Peer tutoring helps boost student success

For new and returning Durham College students, a new year is often filled with a renewed commitment to improvement, whether it’s promises to be healthier and return to the gym or a goal to learn a new skill. The new year can also mean a vow to improve scholastically, a resolution the college is able to help achieve through Student Academic Learning Services’ (SALS) peer tutoring.

All students are eligible to apply for peer tutoring and gain the advantages it can provide for a minimal fee of $10. Students are provided with the opportunity to be tutored by fellow students in two subjects with a maximum of 15 hours in each subject, most often working out to approximately two hours of tutoring per week.

“Peer tutoring is a win-win program for both the tutees and the tutors,” said Leslie Linstrum, writing specialist with SALS. “Tutees receive subject-specific support in a course they are experiencing difficulty with while tutors are able to help fellow students; add to their co-curricular record; and receive part-time employment income.”

Peer tutoring has a proven track record of improving academic performance. Last year, 82.3 per cent of students who accessed peer tutoring received their credits. Students gain valuable abilities including organizational skills while learning in a friendly environment alongside a fellow student.

This semester’s peer tutoring sessions are set to begin on Monday, January 20. For more information and instructions on how to apply for peer tutoring or to be a tutor, please visit Durham College’s peer tutoring webpage.

Get Active and Win!

The Flex Centre is hosting the annual Active Living Challenge to encourage staff and students to participate in any type of physical activity from Thursday, January 9 through to Thursday, February 13.

Simply pick up a postcard-sized tracking card from the main athletics desk or the Flex Centre beginning January 9. Make your way through 30-minute blocks of physical activity dating and initialing each block. Each time you complete five hours of physical activity, take your card to Flex Centre staff to be signed and fill out a weekly ballot for chances to win great prizes.

For the duration of the challenge, each Thursday morning prizes of t-shirts, fitness equipment and Lords and Ridgeback swag could be yours. Complete the entire card (by participating in 10 hours of physical activity) and submit it to win one of the following great prizes:

  • 1st prize: a Norco hybrid bike or a Reebok spin bike
  • 2nd prize: $100 Keg gift certificate
  • 3rd prize: $50 Future Shop gift card
  • 4th prize: $25 Chapters gift card

The grand prizes will be drawn on Thursday, February 20th. Your completed tracking card(s) is your ticket to win.

Frequently Asked Questions:

  1. Q. Do I have to complete the physical activity at the Flex Centre?
    A. No, If you go for a run, hike or walk you can record that. Skiing, snowboarding, shovelling? Record that too.
  2. Q. Do I have to do all 30 minutes at once?
    A. No, for every 30 accumulated minutes of activity, you can initial and date a square on your mountain.
  3. Q. Who verifies the tracking sheets?
    A. This initiative runs on the honour system. We’re hoping (and expecting) participants will be honest about physical activity completion.
  4. Q. How will I know if I win a prize?
    A. If your name is drawn, we will contact you. When you come to claim your prize, we may ask to take your photo to post on our Active Living Challenge bulletin board (just outside the Flex).
  5. Q. What if I complete 1 hour of physical activity?
    A. Then, you get to fill in the date and initial two squares.
  6. Q. When will the final draw for the big prizes be held?
    A. Fill out your complete tracking sheet, and submit for your chance to be eligible for the final prize draws. This draw will be held on Friday, February 20th. Please stay tuned for more info.

The 2013-2014 academic year is here!

Durham College’s campuses are alive with more than 5,000 first-year students embarking on their academic journey as the 2013-2014 year gets underway.

In support of both new and returning students, Durham College’s annual Orientation Week features several events including program orientation; Mature Student Social; DC First-Year Fun Fair; welcome barbecue; opening prayer and smudge; yoga in the yard; movie-on-the-lawn; First Blast; the annual Campus Cup pep rally and soccer matches; the Part-time Job Fair; the annual CampusFest Concert; and more. Orientation Week introduces new students to the college’s experienced faculty and staff, many student services and vibrant campus environment.

In addition Orientation week provides students with an opportunity to learn about program expectations as well as student clubs and societies while making new friends.

To learn more about what is happening on campus check out the Orientation microsite.

CampusFest headliner announced

The Student Association has announced that popular house music producer and DJ Wolfgang Gartner will be headlining this year’s CampusFest concert on Friday, September 13 as part of Orientation Week festivities.

Wolfgang has collaborated with a number of musical artists including, Eve, Deadmau5 and Skrillex.

Other performers at CampusFest include Tommy Trash, an Australian DJ, record producer and remixer who has collaborated with Swedish House Mafia and Tiesto. Back by popular demand is Monster Truck; Durham Region’s 20 Amp Soundchild; and E.P. Taylor’s house DJ, DJ Donny C.

Tickets are now on sale in the Tuck Shop located in the Student Centre from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Durham College students may purchase tickets for $28 and may also purchase one guest ticket at a cost of $40 until Thursday, September 12 at noon. Campus ID cards or printed copies of class schedules are required to prove student status. Don’t miss out on this end-of-summer blast; buy your ticket today!

For more information on CampusFest please visit The SA website.

Durham College welcomes international athletes

The City of Oshawa recently hosted the 2013 Federation of International Lacrosse (FIL) Women’s World Cup and Durham College played a key role in the festivities, housing athletes through its Campus Residence and Conference Centre facilities, which include the Simcoe and South Village residences.

The cup, which took place from July 10 to 20, marked the 100th anniversary of women’s international lacrosse with the tournament welcoming teams from 19 different countries including Europe, Asia and Australia.

Kristen Carr, a defender for the U.S. national women’s team, stayed in the South Village Residence and spoke of the eclectic nature of the athlete’s residence during the tournament.

“A lot of the countries were staying in the same place. Finland was in the same hallway as us and I know Canada is on the third floor,” said Carr. “We didn’t interact a lot but it was cool seeing the different countries and seeing what they like to do.”

Australia midfielder Bella Pickett also spoke of the diverse housing during her stay in the Simcoe Village Residence.

“You get to kind of mingle with other teams. Everyone has their own space but it’s nice to see everyone and the atmosphere is really cool,” said Pickett.

2013 marked the first time the event was held in Canada with the recently renovated Oshawa Civic Recreation Complex serving as the main facility for the tournament. Renovations were completed on the facility in 2011 including the refurbishment of two outdoor fields and the addition of an indoor field house, all of which feature artificial turf fields.

The tournament ended with the U.S. capturing the gold medal, defeating Canada 19 to 5 in the championship game. The top four was rounded out by Australia defeating England 11 to 6 in the bronze medal game. The FIL Women’s World Cup will next be held in Surrey, England in 2017.

Oshawa welcomed approximately 25,000 spectators alongside the nearly 500 athletes who competed in the tournament.

Benefits of the campus ID card

There are many advantages to being a Durham College student, including the convenience and accessibility the campus ID card provides when accessing the many services and facilities on campus.

Academically, students benefit from the ease that they can utilize the various services in place to help them be successful in their areas of study.

“Being in the journalism program I used my student ID for renting out cameras for stories I was working on,” said Marielle Boutin, a third-year Journalism – Print and Broadcast student. “It was also convenient when printing stories in the computer commons; it saved me a lot of time.”

The campus ID card also enables students to take advantage of the services offered at the Campus Health Centre including: massage therapy; chiropractic care; physiotherapy; orthotics; acupuncture; on-site pharmacy; and a full medical clinic.

There are a number of other on-campus services the campus ID card is used for including: utilizing the Campus Recreation and Wellness Centre; borrowing items from the library; and as a transit pass with Durham Region Transit for the duration of a student’s program.

“Students who finish choosing their fall classes as early as July, are encouraged to visit the Campus ID office to validate their card in the summer months so they can avoid lineups in September,” advised Judy Kellar, campus ID co-ordinator.

Durham College campus sets the scene for music video shoots

The beautiful campus of Durham College is being taken over by local directors who are incorporating the school into their music videos.

Within the last two years, five different music videos have been produced on the grounds of Durham College featuring a variety of artists including Najjah Calibur (It’s Been a Pleasure), Tyler Medeiros (Please Don’t Go), 20 Amp Soundchild (Lights Go Out), Jordan Mcintosh (Walk Away) and K-Simone (Can You Hear Me).

Each artist has been a recipient of the MuchFACT fund that provides grants to Canadian recording artists to help them produce music videos. Production company Next Element (NE) specializes in music video shoots and two of their directors have directed four of the five music videos taped on campus.

Students from the Digital Video Production and VFX and Digital Cinema programs were incorporated into the filming of these videos, allowing the students to showcase what they’ve learned while gaining great hands-on experience in the comprehensive field of media production.

Marc Andre Debruyne and fellow NE director Cazhhmere have spent a lot of time at Durham in the past few years, creating visual works of art that tell a story with the help of the diverse areas and state-of-the-art facilities on campus.

After directing It’s Been a Pleasure in 2012, Debruyne found a lot of positive and versatile aspects that the campus had to offer and returned a couple months later to direct the Say I Love You – Please Don’t Go video by Tyler Medeiros.

“Durham College offered a nice diversification in architecture, giving me the chance to shoot two videos there, without it looking the same,” he said. “They were both very fun, youth-oriented videos with storylines revolving around schools.”

In his time spent on campus, Debruyne was most taken with the impressive layout of the library as it added to the beautification of the Najjah Calibur video.

“It really elevated (It’s Been a Pleasure) to a whole other level of production,” he said. “Durham College has always been a friendly place to shoot and there are still many buildings that I could shoot in.” 

DC summer sports camps score with the kids

This summer, local children can grab their running shoes, a bottle of water, a hat and some sunscreen and take the opportunity to have fun and make friends through a variety of summer sports camps at Durham College.

Developed by the college’s Athletics department as a means of showcasing the state-of-the-art sports facilities to youth, this summer marks the 27th year of providing sports camps at Durham College, and the fifth year being voted one of the top summer camps in Durham Region.

Children can register to improve their skills in a variety of sports including basketball, golf, badminton, baseball, softball, soccer, volleyball and tennis or they can sign up for the multisport camp and get a chance to experience a variety of sports and games.

Michael Duggan, summer sports camp co-ordinator, said when these camps started, they only offered two sports, but have continued to phase in more activities with each new summer.

“This year, we will be introducing floorball, an upbeat version of floor hockey,” he said.

Head coaches from Durham College varsity sport teams, local high schools, club programs and other colleges and universities will be banding together to form a highly qualified lineup of staff to ensure constant entertainment and optimal results for campers.

“Wayne King is the head coach for the University of Toronto badminton team, but he loves to teach badminton at our summer camps,” said Duggan.

More than 500 campers are expected to enrol in this summer’s camps and youth are encouraged to return and serve as camp counsellors once they reach the proper age.

Lunch programs are available as part of the camp schedules as well as morning and afternoon caretaking programs for parents who start work early or end late to accommodate various family schedules.

“(Our objective is) to give kids the opportunity to experience what Durham College is all about, to see the facilities to promote (the college) within our community and to offer programs where kids can go and have fun,” said Duggan.

In addition to a variety of sports offerings, Durham College also offers a number of special interest camps including music, photography and design. For more information, please visit the summer camps website.

Working towards a healthier campus

According to studies reported by CBC News, the number of students with mental illnesses has increased substantially in the past few years with more than half of students reporting symptoms. To address this many institutions, including Durham College, are looking at how to improve mental health issues on campus.

The Campus Health Centre is conducting their own research study to highlight the importance of a student’s mental health and the link between mental health and academic success. The findings of the self-assessment will be used in the formation of a comprehensive Mental Health Strategy which the college intends to use to promote awareness and the importance of good mental health on campus.

As part of this initiative, the Campus Health Centre is providing a free subscription to MyHealth magazine to students and staff. This resource provides accurate mental, physical and developmental health information and includes engaging interactive features.

The publication also provides tips for handling stress and depression, as well as how to practice self-care and smart decision making. The magazine is available for registration online with the use of a Durham College email address.

“As a health centre serving post-secondary students, we value mental health awareness of all staff and students,” said Amanda Cappon, mental health worker, Campus Health Centre. “The MyHealth magazine is one way of meeting this goal. To be aware means we are better able to intervene at an early stage. Early intervention has been demonstrated through research to reduce the negative outcomes of mental health issues.”

The Campus Health Centre provides a wide range of services to students during demanding times of the year. Twice a month, the centre has student volunteers called mental health promoters from the Addictions and Mental Health graduate certificate program stationed at a booth to speak to fellow students.

“The booth is intended to create mental health awareness, to ‘talk the talk’ and to promote self-care by informing students of support available in the health centre,” said Cappon. 

Get Swabbed at DC

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