Supports for Diversity Across the Conestoga Community

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Between 2017 and 2021, Conestoga College saw a 350% increase in the number of international students enrolled (ApplyBoard, 2022). Today, Conestoga is the most popular College in Canada for international students, with students from over 85 different countries (ApplyBoard, 2022).

With such a growing diverse community, Conestoga is committed to equity and inclusion for all our members (Conestoga’s Strategic Plan 2021-2024, p.13). In this post, faculty will learn about the various campus resources for our diverse students, employees, and visitors. Additionally, faculty will also be directed to teaching and learning resources specific to various student groups.

To navigate this post, click on accordions below to learn more about campus resources as well as available Teaching & Learning supports.

Accessibility

At Conestoga, we have several Accessibility programs, services, and facilities to facilitate more choice and independence for students, employees, or visitors with disabilities. Accessible Learning supports students with permanent, temporary, visible, or invisible disabilities to fully participate in our Conestoga community. Moreover, Conestoga has a Student Service Animal Policy and Student Service Animal Procedure for bringing service animals on campus.

Below are key resources for faculty about accessible teaching and learning at Conestoga:

Accessible Board Work

Accommodating and Supporting Students with Disabilities: Conestoga Faculty Stories

A Foundational Understanding of Accessible Teaching and Learning at Conestoga College

Building Accessible PowerPoint Slides

Supporting Privacy Rights of People with Disabilities

Ways To Make Your Teaching More Accessible

Accommodation

Short-term private accommodation is available for students, employees, and visitors of Conestoga College. Rooms are first come, first serve. Accommodation can be booked for the following locations: Brantford, Cambridge – Fountain Street, Doon, Downtown Kitchener, Guelph, and Waterloo.

Addressing Concerns

All students and employees have a right to study and work in a safe environment free of discrimination and harassment. To address concerns for students, contact Student Rights and Responsibilities. To address concerns for employees, contact Human Resources.

Additionally, below are some resources to create safe and effective learning spaces:  

Creating Class Guidelines with Students

Managing Group Work

Student Expectations for Online Engagement

Students Talking in Class

BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color)

Building Community & Getting Involved

2SLGBTQ+(2-Spirited, Lesbian, Gay, Trans, Queer, Questioning, and more)

We have curated lists of College resources for 2SLGBTQ+ students, as well as Community 2SLGBTQ+ Resources available to students, employees, and the general public. Conestoga also has services for students to change their personal information or change their preferred name/gender.

Childcare

We have Child Care Centres at Conestoga, available to students, employees, and the general public.

Indigenous

Be-Dah-Bin Gamik (A Place for New Beginnings) offers services for Indigenous students, including those who identify as First Nations (status and non-status), Metis, and Inuit. We also have resources for Indigenous students as well as Community Indigenous Resources (for students, employees, and the wider community).

Check out our Teaching and Learning resources for supporting Indigenous students:

First Annual Indigenous Faculty Learning Symposium (June 16, 17 and 18, 2022)

Building Truth and Reconciliation for Indigenous Peoples into Teaching

Delivering Indigenous Land Acknowledgements

Terms for First Peoples in Canada

Parking and Transportation

Learn more about Parking and Transportation at Conestoga for students, employees, and visitors.

Professional Development

A variety of professional development opportunities are available to Conestoga employees. These include workshops, micro-credentials, the Faculty Learning Hub (24/7 teaching & learning resources for faculty), and teaching videos for ongoing learning and development.

Sexual & Gender-Based Violence Prevention & Support

A variety Conestoga has several resources for sexual & gender-based violence prevention and support available to students as well as employees supporting students. Check out these supports if you are supporting survivors of sexual or gender-based violence, or if you are interested in learning more about Conestoga’s Consent Culture.

Spiritual & Safe Spaces

Conestoga offers students Spiritual Rooms, which are non-denominational, gender-neutral spaces for prayer, meditation, or silent reflection. To enhance safety, Conestoga also offers students, employees, and visitors access to an escort anywhere on College property or accommodation within campus vicinity through the Walksafe Program.

Student Health & Wellness

Students have supports and resources for medical care, mental health counselling, as well as physical and sexual health. Check out Student Health & Wellness Services for more information.

Faculty also can check out the below teaching and learning resources to support student well-being:

Best Practices for Faculty to Support Students in Distress or in Crisis

Content Warnings in Teaching

Managing Unexpected and/or Emotional Incidents in Post-Secondary Teaching

Reacting and Responding to Student E-mails, Especially During End-of-Semester Stress

A summary of Conestoga’s Equity Resources is also available in pdf.

References

ApplyBoard (Apr. 13, 2021). The Most Popular Canadian Colleges and Universities for International Students in 2021. Retrieved from: https://www.applyboard.com/blog/the-most-popular-canadian-colleges-and-universities-for-international-students-in-2021

Conestoga College (2021). Conestoga’s Strategic Plan 2021-2024. Retrieved from: https://www-assets.conestogac.on.ca/documents/www/strategic-plan/conestoga-strategic-plan-2021-24.pdf

Sara Kafashan

Sara Kafashan, PhD, has worked in post-secondary education since 2009. With a Master’s in Neuroscience and Cognitive Applied Sciences and a PhD in Applied Social Psychology, she has prior teaching experience within the field of Social Sciences. Sara brings a lens of equity, diversity, and inclusion, and a focus on wellness strategies, to teaching and learning. She has expertise in inclusive and accessible educational practices, including curriculum development, resource creation, and engagement with various campus stakeholders.

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