Welcome to MAPS - We help you successfully navigate your part-time student experience

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    Best wishes from everyone at MAPS for a happy holiday and a great 2015!

A word from the President

(to see all Jackie's messages, click on the above link)

September 2014

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


    MAPS is now on LinkedIN!

    MAPS 2014-2015 Handbook is available online or in our office


    The completely re-vamped MAPS Handbook for 2014-2015 is available online here. Hard copies are also available for pick up in our offices at MUSC 234.

    The Handbook is an invaluable reference guide for university and student services, as well as important phone numbers and key dates throughout the school year.

Just the facts...


We are currently working with the MSU to have a January 2015 Opt-in period for the plan.

Full details of the MSU Health and Dental plan are available at https://wespeakstudent.com/home/8-mcmaster-university

Information for MAPS members regarding the plan and how to apply are available at www.mcmaster.ca/maps/insurance.html

How are we doing?

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.

The Link

The November 2014 edition of our newsletter is now available online here.

Click here for Holiday Hours

Policy Change

The Board of Directors is proposing to change Operational Policy 008 - Fiscal and Operating Plans by adjusting the reporting dates for financial reports and changing timelines for the Operating Plan and Budget Cycle. Members may submit comments on the proposed changes to maps@mcmaster.ca.

To see the revised policy, please click here.

To get more information about the changes, click here

Want to be a Mentor? Want to have a Mentor? Deadline extended to December 31st

MAPS is very pleased to announce our peer mentorship program is now accepting applications for mentors and mentees.

The program pairs up part-time students with different levels of experience. Mentors can help mentees by providing moral support and practical advice about how to successfully navigate part-time studies ... or simply be a friendly face to chat with occasionally.

The program allows for mentoring to happen online or in person, depending on each person's needs.

To get involved with the program, please complete an application form (available in our offices or here).

The deadline for applying for the program has been extended to December 31st. If you have any questions, please contact Div Jalan at mentorship.maps@gmail.com, or call our offices at (905) 525-9140 x22021.

Kristen Belovari appointed to the Board of Directors

At the Board's meeting on November 11, Kristin Belovari was appointed as a Director until the Association holds election in the spring of 2015.

Kristin is a CCE student and works for the City of Hamilton as a health promotion specialist in the Tobacco Control Department.

Please join us in welcoming Kristin to the Board.

MAPS is getting new doors

The Board of Directors has approved the purchase of tempered glass doors to replace the current wood doors to our office.

The new doors will increase the exposure of the office to passers-by and hopefully will result in more part-time students stopping in to see what MAPS is all about.

Want to work at MAPS? - click here for info!

9/15 councillors elected to City Council support helping part-time students with transit fares!

MAPS is now a Campus Store Pick up location

You can now select the MAPS Office as a Pick Up location for purchases made at the Campus Store.

This allows you to pick up any purchases you've made without having to go to the Campus Store. Just select MAPS as your Pick Up location, and follow the instructions.

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.

Did you take the course accessibility survey? THANK YOU!

Over 18% of our members took the time to tell us about their experiences regarding course accessibility.

We are currently working on analysing the results and will have a report out in the coming weeks.

To each of our member who completed the survey - thank you! Your input provides us with real data to share with the university. Thanks also to those of you who emailed us directly with issues that were not on the survey. We will be working on those too!

Suit Drive Huge Success!


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 generosity at Mac."

Kyle Johansen (MAPS' Executive Director) and Adel Nazi (Staffing Manager at Accountemps) with the Suit Drive donations from McMaster.

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