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Research Spotlight: Tricia Seifert

Student Experience

How can universities and colleges provide a more supportive learning environment for students?

Tricia Seifert investigates how programs and services outside of the classroom can result in greater success inside the classroom and help students best realize their educational goals.

How? She analyzes how universities and colleges can better structure their offices and teams to support student learning.

All universities and colleges want their students to succeed and they all strive to provide a high quality learning environment. The importance of higher education to the development of society and to economic prosperity is well recognized, yet there is little published research on how the entire “student experience” – both inside and outside the classroom – influences student learning in Canada.

Programs and services outside of the traditional classroom have been around for 100 years in Canada. A few examples include: study abroad, career counselling, community outreach programs, leadership development programs, writing centres, and services for students with disabilities.

Understanding the influence of out of class programs and services on student learning is critical for resource allocation in today’s postsecondary educational environment where quality assurance is the common watchword.

Tricia researches how the organizational structure of student services can best support student success. She is also analyzing the differences between expectations of high school students to continue their education and actual enrolment, among women and men of difference racial/ethnic groups and social classes.

Her research is supported by the Higher Education Quality Council of Ontario and the Association for Institutional Research.

Tricia Seifert is an assistant professor in the Department of Theory and Policy Studies.

Tricia's faculty profile (TPS)

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