Education

Saint Mary’s University launches ‘success maps’ to help students set goals

Online tool shows how to get involved outside of course work

Saint Mary's University Success Map
Saint Mary’s University Success Map   kaitlynn burns

Saint Mary’s University has set up a new online system for students to set goals and track opportunities outside of class that might help them get jobs after graduation.

The tool, called Success Maps, was launched on Nov. 15. It uses a checklist format that is the same for everyone, but the “map” changes based on a student’s program of study.

Typically, this information would have been given in a presentation to students, says Margaret Murphy, the university’s vice-president of external affairs.

“The university really wants Success Maps to be a tool that’s Internet based that students can use even before they arrive to university,” she said. “It’s not meant to replace a real discussion with an academic adviser; it’s a reminder or a checklist for people because the preference today seems to be for online tools.”

Using Success Maps, students can select a faculty or program of study and see the course requirements. It also shows students ways they can participate in campus life and their community.

success-map
Saint Mary’s University Success Maps website   kaitlynn burns

“Students are (often) encouraged to be involved with activities outside their own course work,” said Murphy. “This is a more modern take on that.”

Caitlin LeBlanc, a fourth-year psychology student, tried out Success Maps. It recommended that she attend a job search seminar series before or after graduation. She also learned about the Halifax Connector program, which links students with professionals working in their area of study.

“That’s something I might apply for to help prepare myself (to find a job),” LeBlanc said.

Murphy says Saint Mary’s will continue to update Success Maps to make sure the information is accurate.

“We know that it’s currently up-to-date, but going forward we have to make sure that the information reflects what is being offered at the university,” she said.

Success Maps are based off a similar resource created by Queen’s University in Ontario. Murphy said it’s the first online tool of its kind in Atlantic Canada.