We are new on the scene and would like to take a minute to introduce ourselves and what we do.
We are a business based in Vancouver, British Columbia and we are interested in student success. We aim to offer courses and instruction that can help students make the most of their post-secondary education.
Our first venture is the Smooth Start workshop.
It is designed to help keep first year students on top of all of the demands of going to college or university. The easiest way to understand what the workshop is and does is to ask the question:
"Do you remember your first year of university?"
If you are like most people, that first term is a combination of pure excitement and a deep sense of being out of your depth.
The Smooth Start workshop is designed to address exactly that feeling, and exactly the kinds of issues that give rise to it.
For well over ten years I have been teaching first year university students, and I have had the opportunity to see the challenges they face. It is a surprise to most of them that going to university is quite a bit more complicated and demanding than just switching from one school to another. That alone is stressful enough, but add on top of that all of the other things that come with it. Many students are living away from home for the first time. Some are in a new city, some in a new country, some are even in an entirely new cultural setting. The academic work is both harder and in many cases of an entirely new type. There are a whole host of issues that arise outside of the classroom that revolve around social life, time management, personal development, the list goes on and on.
It can be, and often is, really overwhelming.
What I was seeing was (and is) a regular pattern: talented and excited but unprepared students were struggling for reasons that had little to do with how "smart" they were. I saw many very capable students failing classes or even dropping out altogether simply because they were not prepared for the full scope of what the transition to university involves. Even the students that were passing their classes were under mountains of largely unnecessary stress and strain. And still it occurred to me that most of the issue was fairly easy to fix.
I looked into the courses on transition that were offered by high schools and while they did a good job at some things, they lacked the details that can truly make a difference. It became obvious that what was needed was a simple, detail oriented, practical and affordable way to help first year students be prepared for what they were about to dive into.
Drawing on the experience and expertise of both myself and a group of colleagues - all recognized as outstanding educators - we developed the framework for the Smooth Start workshop. Our work was directed by a central question:
"If you could go back and do it all over, what do you wish you knew?"
After considerable research, we identified the primary areas that trip students up and the methods to avoid those obstacles. The information was packaged into a six hour, one day format and the Smooth Start workshop was born.
We are gearing up to offer the first classes in July of 2017, and we plan on having full registration available by early May. In the mean time, please be sure to sign up for your free report on three of the biggest mistakes first year students make. We will be updating this site on a regular basis, so check back often for new information! You can also like us on Facebook, and Linkedin.