What’s Next – Our Vision

2014-2015 Issue 1


With the School of Continuing Studies now at the halfway point in its 2013-2017 Strategic Plan, goals and initiatives are top of mind for Dean Judith Potter.

The School has grown considerably over the past five years, with achievements in academic programming, service provision, outreach, and organizational capacity. It has also successfully increased student numbers, teaching staff, and revenue.

“We’ve grown our offerings and grown our numbers, and we’ve come a long way,” says Dean Potter. “I see us continuing along that path, but we’re still being guided by our principal initiatives identified through the strategic plan.”

Chief among them is developing local and international awareness of the School’s programming, which Dean Potter sees as part of “being a good partner with other McGill units. There’s definitely a trend toward internationalization, and our staff has the expertise, because we welcome students from over 80 countries annually. The cornerstone has been our language programs, but we’ve really grown from that. There’s now another cluster coming to us for business-related topics and intensive learning. Our activities in countries such as Saudi Arabia and Mexico have opened us up to new markets, and that’s definitely a strategy that we continue to pursue.”

Another is the School’s focus on innovation. New technology is being rolled out across all units of the school, “benefiting both teachers and students.” Jean-Paul Remillieux, Director of Instructor Services and Educational Technologies, designed the new 12th-floor computer labs specifically to encourage collaborative learning between students and instructors. Both Translation and Written Communication and the Language and Intercultural Communication units take advantage of the cloud. Career and Professional Development is launching online courses in project management and business management, and the McGill Writing Centre has plans to develop a program in New Media Journalism.

Professional partnerships are also top of mind, domestically as well as worldwide. “Our strategic plan emphasizes reaching out. We want to demonstrate value to our community, the province, and its professional groups to let them know we’re here to work with them.” The School’s new partners include several Montreal museums, the James Bay Cree nation, and universities in South Korea, to name but a few. “The work of Guy Mineau, Director of Faculty Partnerships & Summer Studies, has been very beneficial for McGill University. It’s an example of how the School is making a difference for McGill as a whole.”

Together, all of the School’s units are working to reach these and other principal objectives in the School’s strategic plan. “This is a team effort,” stresses Dean Potter. “We have a professional staff and a vibrant dynamic, and I am confident that we’re on the right track.”


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