We're into the Groove


As we launch, develop and re-shape both new and existing services, programs and facilities within the Division of Students, we are taking positive, impactful steps toward achieving our strategic five-year goals. Here’s a look at some of our accomplishments so far.


Enabling Student Success

Wellness Tool Kit

Launched “Wellness Tool Kit” across all disability services with tips for students on maintaining good physical and mental health.

  • The Office of Student Conflict Resolution changed its name to Office of Student Community Relations (OSCR) to reflect an increased focus on broader support for students with complex issues and on streamlined service delivery.
  • “What Can I Do With My Degree” resources completed for 98 programs.
  • Initiation of a Mental Health strategy for York; delivered Mental Health 101 and 201 training to orientation leaders, peer mentors, and faculty/staff.
  • Increased student-athlete academic results: 129% increase in academic All-Canadians; 10% increase in first-year sessional GPA; 47% reduction in athletes on academic warning; 85% reduction in athletes facing required withdrawal.
  • 96% of first-year students with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) supported by ASD Demonstration Project were retained and progressed to their second year of studies.

Admissions, Recruitment & Marketing Advancements

  • Redesigned the Integrated Voice Response System to provide clearer information/options to prospective and current students; implemented real-time wait times for Client Services displayed on the Web.
Wellness Tool Kit

2015-2016 Conversion Improvements(over previous year)

  • Digital Ad campaign geo-targeted using social media (311 conversions = 3.8M ROI 2014-15).
  • Developed and launched a suite of Divisional templates (signage, print collateral, digital collateral).
  • Partnered with CPA to develop Open Your Mind brand/awareness campaign; organized focus groups to test concepts and messaging.
  • Enhancements to CRM: events, tours, lead management all in one system.
  • Development of an institutional 5-year SEM plan and directional enrolment goals; creation of a SEM site and enrolment toolkit.


  • Piloted an on-campus employment onboarding program for Work/Study students.
  • Increased automatic entrance scholarship amounts and added the Student Life Awards for incoming students with GPAs above 75%.
Wellness Tool Kit

Initiated Financial Literacy events/fairs in partnership with the York community


New Initiatives

  • Developed targeted career programming and modules for first-year students.
Wellness Tool Kit

Launched YU Belong Campaign, engaging hundreds of faculty and staff volunteers to help welcome the incoming class during the first two weeks of term.

  • Hosted a First-Year Experience in the Classroom symposium for faculty and staff with keynote speaker Vincent Tinto.
  • Developed First-Year Experience (FYE) Case for Change and Recommendations; provided learning skills consultation and collaboration on delivery of FYE workshops and resources.

Program Expansions


7 Faculties
6,000 incoming students

Presented at several international conferences regarding YU START's model of success.

  • Expanded summer transition program and first-year transition credit course for students with disabilities.
  • Implemented an expanded residence orientation program and curriculum for those new to the community.
  • Shifted Orientation toward an evidence- and outcome-based model led by 1200 volunteer student leaders.
  • Significantly expanded parent and family supports, tripling the amount of parents and family members engaged.


Accolades and Accomplishments

  • Won the JVS Leaders in Employment Award for Post-Secondary Institutions Who Best Support Students With Career Employment Services.
  • One of three finalists in a nationwide competition for Innovation by a Career Centre
Wellness Tool Kit

20,000+ users
190,000 service hours

  • Engaged and supported 350+ clubs, 18 student governments and 20+ levied groups.
  • Largest contingent of student leaders from any institution attended NIRSA Region III Lead-On conference for campus recreation leaders.

New Developments

  • Organized a Mental Health Conference for 200+ student leaders and safeTALK training for nearly 1000 faculty, staff and students.
  • OSCR actively supported student leadership through increased opportunities for participation on University Tribunals and Peer Support Teams.
Wellness Tool Kit

Developed career and skills identification content for the “Leader Within” workshop that will serve as a key component of the pan-university Student Leadership & Career Development strategy.


  • SCLD launched #WeAreYU Wednesdays.
  • Organized first VPS-TV strategy update.
Wellness Tool Kit

approved as an official university logo.

  • The Divisional values added to all job postings and interviews and incorporated into training.
  • YU SHINE eCard program launched.
  • Completed a $1.2 million renovation to main change rooms in Tait McKenzie and included a gender-neutral space.


  • Conducted employee focus groups and action planning for the engagement driver of “Feedback”.
  • Trained all Divisional people managers in a series of workshops on Leadership, Coaching & Performance Management.
Wellness Tool Kit

Rolled out a Division-wide objective-setting and performance management process to bolster clarity, communications and feedback; delivered employee sessions on setting objectives to 120+ staff

  • Added TV monitors in the Call Centre for staff to observe number of calls, wait times, agents etc.


  • Re-organized several units in the Division to form a “Student Success” team/unit to better align with the University’s IIRP goals and to further support SEM, FYE and Leadership & Career goals.
  • Revamped Personal Counselling Services (PCS) intake process for effective triage and to reduce wait times.
  • Sport & Recreation changed its name to Athletics & Recreation to better reflect mission and mandate and completed a major department re-organization.
  • Re-organized communications units in OVPS and OUR to better support the Divisional mandate and strategic direction.
  • Increased use of group intake procedures and drop-in sessions and increased use of peer mentors to support students with disabilities; increased use of online registration to enable students to register with disability services.
  • Working with external consultants to improve the 105 Admissions process.
  • Created a welcome centre for student recruitment called the “Discover York: Campus Visit & Tour Centre” and upgraded the Great Room for Registrarial Services.
  • Added a new artificial turf field on the York University stadium.
Wellness Tool Kit

Parapan Am Games Stadium completed and successful hosting of Pan Am/Parapan Am Games Track & Field events, along with the Parapan Am Opening Ceremonies.

  • Resources aligned with the VPS Strategic Plan and IRP goals.
  • $2 million in special funding acquired to support recruitment, retention and student support/success programs and activities.
  • OSCR moved from a manual-case management process to an automated conduct care and support system to better assist with student success.
Wellness Tool Kit

2013, 2014, 2015 OUA Men’s Soccer Champs
2014, 2015 CIS Men’s Soccer Champs
2014 CIS Men’s track & Field
2014 OUA Women’s Tennis and National Tennis champs