What did we learn from our survey of retirees?
We received 204 responses from 1300 mailed out to the survey, which we conducted last January to March. Of this number, 168 were from those living in Manitoba, 23 in British Columbia, 5 in Ontario, 4 in Alberta, and 1 each in Saskatchewan and the United States. Two respondents did not include their return address. All but a few of those living in Manitoba are within a two-hour driving distance of the Winnipeg. The respondents from British Columbia were divided almost equally between the mainland and Vancouver Island. Four of the respondents from Ontario live in Northwestern Ontario.
We asked you what were your interests and we received a wide range of responses, most of them from retirees living in or near Winnipeg. By far the greatest response was from those who were willing to undertake some volunteer activities. Forty people signed up. We have already used the talents of some of these retirees in the University's United Way Campaign for 1997. The next largest group was those interested in travel related topics. Twenty-seven said they would like to share their experiences with others about travel sites, tours and opportunities. There were 16 respondents who would like to meet and discuss what they have been reading and 15 persons are interested in gardening.
Tied at eight were those who would like to share their interest in music and those willing to assist in planning activities for the retirees by serving on an executive. Seven respondents would like to be involved in computing while a like number is interested in cards, namely bridge and cribbage. Golf is something six respondents would like to pursue while five are interested in hiking and walking. While not mentioned specifically, four persons would like to get together to share their interest in investments and the same number is interested in professional writing. Only two persons showed an interest in photography or the environment or bowling. Finally, there was only one person interested in theatre, wine making and home-based business.
So you can see retirees are interested in a vast array of things to do. We are now in the process of finding those who would be willing to organize a group activity. If you would like to be an organizer or contact for any activity, please phone John Mundie at (204) 256-8245.
You wanted your own identification
In response to your requests, Terry Falconer, vice-president (administration), has made arrangements with the staff in Student Records to provide those retirees who are eligible for University group benefits (retiree health and dental) with a Retiree Identification Card. This card is similar to the ID card you had prior to your retirement. The card will provide library privileges and access to a computer account for the Internet and e-mail services of the University. In addition, it will allow retirees and their spouses to use the athletic facilities. The ID card is available by contacting the ID Centre and making an appointment. The Centre is located in the Student Records Office, room 400, University Centre, Fort Garry Campus. The phone number is (204) 474-9428. We thank Terry for making this possible.
Showing your care . . .
Retirees of the University continue to show their concern for those in Winnipeg who are in need. And they are a very important component to the University's United Way Campaign as their contributions amount to over 13% of the total received. Last year contributions from retirees amounted to $33,846. The average contribution was $207. Contributions to the end of October for this year's Campaign are $28,576 with an average contribution of $225. Our target is $35,000. There is still time to send in your donation. For those who would like to contribute but did not receive a donation card, please call Nancy Kolotylo at 477-5360.
You want to take courses
Several retirees indicated an interest in taking courses at the University, either for their own interest or for credit. First, it is important to know that even though you were employed by the University and have an employee number, in order to take a course you have to be go through an admission process and receive a student number. Your employee number identifies you as a former employee, your student number identifies you as a student eligible to take one or more courses.
Second, for anyone who is over the age of 65 the fees for application and for courses are waived provided the person is admitted to an academic unit of the University and is eligible for registration.
To gain access to the course or courses of your choice, these are the steps to take:
Obtain an Application for Admission Form by phoning the Admissions Office at 474-8808 or e-mail to Admissions@umanitoba.ca, or drop into 424 University Centre.
Even if at one time you were registered as a student at the University of Manitoba and therefore had obtained a student number, phone the Admissions Office to determine if you need to complete an Application for Admission.
Apply early! It may take you awhile to obtain any documentation, such as transcripts, that may be asked of you. University staff is much more available to provide you with individual help early in the season.
Complete the Application for Admission Form.
If you have completed high school (senior matriculation) and have never attended, you will probably be asked to provide a high school transcript. If you did not complete high school nor attend university, then apply as a Mature Student. You will be asked to prove you are over 21. Your driver's licence, Government of Canada Old Age Security card or your birth certificate will do.
If you have taken courses at a university, you will be asked to forward official transcripts, except, of course, for any course take at the U of M.
Most retirees will want to take courses for their own interest and not for the purpose of obtaining credits towards a degree. If this is your situation, you have two choices. You can apply to be an Auditing Student or a Special Student.
As an Auditing Student you can "sit in" on courses for the enjoyment of learning and avoid the pressure of examinations and formal assignments. If you chose this route, the only documentation you need is written permission from the instructor of the course, and in some instances, from the dean or director's office of the unit in which the course is offered.
If you want to be more like a regular student and do all of the formal course requirements, then you should apply to be a Special Student. If you are interested in taking courses from a variety of faculties or schools, it is best to apply for admission to the Continuing Education Division as a Special Student.
If you know you want to take courses for credit towards a particular degree or only those courses offered within one particular faculty or school, then apply for admission to that particular unit. Please note that some faculties and schools have very specific requirements for admission as a Regular Student for degree purposes. If you do not meet these requirements, the faculty or school may permit you to apply for admission as a Special Student. Talk with someone in the faculty or school who is responsible for registration and find out what is the best thing for you to do. The phone numbers of the faculties, schools and departments are listed in the MTS telephone directory.
Mail the Application for Admission back to the Admissions Office at the address noted on the form.
For those under 65, there is an application fee which goes toward covering the cost of the admission process. The fee is either $35 or $50 depending upon the faculty or school to which you are applying.
Your application for admission will be reviewed by someone in the Admissions Office. Based on that review, you will be sent an Acceptance Letter and soon thereafter a General Calendar and Registration Guidelines. This is the only way you can get the General Calendar without having to purchase it.
Select the course or courses in which you are interested.
The General Calendar provides a description of the courses offered by the various units within the University. In selecting a course or courses, it is important to determine if there are any prerequisite conditions. If they are, either take the course or courses that fulfill the prerequisite or obtain written permission from the appropriate Department Head to take the course you have chosen.
If you have any questions about a course, you should talk with the member of the department offering the course. Again, you will find the number in the phone book.
As most retirees will be registering as Special Students or Mature Students, you should select several courses in which you are interested. This is because there may be a limit to the number of students who can register for a course and Special Students are admitted after all of the Regular Students have been accommodated.
Register for the course or courses you have chosen.
You can register for most courses by telephone (if you have a touch tone telephone).
The process can be intimidating are first but is a real convenience after you've gotten over the initial learning curve. It also enables you to check your marks, change your address and apply for parking.
For some courses you can only register in person and for some you can register by mail. Again, if you are not sure, talk with someone in the faculty or school who is responsible for registration to determine what is the best thing for you to do. The dates by which you must register are provided in the Registration Guidelines. It is important to meet the deadlines.
For those courses which have several sections offered at different times, you may want to select several alternative time periods in case the section you prefer is full. If this happens then you select your next choice.
Sit back, relax and enjoy yourself as a "student" at the University.
Some tips to make things easier for you as a student.
1. Selecting a course to begin your program.
You may have a favorite course that you would like to take but you are unsure if it is the best one with which to start. In this case, you should talk with some one in the department in which the course is offered or an advisor in the Learning Assistance Centre by phoning 474-9521. The Centre is located in Room 520 University Centre.
In some cases, you are interested in taking one or more courses but have only a general idea where to begin. Start by talking with an advisor in the Learning Assistance Centre who will guide you through the choices open to you.
2. Improving your skills as a student.
You may feel a bit "rusty" about what it is like to be a student and apprehensive about what you are getting yourself into in terms of how to take notes, get through the reading assignments and write a term paper or examination. If so, contact an advisor at the Learning Assistance Centre
3. Overcoming problems as a student.
There may be times when you feel you are having problems with what is happening in the course. Often this is related to your confidence. You are not alone. First, talk with some of your "fellow" students to see if they are experiencing the same thing as you. Then speak with your instructor. If you are uncomfortable about doing this, you should look to the Learning Assistance Centre for advice. Also, speak with someone who is a student advisor in the office of the dean or director of the unit in which you are registered. All of these people are there to help you get the most out of being at the University.
If you could not find what you wanted at the U of M
While the University does offer a vast array of courses, you may not find what you really wanted. If so, you might want to check out:
Creative Retirement Manitoba 949-2565
University of Winnipeg Seniors Program 982-1169
Or your local school division continuing education.
Task Force on Strategic Planning
The second report of the Task Force on Strategic Planning, Transformation: Continuity and Change, was made available on October 17. The Task Force was established by Dr. Szathmáry, President and Vice-Chancellor and has 18 voting members and seven non-voting members. It held a number of hearings and received many submissions from a broad cross-section on the University community. Based on this consultation, the Task Force has published its second report which contains 74 recommendations for enhancing the quality and safeguarding the future of the University. It now wishes to receive comments regarding its recommendations prior to writing its final report. It is hoping to have its final recommendations completed in December. If you would like a copy of the report, please phone Ed Unrau, Manager of Public Affairs, at 474-9518.
Next Retirees' Reception
The next reception for retirees is being planned for late April, 1998. You will receive more information in the next issue of Retirees' News.