Mount Royal University students benefit from Fall Reading Break

Mount Royal University students are benefiting from extra days of support outside the classroom during the University's first week-long Fall Reading Break from Oct. 10 to 13.

"Fifty-five percent of MRU students identify stress as the number one factor impacting academic success," said Kandi McElary, Director of Mount Royal's Wellness Services. "Policies such as a Fall Reading Break are health promoting and facilitate success and wellbeing for all students."

According to the 2016 National College Health Assessment survey conducted by 10 post-secondary institutions in the province, more than 90 per cent of Alberta's students polled reported feeling overwhelmed and 13 per cent seriously considered suicide.

After careful consideration, thorough cross-campus consultation and much hard work by many partners, the policy change that led to the Fall Reading Break was made official in November 2016. The week-long break comes after two years of a successful pilot project that included a pair of "reading days" in November.



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 get back on track.

"The Fall Reading Break gives students the opportunity to take some time to relax and take care of their mental health," said Cordelia Snowdon, Vice-President Academic, Students Association of Mount Royal University. "Students can pause and assess how they are doing. Regardless of whether students spend the time seeking counselling, learning studying strategies, catching up on work or hanging out with family and friends, students are able to use the break to meet their own needs and prepare for the rest of the semester."

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

Oct. 11, 2017

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