Spotlight: UofGH Academic Program Representative update
by Danya Elsayed | March 15, 2018

Here’s what the University of Guelph-Humber’s APR have been up to.

Academic Program Representatives are the point of contact between UofGH students, professors, and IGNITE executives. They relay valuable information regarding students’ concerns about their programs to the people who can actually make changes.

We caught up with IGNITE Vice President – Guelph-Humber, John Kokkoros who spoke with us about their progress since they started in September.

Here’s what he had to say:

What are some concerns APRs have taken up?

“APRs take up a lot of student concerns regarding academics. For example, if a student feels like there is a repetition of a class or a certain class should be added to their program.

If enough people feel strongly about a certain issue, APRs will take the concerns to the Program Head and hold curriculum committee meetings that take place throughout the year. The actual changes to the course or program happen at the end of the year at the University of Guelph’s Board of Undergraduate Studies.

Students working together

What were some difficulties encountered by APRs this year?

“I’d say all the APRs this year have been doing a good job reaching out to students, gathering data, and meeting with their Program Heads. But I think one thing that kind of slowed things down was the strike. I made the decision to tell the APRs that they didn’t need to put out any surveys during that time.”

Why do you think it is beneficial for students to speak to APRs?

“A lot of the time students are unhappy about certain courses or programs. An APR is a person that students can go to to have their concerns dealt with.”

Why should students apply for an APR position?

“If you’re passionate about your program and interested in getting your foot in the door for a leadership position than this is the job for you. You make your own hours, so you don’t have to worry about the Vice President watching over you. I let APRs do their own thing, and if they need me they can reach out. You can really make a change happen if you’re interested in making your program better. When you see that that change for yourself, it’s a really good feeling.”

What makes a good APR?

“You have to be outgoing – not in the super peppy way that people usually think when they hear that. Just in the sense that you have to be able to approach students, and talk to them. You definitely need to have good time management skills as well. Although you do make your own hours, when it comes to curriculum committee meetings, you really have to have your things sorted.”

Group of college students hanging out together in a lounge area

How do APRs get in contact with students?

“Usually they’ll put out a survey on all of the graduating class Facebook pages or go to classrooms and speak with students about their concerns. Some of them will use the IGNITE Leadership Lounge where they hold meetings with students from their program and discuss what can be changed.”

*This interview has been edited for length and clarity.

Want to apply for the APR position? Here are 7 reasons why you should! The application period starts  March 19 – April 6, 2018.

Don’t forget to check out your current 2017-2018 APRs.