Students gather at Orientation

Graduate Student Orientation

Graduate Student Orientation is your chance to learn your way around Laurier, to meet faculty, staff and fellow students, and to receive valuable training. Make sure you register to let us know you can make it.

Orientation will be held at the Laurier Waterloo campus on Tuesday, Sept. 4. Review the Orientation schedule below for detailed information on the time and location of sessions. In addition to our scheduled sessions, your home department or program may have their own events planned.

Refer to the Campuses and Locations section for parking information and to review our campus-specific interactive maps.

Teaching Assistantship Training

For those of you who will be working as teaching assistants this academic year, training sessions will take place on Wednesday, Sept. 5 in the Bricker Academic Building. Refer to the Teaching Assistantship Training schedule for more details.

In addition to these in-person teaching assistant training sessions, you’ll need to complete the Young Worker Health and Safety Orientation online training module through our online learning portal, MyLearningSpacebefore Sept. 4. To complete the online training session, visit and log in with your Laurier network username and password. Select "Self Registration" at the top of the page and scroll to the bottom to select "Young Worker Health and Safety Orientation."

If you experience difficulties logging into MyLearningSpace, contact Tech Support at 519.884.1970 x4357 or

Orientation Schedule

This schedule is tentative and subject to change. Please check in closer to Orientation for a complete and up-to-date schedule. 

Tuesday, September 4

8:30 a.m. to 11 a.m.: Departmental Orientation
This time is reserved for departmental events. Your department or program will let you know if they are planning any activities during this period.

11 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.: Registration
Registration opens. Pick up your name tag, meal tickets and schedule in the Lazaridis Hall atrium.

11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.: Lunch
Trade a meal ticket for lunch in the Lazaridis Hall atrium.

1 p.m. to 1:30 p.m.: Senior Administration Welcome
Find a seat in the Lazaridis Hall Auditorium, where you will be welcomed by senior administration, including the university president, the dean of the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies, the provost and vice-president academic, the vice-president of Research and the president of the Graduate Student Association.

1:30 p.m. to 2:10 p.m.: Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies Welcome
Douglas Deutschman, dean of the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies, will provide some insight into what it’s like to be a graduate student at Laurier and what services are available to support you along the way.

2:10 p.m. to 2:50 p.m.: Achieving Academic and Personal Success
Leanne Holland Brown, dean of students for the Waterloo campus, will share with you some advice and insight on how to navigate a successful graduate student experience. Achieving academic and personal success as a graduate student isn't simply an extension of undergraduate success, but requires adaptation, awareness and commitment to a successful experience. This session includes current student data, themes and trends, along with stories, anecdotes and personal experience gleaned in the dean of students role.

2:50 p.m. to 3:10 p.m.: Break
Take a snack break in the Lazaridis Hall atrium.

3:10 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.: Graduate Student Panel
Return to the Lazaridis Hall auditorium. Six current graduate students will sit on a panel to answer any questions you might have about being a student at Laurier.

Teaching Assistantship Training Schedule

Wednesday, Sept. 5

Activities on this day are reserved for students who will be working as teaching assistants this 2018-19 academic year.

8 a.m. to 8:30 a.m.: Registration
Register for the day’s training (and pick up some coffee/tea and snacks) in the Bricker Academic atrium on the first floor.

8:30 a.m. to 8:50 a.m.: Schedule Overview
Find a seat in Bricker Academic 201 and hear more about the day’s schedule, which includes three breakout sessions in the morning. You will be divided into three groups and each group will rotate through three sessions:

Young Worker Health and Safety Orientation
Facilitated by Safety, Health, Environment and Risk Management (SHERM), this session is designed to ensure young workers understand their rights and responsibilities and have the tools they need to work safely. This Part 2 training builds on the information provided in the online learning component (Part 1), which is available through MyLearningSpace and should be completed ahead of time (see above). Participants are provided with an opportunity for discussion and will leave with a reinforced understanding of health and safety hazards and legislation.

Teaching Assistants (TAs) as Employees of the University
Facilitated by Human Resources, this session explores how graduate student TAs can prepare for their employment at Laurier. The session will cover topics such as duties and expectations of a TA, resources for TAs and an overview of employment legislation.

Preparing to Teach
Facilitated by the Centre for Teaching Innovation and Excellence, this session explores what is involved in being a TA. There will be an open discussion about some of the challenges you may face asa new TA. We will discuss and devise strategies to confront these challenges and leverage your teaching experience as a chance for meaningful professional development.

9 a.m. to 9:50 a.m.: Breakout Session 1
One of:

  • Young Worker Health and Safety Orientation
  • Teaching Assistants as Employees of the University
  • Preparing to Teach

in Bricker Academic 201, 101 or 102 (you will be told where to go).

9:50 a.m. to 10:10 a.m.: Break
Take a break with drinks and snacks in the Bricker Academic atrium.

10:10 a.m. to 11 a.m.: Breakout Session 2
One of:

  • Young Worker Health and Safety Orientation
  • Teaching Assistants as Employees of the University
  • Preparing to Teach

in Bricker Academic 201, 101 or 102 (you will be told where to go).

11:10 a.m. to Noon: Breakout Session 3
One of:

  • Young Worker Health and Safety Orientation
  • Teaching Assistants as Employees of the University
  • Preparing to Teach

in Bricker Academic 201, 101 or 102 (you will be told where to go).

Noon to 1 p.m.: Lunch
Lunch in the Science Building atrium.

1 p.m. to 1:40 p.m.: TA Training: Mental Health, Wellness and a Caring Community
Whether in your role as a teaching assistant, instructional assistant, friend or colleague, students often reach out to other students as the first point of contact for support and help – both academically and personally. Teaching assistants play a critical role in recognizing individuals in distress, facilitating effective and appropriate referrals, and assisting students to navigate and connect with supports.

Facilitated by Leanne Holland-Brown, dean of students (Waterloo), this session will explore how to identify and respond to students in need of elevated levels of support and how to prioritize your own wellness and success along the way. Bricker Academic 201

1:50 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.: Wrap-Up

The day will finish with a wrap-up session with Douglas Deutschman, dean of the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies, who will summarize the important role that graduate student teaching assistants play in the delivery of undergraduate courses and the importance of what was discussed throughout the day in preparing teaching assistants for their new role.
Bricker Academic 201