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News Release Mount Royal University announces Calgary's first fall term reading week to support students' mental health and academic successMRU announces Calgary's first fall term reading week to support students' mental health and academic success

November 21, 2016 - Students at Mount Royal University will benefit from an extra week of support outside the classroom next year when the institution adds a fall term reading break to the academic calendar.

The four-day reprieve will begin after Thanksgiving, from Oct. 10 to 13, 2017.

"We feel strongly that the timing of this break will be extremely beneficial to students' mental health and well-being," said David Docherty, President of Mount Royal University. "The decision to add a fall term reading week reflects our commitment to student success."

The introduction of a fall term reading week was one of the recommendations made in the President's Task Force on Student Mental Health developed in 2013. As well, for those students finding their studies challenging, the break is an ideal time to engage with faculty members and support services early enough in the semester to course correct.

At this point, Mount Royal University is the only post-secondary institution in Calgary to announce a week-long break in the fall session starting in 2017.

The Students' Association of Mount Royal University applauded the decision to move forward with the fall term reading week, after two years of a successful pilot project that included an additional pair of "reading days" in November.

"Initiatives like this show our institution's dedication to putting students' mental health first and addressing needs that have existed for a long time," said Robert Nelson, Vice-President Academic at the Students' Association of Mount Royal University. "Giving students a chance to prioritize their well-being will undoubtedly improve their chances at academic success and contribute to an overall improvement in the quality of their lives and education."

After careful consideration, thorough cross-campus consultation and much hard work by the Enrolment Services team and other partners, the policy change was made official Nov. 17. It was approved by the University's senior academic governing body, General Faculties Council, which voted overwhelmingly in favour of the next academic schedule.

Administrators will carefully review the outcomes, with a keen eye to students' grade point averages, retention rates and surveys that report on student satisfaction.

For further information, please contact:
Bryan Weismiller, Communications Officer
Mount Royal University
Cell: 403.978.1365
Media cell: 403.463.6930