16th Annual Start with Strategies Program – 2021

The 16th annual Start with Strategies program offers workshops designed to address the unique needs of incoming first-year students with diagnosed learning disabilities and/or other documented disabilities.

“It’s the best first step you can make to being successful at Brock.”
– Program participant

Download the full brochure and start planning your experience.

Start with Strategies brochure
Click image to download PDF.

The transition from high school to university can be challenging, but with Start with Strategies, students can develop the independence, self-advocacy skills, and work ethic needed to manage the new academic expectations and requirements.

Start with Strategies sets students on the right path with a variety of workshops based at Brock University that help foster these skills. The program also introduces students to the many campus services that support students in all aspects of their lives and facilitates a smooth transition to post-secondary learning.


Connect with other first-year students and hear from current students about their first-year experiences.


Learn about the many services and supports available to you while you are at Brock.


Explore the strategies needed for a successful first year.

Program options for 2021

Online program

july 8th – 22nd, 2021


Registration IS CLOSED

*The first 50 students to register by June 23rd, 2021 will receive Brock Swag with their pre-program package.

Through this online program, students will gain firsthand experience with Sakai, have access to personalized workshops and online activities tailored to the unique needs of students with disabilities, and have the opportunity to hear from upper-year SAS students about their experiences transitioning to university.

  • Introduction to Sakai, Brock’s Learning Management System;
  • Shared experiences, advice, and tips from current students;
  • Stress and anxiety management;
  • Strategies for academic success;
  • Introduction to Assistive Technology and how to use it;
  • Meet a Professor and discuss classroom expectations;
  • Navigating Seminar Requirements 101;
  • Online scavenger hunt;
  • End-of-program prize: all Start with Strategies Program participants will be entered into a draw for a chance to win one of two Apple iPad’s!

One-day program


(Lunch included)

A full day of workshops tailored to the unique needs of students with disabilities as well as the opportunity to meet fellow first-year students.

  • Strategies for academic success;
  • Stress and anxiety management;
  • Introduction to Brock’s Learning Management Systems;
  • Personalized campus tours;
  • Understanding your disability and how it impacts academic performance and university life;
  • Overview of Brock’s online student systems;
  • Share peer to peer advice, tips, and experiences with current students from a variety of programs.

Two-day program


(Meals and residence stay included)

Two days of personalized workshops and activities tailored to the unique needs of students with disabilities and the opportunity to connect with fellow students while experiencing two nights in residence.

Includes everything offered in the one-day program plus…

  • Self-advocacy;
  • Navigating Seminar Requirements 101;
  • Meet a professor and discuss classroom expectations;
  • Meet an Academic Advisor;
  • Introduction to assistive technology and how to use it;
  • Experience dorm life and stay overnight in residence;
  • Experience public transit – most evening social events will use public transit to help you navigate the city.

Students with diagnosed learning disabilities and/or other documented disabilities (medical, mental health, sensory, etc.) entering their first year at Brock.

Strategies participants are better prepared, more confident, and experience a smoother transition into university life.

Embrace the entire Strategies experience by attending the full two days of workshops and stay in the on-campus residence. If you are unable to commit to two full days, then the one-day option is a great alternative.

Register now and START with STRATEGIES.

The in-person program participants will also experience:

  • Personalized campus tour to see where your specific classes will be located;
  • Library orientation;
  • Introduction to campus resources;
  • Campus dining options; and more.

“I very much enjoyed this program as it answered all of my questions and made me feel ready for my transition to Brock in an online environment”

“I’m glad I got the opportunity to take the program. Learning more about Brock and what to expect in the fall was very helpful and helped reduce my anxiety.”

“Strategies gave me a head start on the road to success”

“My parents forced me to come but I am so happy I did. I enjoyed the entire thing”

“Overall, this was an incredibly enjoyable experience which made me much more at ease with going to Brock in the fall.”

“It’s reassuring to be able to identify with others who are in a similar situation, and an excellent way to make friends before the start of term.”

“Every student thinking about going to Strategies should go. It is a rewarding experience.”

“The program provided lots of information about the early transition to university and the likely hurdles that come. The program provided tips and materials that had useful and practical information.”

“This session helped me more than months of personal planning and exploration would have. The staff was extremely friendly and helpful. This is definitely a needed introduction to Brock for any student.”

“Helped made the transition to university easier and I learned how to use the resources I would need to make first year easier for me.”


Bobbie and Mary Ann

Meet the program coordinators

Bobbie McGhee (Student Services Coordinator) and Mary Ann Tierney (Transition Coordinator) have worked together to develop the Start with Strategies program which provides new students with a unique and valuable experience before they transition to Brock University.

Contact Bobbie or Mary Ann if you have any questions:

The Start With Strategies program is funded by the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities.