The Vice-Dean's office of the Undergraduate Studies has pursued in 2019 many important and structuring projects in the areas of student experience and academic paths. In addition, a major initiative on the indigenization of the Faculty of Social Sciences' courses curricula will be launched and will continue over the next few years.
In terms of student experience, the Vice-Dean's Office has consolidated and expanded recruitment projects, such as offering an introductory course in the social sciences for Ontario Francophone students, both on the University campus and, new this year, at a distance for Francophone communities in the Toronto and southern regions of the province. In terms of CEGEP recruitment, and as part of an initiative led by the Student Enrolment Management sector, the FSS Undergraduate Studies Office has prepared customized course sequences to make the transitions between CEGEP and the University of Ottawa more harmonious. We also revised the strategic vision and mandate of the Mentoring Centre, now renamed the Student Experience Centre, to better respond to the changing needs of students, particularly in terms of tutoring, and to further strengthen the links between the services of the Undergraduate Office and the Centre. The Student Experience Centre is now housed in renovated and better equipped premises to meet its new mission.
Among the highlights of the academic career path, we must highlight and salute the efforts made in the area of so-called "inclusive admissions", which aim to admit students into our programs of study who, for reasons often related to their migratory background or various forms of violence, do not have the academic averages for regular admission. Aware of the academic obstacles that these students may face, the Vice-Deanship has continued the consolidation and extension of the course FSS1550 University Strategies and Skills. The content of this course, offered in the fall and winter terms, has been extensively revised. It will now be delivered to a greater number of people with more fragile backgrounds, including those who find themselves in difficulty after a first term or first year of study at FSS. Another initiative among several, the Vice-Deanship has worked to increase the offer of intensive research courses, with the extension of directed research courses in collaboration with the Centre on Governance and the CIRCEM.
It is also important to note the development of a major initiative concerning the indigenization of the academic programs. The work of an optional committee on indigenization and decolonization will lead to the hiring of an Indigenization Content Specialist for the FSS in the fall of 2020. This person will be responsible for supporting the units in the development of indigenization plans for their course curricula. Considerable resources will be allocated to this initiative, to support the projects and the colleagues who will be responsible for them.
Finally, as we look towards 2020, we all know that the challenges related to COVID-19 will continue to have a considerable impact on all activities of the Vice-Dean office, but it is with confidence and determination that the employees will continue to offer efficient and excellent services to the entire student community.
Vice-Dean of Undergraduate Studies