Dear Parents Newsletter: January Edition

Dear Parents January Banner

It's a new and exciting year here at UTM!  This new year and new term offers you and your student a fresh start, with many opportunities for reflecting on the past term, celebrating accomplishments, and developing skills to help you and your student succeed this term.

This month is a great time for your students to connect with resources and services on campus, join a club, and learn about many of the opportunities that are available to them as they look forward to their second year at UTM. Some options include on campus jobs, volunteering, and engagement opportunities. Do not hesitate to encourage them to reach out to various services on campus and learn more about positions that may help in their skill development, while also providing a community and connection to UTM!

In this issue...

Roadmap Banner

We welcome you back to continue with us on your student’s journey into the new year. In January, some students may be starting to feel a bit more comfortable now that they have a semester’s worth of experience under their belt, while others may be a little more apprehensive if their first semester did not go as they had hoped. Getting back into the motions of university life after the break may be accompanied by feelings of homesickness as well as difficulties staying motivated and readjusting to regular routines.

As a parent, it can be helpful to work with your student to develop an action plan for this upcoming term. Take the time to discuss the various challenges your student has faced and provide space for them to reflect on what changes can be implemented for a more successful second semester. The focus of any kind of action plan will vary depending on your student’s needs. It may be getting involved with an interest club as their first foray into on-campus involvement, or more focused on building skills to help them grow academically. It is important to stay cognizant of the fact that your role here is not to necessarily enforce this plan- the onus should stay with the student. However, this initial act of brainstorming a plan can be just what your student needs to start off the term right.

Being involved with organizations on campus helps to foster an important sense of community and aids in finding one’s niche within the larger university scene. There is no shortage of opportunities here at UTM - though the large number of activities available to participate in can be a bit overwhelming for some students.

For first year university students, participation in high-impact activities is linked to increased academic performance. These types of offerings are ones that allow for students to develop many of the skills crucial for success in the university environment such as critical thinking, problem-solving and academic writing. Options at UTM include the new academic coaching program offered by the Office of Student Transition as well as several other programs run by the Robert Gillespie Academics Skills Centre, to name a few.

Consider asking your student the following questions:

  • How are you feeling about the new courses you’re taking this semester?
  • Have you begun to plan your schedule to include office hour timings and assignment deadlines?
  • What are some things you plan to do differently this semester?
  • Have you been looking at the career learning network, bulletin boards, and talking to peers to stay informed on what on-campus opportunities are available for you to get experience with?

If your student lives on residence, some questions you can ask are:

  • What’s your relationship like with your residence don? Have you had conversations about student leadership positions like those offered on residence?

For commuter students you might want to ask:

  • Have you looked into connecting with one of the departments on campus who offer work-study positions for next year?

These common experiences and check-in strategies can help you and your student to keep on track with important details, deadlines, and keep communication open during the year. To be helpful, encourage your student to seek out opportunities to enrich their university experience. For more information on how to get your student to engage with their campus community, attend the upcoming workshop just for parents and families on, “Motivating Your Student.” More information is provided in our section “Parent & Family Workshops” below.

Parent and Family Workshops Banner

Based on parent demand, we are offering a session this January on motivation and your student!

At this time of year, motivation is at an all time low for many students.  What a great time for you to join us and learn about how to help your student get started when they are stuck.

Motivating Your Student
Thursday, January 26, 2017

7:00 - 8:30 PM
Davis Building Room 3129

Staff from Student Housing & Residence Life, and the Office of Student Transition will be available to provide information about resources and supports available to your students.

In addition to the session, you are welcome to come and visit the beautiful UTM Campus, meet with student service representatives, and converse with other UTM families.

Register now at

Featured Offerings Banner

This term, the Office of Student Transition is offering two exciting mentorship opportunities for new-to-UTM students.  The first program offers mentorship on a 1-to-1 basis where students can share experiences, and the second offers group mentorship and sessions with an academic focus.  Read more about these engaging opportunities below.

REACHout First Gen Mentoring Opportunity

REACHout First Gen is an opportunity for first generation students to join a community of students with similar backgrounds! Students will be paired up with an upper-year mentor where they will have 1:1 mentoring conversations throughout the semester to discuss common issues the new student might face. REACHout First Gen is also a chance for the student to attend social and academic activities with their mentors. These include the Launch Event, Trailblazers Conference, REACH Recognition Celebration, and community building activities.

REACHout First Gen is a free program, open to all students who are new to UTM, who want to learn about available resources and meet other first generation students!

First Generation Student: a student whose parent(s) and/or guardian(s) have not attended university in Canada.

For more information about REACHout First Gen, visit:

Academic Coaching Program

The Office of Student Transitions' Academic Coaching Program pairs your student and a small group of other new-to-UTM students with a successful upper-year student Mentor and Academic Coach.  Every other week throughout the winter term, student groups will meet and learn key academic skills designed to increase academic performance here at UTM.  There will also be several social events throughout the year in order to help students engage with the broader UTM community.

While the program is open to everyone, the curriculum is tailored with the specific needs of either the First Generation or Transfer students in mind.

For more information about the Academic Coaching Program, visit:


 Important Dates Banner

January 2, 2017
University re-opens. Full year (Y) courses resume; Winter term (S) courses begin.

January 6, 2017
Deadline for study abroad programs. These programs give your student the option to participate in an international exchange while earning credits to their degree! More information at Outbound Exchange.

January 1-27, 2017
Registration for REACHout First Gen is open!. This mentorship experience for first generation students provides an opportunity for new students to connect with someone else who is a first generation student in second-year and beyond. First-year students can attend sessions with a mentor, attend first generation student community building events, and participate in engaging faculty events. Learn more at

January 15, 2017
For students paying course fees: Last day to drop a winter term course on ACORN and receive 100% course fee refund, as long as your student remains registered in other courses for the current session.

January 15, 2017
For students paying deregulated program fee: Last day to drop from full- to part-time status and receive 50% program fee refund. These students will be charged 50% of the deregulated per course fees according to the students' credit weight during Fall/Winter. After this date, if these students drop from full- to part-time, no refund is received.

January 15, 2017
Course waiting lists close for S courses.

January 15, 2017
Last day to add or change a section in an S course on ACORN.

January 22, 2017
Deadline to sign up for Alternative Reading Week (ARW). This is a unique opportunity that gives students a chance to work with community groups in peel to learn more about and engage with local issues to foster social change. For more information visit the website for Alternative Reading Week.

January 22, 2017
For students paying course fees: Last day to drop an S course and receive a 75% course fee refund.

January 23, 2017
Hiring deadlines for student positions with many student service departments on campus.  Positions as Orientation and Outreach Leader In-Training with the Office of Student Transition are available. More information is available at the Office of Student Transition's Positions Available Website.

January 24, 2017
Residence staff applications due. Online application required via the Career Learning Network (CLN) website.

January 26, 2017
Parent and Family Workshop: "Motivating Your Student." Join us in the workshop to learn more about how to motivate your student in their transition through their first year of university! Visit to register.

January 31, 2017
For students registered in the Fall/Winter session: Deadline to pay fees for Winter term to avoid service charges (if you have been deferred due to a loan).

January 31, 2017
For students registered in the Winter term ONLY: Deadline to pay fees to avoid service charges (if you have a loan deferral or you were registered by paying the minimum payment).

For more important dates and deadlines, visit the Office of the Registrar's Website.


  UTM Lingo Banner

The University of Toronto has a Work-Study Program which provides students with the opportunity to develop their knowledge, skills and experience through paid work on campus.  Work-Study positions are for full-time or part-time graduate and undergraduate students (both domestic and international).  

Is an abbreviation for the Career Learning Network. CLN is a community that brings together students and recent graduates of the University of Toronto (U of T) with internal and external partners interested in their career success.  Students can search for jobs, participate in on-campus recruitment activities, register for Career Centre events and programs, and connect with alumni, faculty and staff.


 Historical Facts Banner

The Argonauts, Toronto's official CFL team, used the South Field as their primary training facility for over 20 years!  

In addition to being used as a training facility, our campus has also stared in the film Regression (2014) with Emma Watson and the television show Heroes Reborn (2015).



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This service is provided through funding from the Ministry of Training, Colleges & Universities in support of first generation students.

You are receiving this newsletter as a new UTM parent or family member.  If your student is no longer attending UTM, please disregard this message. Please note that this newsletter will stop when classes end in April. To be removed from the mailing list, send an email to

Our mailing address is:
3359 Mississauga Road, Mississauga, ON L5L 1C6 Davis Building, Room 2090