(to see all Jackie's messages, click on the above link)
Back to school! Back to school?
Is it just me, or does everyone seem to smile more in the sunshine? Summer was lovely, if a little too cool and a bit too short (as it always is). As we enter September, the countdown to the first day of classes moves into single digits and we are compelled to shift back into a more serious state of mind.
For many part-time students, summer is not much of a break at all. While some of us enjoyed lingering sunsets or sleeping late on the weekend, many others took courses year-round. Whether you spent the last few months relaxing or ‘keeping the pressure on’, I hope that you got what you needed out of this (almost past) summer.
Like you, MAPS is ramping up for the fall. Since approving the Operational Plan in July (you can see a summary of the plan by clicking the link above this message), our team has been working to get new programs and services ready for you. These services include designating MAPS as a pick up location for Campus Store purchases (which will start in late September), arranging for part-time students to ‘opt-in’ to the MSU’s health and dental plan (there is more info below this message), launching a mentorship program (October), and reaching out to you to get your input on course availability and the creation of an online community (September and October).
None of this would have happened without the support of your volunteer Board of Directors and our very dedicated staff – and I’d like to take this opportunity to thank all of them for their work so far. I am incredibly proud to be a part of this dynamic and fun group of people who want to make a difference in the lives of part-time students.
Maybe you’d like to join us.
MAPS has many opportunities for you to help make a difference. Because we are all busy, our organization is designed to accommodate volunteering for as little as an hour a month – or more if something is important to you.
There are lots of ways to volunteer. In addition to a few new positions that come with an honorarium, there are opportunities to sit on the Finance and Awards committees, be a mentor, or simply send us a tip or trick that you’ve learned during your time at Mac. How you help your fellow students isn’t as important as making some time to help.
My work at MAPS has shown me how good it feels to make a difference, and that’s a feeling everyone should have. And for those of you who are looking at grad school or want to advance at work, nothing says ‘team player’ better than a person who volunteers (and a letter of reference can sometimes make all the difference…).
Even if you’re not sure what you’d like to do, click on the “volunteering” button above this message (the hand on the right) and fill out the form, or stop in and talk to us. I promise we will find something fun for you to do.
As always, if you’d like to learn more, need help with navigating the university, or if you haven’t visited the Lounge, please stop by! Our Welcome Week Open House is Wednesday September 3rd from 6pm to 8pm (there is more info about on this webpage), or you can stop by anytime. Kim, Malanie, Felice and Kyle are a friendly group and will happily show you the lounge amenities, help you navigate the campus, or help you find the fastest way to get something done.
Best of luck with your studies! If there is anything that MAPS can do to make your university experience better, please let us know.
- Jacqueline (Jackie) Arlen
How did we do? Let us know by clicking here
New at MAPS
The McMaster Association of Part-time Students (MAPS) and the McMaster Students Union (MSU) have arranged for part-time students to 'opt-in' to the MSU's health and dental insurance program.
"The MSU is glad to partner with MAPS to bring health and dental coverge to all McMaster Students who need it," noted Teddy Saull, MSU President. "I am pleased our two organizations are able to ensure all [MAPS members] get the services they need."
"It has been a very positive and welcome experience for me personally and our team to work with Teddy and the MSU to make this happen," added Jackie Arlen, MAPS' president. "I think this is a sure sign of more good things to come from both student associations working together.
Under the opt-in program, part-time undergraduate students, as well as students attending the Centre for Continuing Education (CCE) can purchase coverage in the MSU's plan. The premium for single coverage for 12 months is $298. This change has no impact on the current plans offered to MSU members.
Full details of the MSU Health and Dental plan are available at www.msumcmaster.ca/healthplan.
Information for MAPS members regarding the plan and how to apply are available at www.mcmaster.ca/maps/insurance.html
New Link Published
The September Edition of The Link was sent out to members by email over the Labour Day Weekend.
Trying to figure out how Mac works?
We can help!
MAPS is hosting a series of helpful information sessions on topics suggested to us by you. For more information, click on the poster (ab0ve), or contact us
Suit Drive Huge Success!
THANK YOU McMASTER!
Between mid-August and the first week of September, MAPS collected interview-appropriate clothes and accessories to donate to the Robert Half Suit Drive. Each year, Robert Half runs the campaign to help low-income job seekers "dress for success".
"We were thrilled with the response," noted MAPS' executive director Kyle Johansen. "The quality and quantity of the donations exceeded our expectations and our friends at Robert Half had nothing but great things to say about the spirit of generousity at Mac."
Kyle Johansen (MAPS' Executive Director) and Adel Nazi (Staffing Manager at Accountemps) with the Suit Drive donations from McMaster.
Course access survey to launch next week
MAPS will be asking you about your experiences regarding course access and availability in the next few weeks.
Over the summer, Centrality Data Services interviewed university departments to learn how each decides which courses to offer and how many seats will be in each class.
The next stage of this important research is to get your feedback about your experience with course availability --- both for last year and this year. With your input, we will be able to talk to the university about your actual experiences in order to find ways to improve course accessibility for part-time students.
All MAPS members will receive an email with a link to an online survey in the next few weeks.
Please take this opportunity to help all part-time students by completing the survey.
Just the facts...
Want to be a MAPS volunteer?
We now have a one-page questionnaire you can fill out to make that happen fast! You can find it here.
"We have a plan!"
On July 15th, the Board of Directors approved the Association's first Operational Plan (Op Plan).
"This is a very important document for us", explained Jackie Arlen, MAPS' President, "...our Operational Plan clearly states what we plan to do, how we plan to achieve it, and how we will measure our success."
In June, the Board of Directors identified its overall strategic goals and statement of purpose, and then discussed what sort of activities would best achieve those goals.
The McMaster Association of Part-time Students helps you successfully navigate your part-time student experience.
The Op Plan is based on the Board's direction, and organizes the Association's goals in five themes: Representation, Recognition, Member Support, Communications, and Research.
Each theme has a number of projects planned for the next twelve months which will move the Association forward.
"The Op Plan is a huge step in transparency. It makes our Board more accountable to our members, and the executive director more accountable to the Board," noted Kyle Johansen, MAPS' executive director. "We have clear objectives to achieve and projects set out to get us there. Because the Op Plan is a public document, everyone will be able to judge how well we are doing."
The Op Plan will be posted to the website in the next several days. Please see the quick link at the top of this page for direct access to the plan when it is posted.
If you want to let us know about the quality of service you received from our office, please go here and complete a brief survey.
MAPS' first Annual Report (formerly the Report from the Board of Directors) was released on March 25th. You can view or download the report here.
The 2013 Audited Financial Statements were approved by the Board of Directors on March 25th and are available here.
Permanent executive director appointed
On August 31st, Kyle Johansen was appointed as the Association's Executive Director. Kyle was previously serving as the acting ED.
There are no current media releases. Older releases can be found here.
Notices that are not listed below have been moved to our notice archive page