CSSIC Presents: An Introduction to Psychologically Attuned Communication

Webinar followed by a short AGM for AASK members. February 13, 2023. Zoom link will be sent to registrants. Presentation from 9 – 10:30; AASK AGM at 10:30.
AASK members received a discount code by email.

The College Student Success Innovation Centre (CSSIC) at Mohawk College has found Psychologically Attuned Communication (PAC) to be an effective intervention at our institution, and at other colleges and universities across North America.

Based off the work of Dr. Shannon Brady and her colleagues at the College Transition Collaborative (CTC), PAC occurs when institutions modify the way they communicate “bad news” to students in a way that is more sensitive to students’ feelings and experiences. Within the CSSIC, we’ve used PAC to communicate academic standing to students (i.e., academic probation, compulsory withdrawal), to reduce the “summer melt” phenomenon (i.e., decreased registration in study gap periods), and in outreach initiatives to faculty-identified “at-risk” students (i.e., low attendance, missed assignments). Results of implementing a PAC as compared to a standard communication at Mohawk College have been promising. These include:

  • Students on academic probation having reduced feelings of shame about their status at the institution
  • Students on academic probation having increased feelings of hope about their future at the institution
  • Increased re-enrolment in the Fall 2019 following a summer melt PAC communication
  • Improved quality of at-risk communications sent by advisors

In this keynote, you will learn about Psychologically Attuned Communication (PAC) and how the concept can be applied in various ways at your institution. The session will include an overview of PAC research on academic probation letters, details of how Mohawk College implemented PAC to address the summer melt phenomenon, how we have supported other institutions in their unique applications of PAC, as well as an overview of the toolkit we have created to facilitate adoption in novel communications.

Presenters: Tim Fricker, PhD., Dean of Students, Conestoga CollegeMichelle Turan, Ph. D., BCBAProfessor, Behaviour Analysis (Mohawk College/McMaster University)Pamela Ingleton, PhD., Director, College Student Success Innovation Centre (Mohawk College)Megan Waltenbury, M.Ed., Coordinator, Research and Special Projects (Mohawk College)