Real Institute joins Office of the Vice-Provost, Students
On May 1, the Real Institute, which helps international students improve their English language skills to prepare them for the university’s undergraduate programs, joined the Office of the Vice-Provost, Students as part of the International Student Enrolment, Education & Inclusion (ISEEI) portfolio. The reorganization is designed to support students’ future success through transition, retention and engagement, and these efforts will be amplified by new partnerships with key stakeholders and networks.
“I’m excited for the opportunities that will come with this development, and to build on the Real Institute's early success as we explore the expansion of its global profile,” says ISEEI Executive Director Isaac Garcia-Sitton. “Preparing students to succeed academically remains our number-one priority, so we are working closely with staff and instructors to ensure that our path forward reflects our collective vision and draws on our shared values to meet this goal.”
The Real Institute is well positioned to contribute to efforts to reach the goals set out in the university’s strategic plans. The restructuring will diversify its programming and increase its enrolments, which have grown steadily over the years, and maximize opportunities in key markets as it becomes a fully autonomous organization.
As a first step, the Real Institute is hiring an associate director, Student Success & Program Innovation – a new role. This in-house subject-matter expert will provide dedicated leadership for program creation, evaluation and revision, and play a key role in streamlining the admissions process and student journey.
“As we continue to evolve, I see the Real Institute’s inclusion within the ISEEI portfolio as a very positive development because it provides an opportunity to coordinate our programming and services directly with the university’s international enrolment activities,” says Real Institute Interim Director David Begg. “By continuing to put students first and maintaining a commitment to high quality programming, we will ensure that our students are well prepared to thrive at Ryerson.”
The Real Institute’s journey to become a leader in high-quality English language programming for learners from different backgrounds and levels of proficiency began as a collaboration between The Chang School of Continuing Education and the Faculty of Arts in 2011. In 2013, the Ryerson English as a Second Language Foundation Program (RESLFP) was launched, and an initial cohort of 26 students grew to intakes of 52, 80, 163 and 217 in the years that followed. In 2017, Ryerson established a state-of-the-art facility for the Real Institute at College Park, where it currently resides.
“I would like to acknowledge the expertise, care and support that has gone into creating and nurturing the growth of the Real Institute,” continues Garcia-Sitton. “The outstanding contributions of colleagues from the Faculty of Arts, The Chang School, the University Planning Office, current and past members of the Real Institute team, and stakeholders across campus will allow us to build on their strong foundation as we shape our future.”