“Right now, we’re talking to 25 different universities about potential programming. If only a few work out, it would be great.”


GGGianna Giardino, Senior Manager, Client Services

1. New Location
“New premises for SCS’s Client Services is at the top of my list. I’d like to be at street level so we’re more visible and closer to our potential clients.”

2. New Look and Feel
“I’d like a professional-looking storefront with more efficient workspace so our team can better respond to client needs.”

3. New Technology
Giardino would like to simplify the registration process with the help of “call-centre technology, online advising, chat options, and dispensing with paper files in favour of a digital management system!”

4. Customer Convenience
“I want to enhance our online self-serve options to make it easy for our clients to do business with us.”

5. More Advising Services
“The expertise in our department is amazing. I want SCS students to benefit from that by expanding all levels of advising and career-planning services.”

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