Enhancing academic accommodations: Ingredients for success

Posted on Friday, July 9, 2021

Continuous communication, effective management, a collaborative team, and accurate process definition. These are the key factors that contributed to the success of recent changes to the academic accommodations process. Thanks to a collaborative effort, new system functionalities have transformed the digital experience.

 continuous communication, effective management, a collaborative team and an accurate process definition.

Although an online portal exists to facilitate the academic accommodation process, students have struggled with making requests on a course-by-course basis. On the operations side, staff encountered difficulties with applying requests for specific courses and making necessary arrangements. The overall process was affected by operational bottlenecks and the need for manual intervention. The University is committed to providing students with disabilities academic accommodation to allow them an equitable opportunity to fully access and participate in the learning environment. An Information Technology partnership between Student Academic Success Service (SASS) and Carleton University’s Paul Menton Centre and McIntyre Exam Centre offered an exciting opportunity to introduce process improvements for our community and another institution.

The collaborative effort looked at the tool and identified processes and enhancements that could benefit both institutions. The group was committed to delivering a state-of-the-art solution. Team members from both universities brought their expertise and distinctive skills to problem solve and update the academic accommodations portal, Ventus.

“Academic Accommodations Service thrives on creating an individualized student approach and building student advocacy skills. This new Ventus update was able create a workflow that contributes to an improved student-centred approach by providing them with the chance to customize their accommodation plan based on course evaluations and academic requirements. Additionally, by being able to select their accommodations per class, it empowers each of our students to make decisions and advocate for their needs by selecting what they require for their courses and what can remain confidential. We believe that this new workflow will benefit our students by creating a better experience and support.” - Julie Raymond, Head of Academic Support and Learning.

It was a recipe for success. Following managerial leadership and client feedbacks, the Ventus team combined communication, business knowledge, and technical skills to successfully deliver impactful changes for both staff and students. An accomplishment deserving of a big cake celebration!

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