At NBCC, every learner has a backstory, a chronicle of what has brought them to post-secondary education at this point in their lives. It’s up to the compassionate and caring members of the Student Development Team to learn their stories and determine what supports and services they need to achieve success at NBCC.
“Every learner is going to have unique needs in some sense, depending on what’s in their ‘invisible backpack’, what they’ve come to the College with,” said Emily Dayboll, a Student Development Manager who also serves as NBCC’s Social Justice Equity and Inclusion Lead. “Sometimes these backpacks are fuller for learners from underrepresented groups.”
The Student Development Team consists of Academic Coaching and Learner Services, Counselling and Career Services, International and Indigenous Student Support, Library Services, and more. Staff provide student engagement and support services across all six campus locations to ensure students feel part of the NBCC community and supported throughout their learning journey. Although the Student Development Team supports all NBCC learners, they pay special attention to ensuring services and supports are in place for learners from underrepresented groups.
“We really strive to understand each individual student. It’s about increasing equity to accessing resources, support, and information, and having an equitable experience,” said Emily.
Last year, as part of NBCC’s efforts to foster an equitable education experience, Student Development introduced a new Student Success Coach model to support first-generation international and Indigenous learners, as well as In Bloom and Former Youth in Care bursary recipients. Student Success Coaches build relationships with students early on during their time at NBCC and help connect them with College and community resources.
“Anyone can book a meeting with one of our coaches, there’s no limitation,” said Emily. “However, part of the proactive coaching that we do is to reach out to those students from underrepresented groups, and make it more known and visible to them that support is available.”
Outside of their normal learner support responsibilities, Student Development staff are often involved in the planning and execution of student events and engagement activities throughout the academic year. Team members are also heavily involved in Student Onboarding and Orientation, campus tours and activities for international students, meet and greets with Indigenous Elders, Community Wellness Fairs, Student Success sessions, and so much more.
“Everyone approaches their work with care,” said Emily. “We have to work together as a team. The only way we can support students well is by leveraging collaboration and teamwork, which is something Student Development does very well.”