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  • 30 May 2017 9:30 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The Learning Specialists Association of Canada would like to announce the inaugural winners of its LSAC National Awards. These awards recognize the contributions of our members to their institution, the profession, and to LSAC. The awards were presented during the gala event of the LSAC 2017 national conference held at John Abbott College in Quebec, Canada.

    Student Award

    Mynt Marsellus of Wilfrid Laurier University was awarded the Student Award for their work as an SI leader, an SI senior mentor, as a time management coach, and as a writing tutor over the past three years.

    The LSAC Student Award is presented to a student who has had a positive impact on learning skills programming, services, or research at their institution.

      

       

        

    Emerging Professional Award

    Caryle Vroom of Simon Fraser University was awarded the Emerging Professional Award for her work supporting student learning through the development of first-year transition programming, including, the redevelopment of resource material; through providing instruction in learning strategies; and, through helping students in the development of individual learning plans.

    The LSAC Emerging Professional Award is presented to an individual who has worked in the learning specialist industry between two and six years at the time of nomination and who has demonstrated a novel or unique approach to learning skills programming, services, or research that resulted in a substantial impact at their institution.

       

    Distinguished Professional Award

    spotlight-lisetto-smith.jpg

    Michael Lisetto-Smith of Wilfrid Laurier University was awarded the LSAC Distinguished Professional Award for his work in developing an infrastructure to launch a study skills centre, including supports for supplemental instruction, varsity athletes, Aboriginal students, online programming, and course embedded programs. He is also being recognized for his ongoing commitment and support for the learning specialists’ profession and LSAC through his work on the Board of Directors of the Learning and Study Skills Association (LASSA), his work in the creation of LSAC, and his work as the inaugural president of LSAC.

    The LSAC Distinguished Professional Award is presented to an LSAC professional member who has worked in the learning specialist industry for six or more years, has demonstrated either leadership or innovation that resulted in an impact to further student success, and has been actively involved in LSAC through presentations, volunteering, sitting on committees, or serving on the Board of Directors.

    Lifetime Achievement Award

    The LSAC Lifetime Achievement Award is presented to an LSAC professional member who is either close to retirement or who has retired at the time of nomination. The nominee must have contributed significantly to the profession through ongoing distinguished contributions to the development of learning skills programming, services, research, or the profession. LSAC recognized two members with this award.

    Maryann Kope

    Maryann Kope of the University of Guelph was awarded the LSAC Lifetime Achievement Award for her over 25 years of experience in the learning support profession. In that time, Maryann has developed an award-winning webshop, developed an award-winning graduate student learning initiative, oversaw the implementation of a student-athlete mentorship program, and has led a team of learning strategies professionals.

    Maryann has also dedicated time to LSAC through serving as the Eastern Regional Chair, the Chair of the LSAC 2015 National Conference, and the International Relations Director on the LSAC Board of Directors. As the International Relations Director, Maryann also sat on the Steering Group of the Consortium of Academic Languages and Learning Developers where she organized the inaugural Online Symposium.

     

         

    Richard “Zack” Zajchowski

    Richard “Zack” Zajchowski of Camosun College was awarded the LSAC Lifetime Achievement Award for his 45 years of experience in the learning support profession. In the time, Zack pioneered the embedding of learning strategies instruction into Physics courses, co-authored the book Learning for Success: Effective Strategies for Students, developed learning skills courses, and completed research on the professional nature of learning specialists.

    Zack has also dedicated time to the profession through his involvement on the Board of Directors with the Learning Specialists Association of British Columbia, through his involvement in the creation of LSAC by sitting on the initial creation committee and in sitting on governance committee, and through sitting as the inaugural Pacific Regional Chair on the first LSAC Board of Directors.

       

    The Learning Specialists Association of Canada (LSAC) is a voluntary, national association for professionals who focus on the application of learning theory in higher education. By offering instruction in learning strategies and study skills, LSAC members support and further the educational goals of students, faculty, staff and school administrations. LSAC's purpose is to develop, encourage, and model sound professional and ethical standards among its members while facilitating the dissemination of current and emerging trends and research in learning. More information about LSAC can be found online at www.learningspecialists.ca.

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  • 27 Apr 2017 9:00 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The Learning Specialists Association of Canada is disappointed and concerned about the University of Calgary’s recent decision to make its professional learning specialist staff in the Student Accessibility Services Office redundant.

    The Academic Strategists within this office are professionals with specific education, skill-sets, and experience working with, and accommodating students with disabilities. Furthermore, students with disabilities often have higher-rates of mental health concerns that require an ongoing professional relationship with their Academic Strategist.

    According to the Alberta Human Rights Commission, the University of Calgary has a duty to accommodate its students with disabilities, including, when necessary, custom individual student support [1]. This level of support requires specific knowledge and understanding of learning disabilities in order to apply and customize learning strategies solutions for this particular student cohort. It also requires resources in the form of trained staff members and time. According to Ontario’s Learning Opportunities Task Force, research has shown that “students cited assistive technology and learning and metacognitive strategies as the most useful program components provided to them [...]” and that staff required specific expertise in learning disabilities [2].

    We are also concerned that this decision will result in the under-resourcing of the University of Calgary’s Student Success Centre. It is our understanding that students with disabilities requiring on-going learning strategies support will be referred to our Academic Development Specialists colleagues within this Centre. Without dedicated learning specialist support for students with disabilities, programming and services within the Student Success Centre may suffer as the reality of taking on the full case loads of two full-time Academic Strategists become apparent.

    The Learning Specialists Association of Canada and its members are dedicated to supporting all students in reaching their full academic potential. It is our opinion that the changes being enacted at the University of Calgary will have a detrimental effect on both its students with disabilities and its student population as a whole. For these reasons, we request that the University of Calgary reconsider their decision and restore dedicated learning strategies support for student with disabilities and fulfil its requirement to accommodate these students.

    The Learning Specialists Association of Canada (LSAC) is a voluntary, national association for professionals who focus on the application of learning theory in higher education. By offering instruction in learning strategies and study skills, LSAC members support and further the educational goals of students, faculty, staff and school administrations. LSAC's purpose is to develop, encourage, and model sound professional and ethical standards among its members while facilitating the dissemination of current and emerging trends and research in learning. More information about LSAC can be found online at www.learningspecialists.ca.

    Works Cited

    [1] Duty to Accommodate Students. (September, 2010). Retrieved April 21, 2017, from https://www.albertahumanrights.ab.ca/publications/bulletins_sheets_booklets/bulletins/Pages/duty_to_accommodate_students.aspx#What is accommodation

    [2] Nichols, E., Harrison, A., McCloskey, L., & Weintraub, L. (2002). Learning Opportunities Task Force 1997–2002: Final report. Richmond Hill, ON: Learning Opportunities Task Force. Retrieved April 21, 2017, from https://carleton.ca/fita/wp-content/uploads/Final-report-1997-2000.pdf

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  • 01 Nov 2016 4:43 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The Learning Specialists Association of Canada is now accepting nominations for the inaugural LSAC Awards.

    In 2015, the LSAC membership voted to create a number of awards to recognize the contributions of our members to their institutions, the profession, and to LSAC.

    On the recommendation of an ad-hoc committee of your peers, the Board of Directors approved the creation of awards to recognize students, emerging professionals, distinguished professionals, lifetime achievement, and groups / teams.

    Award winners will have their conference registration fee waived, will be presented with a plaque during the LSAC 2017 conference banquet, and will be memorialized on the LSAC website.

    Nominations are due by December 16th!

    More information about the awards, and nomination forms, are available from the LSAC website.

  • 29 Sep 2016 8:54 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)
    The Learning Specialists Association of Canada (LSAC) and John Abbott College announce details of the LSAC 2017 National Conference.

    LSAC 2017 is scheduled for May 29th to 31st, 2017 at John Abbott College in Saint-Anne-de-Bellevue, just outside Montreal, Quebec, Canada.

    Official Website: http://www.johnabbott.qc.ca/lsac-home

    Speakers

    The conference welcomes keynote speaker Thomas Armstrong, Ph.D, the Executive Director of the American Institute for Learning and Human Development, and an award-winning author and speaker. Armstrong has authored fifteen books, including, Neurodiversity in the Classroom: Strength-Based Strategies to Help Students with Special Needs Achieve Success in School and Life, Multiple Intelligences in the Classroom 3rd Edition, In Their Own Way, Awakening Your Child’s Natural Genius, 7 Kinds of Smart, The Myth of the A.D.D. Child, The Power of Neurodiversity: Unleashing the Advantages of Your Differently Wired Brain, The Human Odyssey: Navigating the Twelve Stages of Life, The Best Schools: How Human Development Research Should Inform Educational Practice, ADD/ADHD Alternatives in the Classroom, and Awakening Genius in the Classroom.

    The conference also welcomes endnote speaker Roberta Thomson, M.A, Ed. Tech, an advocate for the creation of accessible learning environments for all. Thomson has presented at conferences provincially, nationally and internationally on the topics of: matching technology to the learner's needs, UDL and blending technology, and universal design in online learning environments.

    Call for Papers

    LSAC invites proposals for sessions at our 2017 national conference. While proposals on any topic relevant to our practice are welcome, we are particularly interested in sessions consistent with the conference theme. The closing date for proposals is December 15th, 2016.

    Registration

    Early bird registration is scheduled to begin on November 1st, 2016.

    More Information

    For more information, including travel and accommodation information, please visit the official LSAC 2017 conference website.

     

    The Learning Specialists Association of Canada (LSAC) is a voluntary, national association for professionals who focus on the application of learning theory in higher education. By offering instruction in learning strategies and study skills, LSAC members support and further the educational goals of students, faculty, staff and school administrations. LSAC's purpose is to develop, encourage, and model sound professional and ethical standards among its members while facilitating the dissemination of current and emerging trends and research in learning. More information about LSAC can be found online at www.learningspecialists.ca.



  • 02 May 2016 2:44 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)
    The Learning Specialists Association of Canada is disappointed and concerned about Georgian College’s recent decision to make its professional learning specialist staff redundant in favour of a solution that  will transfer learning strategies support to less qualified academic advisors to provide generic study skills support.

    Learning Strategists are professionals with specific education, skill-sets, and expertise to properly assess students’ current learning strategies and provide immediate and ongoing counsel to assist students in meeting their full academic potential. Unlike generic staff, Learning Strategists are able to both provide learning strategies instruction and assist students in applying strategies directly to course content taking into account adult learning theories, the latest research, and current best practices.

    While we respect the role academic advisors play within student success, we have concerns that this decision will result in learning strategy support at Georgian College being reduced to simplistic tips lacking context, application, and credibility.

    We are also concerned that this decision will result in a stagnation of academic support services to students. While the trend within many post-secondary institutions is to integrate and embed these services into curricula through the guidance and direction of a learning strategist, Georgian’s decision severely limits the evolution of learning strategies support to meet diverse student needs or to remain current with evidence-based practice.

    Research has shown that learning strategies support is essential to both student performance and retention if it is received early enough (Polansky et al, 1993) (Reed et al, 2009). By limiting and reducing access to these support systems we are concerned that Georgian students will face barriers to achieving their full academic potential. Furthermore, we are concerned that this decision will disenfranchise students with disabilities and other non-traditional students by limiting their opportunities to receive comprehensive learning strategies support.

    For these reasons, we request that Georgian College reconsider this decision and restore professional Learning Strategist support to provide dedicated comprehensive learning strategies support to its students.

    The Learning Specialists Association of Canada (LSAC) is a voluntary, national association for professionals who focus on the application of learning theory in higher education. By offering instruction in learning strategies and study skills, LSAC members support and further the educational goals of students, faculty, staff and school administrations. LSAC's purpose is to develop, encourage, and model sound professional and ethical standards among its members while facilitating the dissemination of current and emerging trends and research in learning. More information about LSAC can be found online at www.learningspecialists.ca.

    Works Cited

    Polansky, Joan, John J. Horan, and Christine Hanish. "Experimental Construct Validity of the Outcomes of Study Skills Training and Career Counseling as Treatments for the Retention of At-Risk Students." Journal of Counseling & Development 71, no. 5 (05, 1993): 488-92. doi:10.1002/j.1556-6676.1993.tb02230.x.

    Reed, Maureen J., Deborah J. Kennett, Tanya Lewis, Eunice Lund‐Lucas, Carolyn Stallberg, and Inez L. Newbold. "The Relative Effects of University Success Courses and Individualized Interventions for Students with Learning Disabilities." Higher Education Research & Development 28, no. 4 (08 2009): 385-400. doi:10.1080/07294360903067013.


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  • 10 Jan 2016 10:36 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    LSAC is happy to launch its new website and membership management system hosted on Wild Apricot. The new website was designed with accessibility and mobile access in mind. We invite you to explore this new website and provide any feedback to us.

  • 27 Jul 2015 3:35 PM | Anonymous

    LSAC 2015 National Conference Committee is excited to announce its Keynote Speaker Line-up for the May 11-13 conference in Guelph, Ontario.


    Tim Pychyl
    , Director of the Centre for Initiatives in Education and Associate Professor in the Department of Psychology at Carleton University will be speaking on May 11th. Tim has earned an international reputation for his research on procrastination. 

    Leonard Geddes will join us on May 12th. Leonard is the Associate Dean of Co-Curricular Programs and Director of the Learning Commons at Lenoir-Rhyne University in North Carolina. We look forward to hearing about his current research that connects habit formation with student learning and performance. 

    John Hilsdon is based in the UK and manages the Learning Support and Wellbeing services at Plymouth University. John’s most recent work focuses on peer learning. Among many achievements, John was the first Chair of the Association for Learning Development in Higher Education (ALDinHE), which is a founding organization of the newly formed International Consortium of Academic Language and Learning Developers that LSAC is also part of.  John will be speaking on May 13th

  • 27 Jul 2015 3:33 PM | Anonymous

    LSAC 2015 National Conference

    Second and Final Call for Proposals

    The Learning Specialist Association of Canada (LSAC) invites proposals for sessions at our 2015 national conference, May 11-13, at the University of Guelph in Ontario.  While proposals on any topic relevant to our practice are welcome, we are particularly interested in sessions which reflect the conference theme of Transitions: People, Practice, Profession.


    To help participants choose the sessions most relevant to their needs, please consider in which of the following streams your session would best fit:

    • Assessment
    • Learning Centre Coordination/Management
    • Learning Strategies
    • Peer-to-Peer Assistance
    • Student Populations
    • Student Resources
    • Students with Disabilities
    • Writing
    • Other - please specify on the proposal form

    The conference will feature four session formats:

    1. Workshop - 60 minutes
    Inspire your participants to roll up their sleeves and immerse themselves in the luxury of an hour of focused quality time developing ideas, strategies, or tools they can use in their practice. A high level of interactivity is anticipated.

    2.  Panel - 60 minutes
    What better way to come to grips with a topic, issue or interesting problem than assembling a group of keen, passionate colleagues with something to contribute?  A panel is an ideal way to elucidate the complexities of a timely issue. Please allow ample opportunity for the audience to ask questions of the panel.

    3.  Practice Exchange Discussion - 60 minutes
    Have you got lots of questions but not many answers?  Engage the savvy minds of your colleagues and facilitate a give-and-take group discussion on a hot topic of your choice.

    4.  Information Session - 25 minutes
    Are you longing to share a recent programming innovation, technological wizardry, or fascinating research project? Here's your chance to showcase your latest and greatest project, inspiring insight, or trendy tech tool.

    The final deadline for submitting proposals is Monday, January 26, 2015 by midnight.  Each proposal will be blind-reviewed by an independent committee.  Results will be communicated in early February.

    For more information about submitting a proposal, please contact:

    Maryann Kope
    Chair, LSAC 2015 Conference Planning Committee
    University of Guelph


  • 27 Jul 2015 3:32 PM | Anonymous

    November 24, 2014

    Toronto- The Learning Specialists Association of Canada (LSAC) has collaborated to create a memorandum of understanding with three other like-minded international organizations to form the International Consortium of Academic Language and Learning Developers. 

    As of November 21, 2014 the Consortium will be in effect for professional members of LSAC, the Association for Learning Development in Higher Education (ALDinHE) [United Kingdom], Association of Tertiary Learning Advisors of Aotearoa/New Zealand (ATLAANZ), and the Association for Academic Language and Learning (AALL) [Australia]. 

    “This has been the result of two years of online meetings by representatives from all four associations” says Michael Lisetto-Smith, President of LSAC. “We are looking forward to the sharing of research, resources, and ideas for all four associations to better the needs of our members and further apply it to our work in post-secondary institutions.” Benefits of the Consortium include access to member-rates for professional development opportunities and access to online resources, online forums, and journals offered by each member association.

    The Consortium will support a professional identity of practitioners working in the field of academic language and learning development; facilitate professional development opportunities for members; encourage and sponsor research, including collaborative research, in the field of academic language and learning development; and, publish and disseminate papers and resources to underpin the theory and practice of academic language and learning development. 

    The Learning Specialists Association of Canada (LSAC) is a voluntary, national association for professionals who focus on the application of learning theory in higher education. By offering instruction in learning strategies and study skills, our members support and further the educational goals of students, faculty, staff and school administrations. LSAC's purpose is to develop, encourage, and model sound professional and ethical standards among its members while facilitating the dissemination of current and emerging trends and research in learning. More information about LSAC can be found online at 
    www.learningspecialists.ca.

    Contact:
    MICHAEL LISETTO-SMITH, MA
    President, Learning Specialists Association of Canada
    mlisettosmith@wlu.ca

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