2020 Pre-Conference Sessions

Pre-Conference workshops are an opportunity to dive deeper into a topic and develop identified competencies. Pre-conference workshops will take place on Sunday, May 31, 2020 at the Delta Hotels by Marriott Toronto Airport and Convention Centre. Registration includes lunch and a nutrition break. *Full-day session off site at Crawford Lake includes return coach transportation and lunch.


CACUSS is offering the following workshops/meetings on Sunday, May 31 2020. Please scroll down for full descriptions, pricing, and details.

Full-day session (off-site, transportation provided)

1B. Walk the Talk:  Connecting to Space and Place at Crawford Lake

Member Price: $99, Non-Member Price $149

Half-day (morning) sessions

2A. Exploring Behavioural Intervention Teams

3A. Inclusive Design Approaches in Post-Secondary Education

4A: Suicide Among Post-Secondary Students: Impact, Interventions & Preventive Strategies

Member Price: $99, Non-Member Price: $149

Half-day (afternoon) meetings

1A. Developing an Integrated Student Affairs Curriculum

Member Price: $99, Non-Member Price: $149

2C. Postsecondary Education Partnership – Alcohol Harms (PEP-AH) Meeting 1:00-5:00

No fee—Cost being covered by CCSA

Half-day (morning) sessions

2A: Exploring Behavioural Intervention Teams

Time: 9:00 AM - 12:00 PM

Join us for this half day workshop where we explore the implementation of Behavioural Intervention Teams (BIT) on campus. You will hear from a panel of colleagues regarding their experience with this model. The session will identify and discuss standards, structures, processes and assessment of these teams. We will discuss challenges and solutions of BITs. 

Learning Objectives

After attending this session, participants will:

  • Identify standards for Behavioural Intervention Team structure, process and assessment
  • Determine how BITs function within differing campus structures, locations, and cultures
  • Recognize BIT challenges and create solutions for preventing and addressing challenges


Chris Rogerson, Director of Student Success, British Columbia Institute of Technology

Panelists: TBC

For bios click here

CACUSS Competencies:

Post-secondary acumen, Leadership, management and administration, Student advising, support and advocacy

3A: Inclusive design approaches in post-secondary education

Time: 9:00 AM - 12:00 PM

Using inclusive design frameworks to infuse intercultural perspectives and an EDI lens to program development, design, and evaluation. As student affairs professionals, we spend many hours in our roles designing, implementing and evaluating programs that support learners. As post-secondary education becomes more internationalized and diverse, a conscious effort to include the intercultural, equity, diversity and inclusion frameworks to the design of programs becomes paramount. 

In this interactive workshop, participants will apply an inclusive design framework to design challenges they encounter in their work. The workshop will model processes that support diverse perspectives and social cohesion. Recognizing the intersectional nature of humans the workshop will provide tools and resources to build the foundation for greater innovation through diversity and inclusion.

This interactive session will establish a learning community to put into practice and continuously refine an EDI framework that reflects the diversity and uniqueness of the evolving institutions.

Workshop Details (Learning Outcomes):

The workshop will be structured as an interactive co-design session. Participants are invited to bring relevant challenges to the workshop. Participants will leave with transferable skills and approaches to addressing the challenges and catalyzing the benefits of inclusive design. The workshop will also encourage a generative learning community that will support inclusive design strategies within CACUSS. 

The learning outcomes include:

  • Understanding the intersection of design, equity and internationalization
  • Describe the inclusive design framework and identify the role of equity in design
  • Ability to engage in the inclusive design process with radical collaboration
  • Build a program or service within the construct of equity centred design
  • Articulate the broader benefits of co-designing services with diverse perspectives


Sepideh Shahi, Senior Inclusive Designer, OCAD University’s Inclusive Design Research Centre.

Lisa Liskovoi, Inclusive Designer/Accessibility Specialist, Inclusive Design Research Centre at OCAD University.

Jutta Treviranus, Director of the Inclusive Design Research Centre/Professor at OCAD University

For bios click here

CACUSS Competencies

Equity Diversity and Inclusion, Intercultural Fluency, Emotional and Interpersonal Intelligence, Communication

4A: Suicide Among Post-Secondary Students: Impact, Interventions & Preventive Strategies

Time: 9:00 AM - 12:00 PM 

Suicidal ideation and suicidal behaviour are pre-eminent social problems. In 2012, the World Health Organization (WHO), estimated that by 2020, the rate of every completed suicide will increase from current 40 seconds to 20 seconds by 2020 (Gvion & Apter, 2012). Everyday 11 Canadians die by suicide. According to Statistics Canada (2019), suicide is the second leading cause of death in young adults (15-34) in Canada. More specifically, suicidal ideation among Canadian post-secondary students has been increasing steadily. According to the National College Health Assessment (NCHA) survey, in 2013, 9.5 % of Canadian students seriously contemplated about suicide within last 12 month of this self-report. In 2016, this rate increased to 13% and in 2019, it rose to 16.4% (American College Health Association, 2019).  This is consistent with data reported by American studies which report an age-adjusted increase in suicide rate from 10.4% per 100,000 to 13.5% from 2006 through 2016 (Hedegaard, Curtin, & Warner, 2018).  Canadian Post-Secondary Institutes (PSIs) are increasingly recognizing the need to put in place suicide prevention, assessment and intervention programs.

This pre-conference presents evidence-based practices from various experts, scientists, clinicians, administrators, community advocates, parents, and most importantly students. Specifically, the preconference will discuss prevalence, impact, evidence-based interventions, postvention, and prevention strategies taking into account confidentiality, legal requirements, enhancing circles of care, respecting the wishes of families, and supporting affected community members.



For bios click here

Learning Objectives & Relevant CACUSS Competencies

  1. Learn about suicidal ideation and behaviour among post-secondary Canadian students

CACUSS Competencies: Emotional & Interpersonal Intelligence, Post-secondary Acumen

  1. Gain practical evidence-based knowledge and practices in interventions in suicidal ideation and behaviour management, including
    • working with a campus wide stakeholders, such as, clinicians, case managers, administration;
    • to effectively communicating with stakeholders in making collaborative, culturally sensitive and timely decisions; and
    • working with families and relevant medical staff at the local health facility 

CACUSS Competencies:  Strategic planning, research and assessment, Communication; Emotional & Interpersonal Intelligence & Leadership management and Administration

  1. Learn about postvention including managing media, social media, handling flow of information with family, following ethical guidelines about privacy of personal information; learn different ways to support students, staff and faculty impacted by the tragic loss.

CACUSS Competencies: Leadership management and Administration, Post-secondary Acumen, Communication

  1. Learn about community based suicide prevention initiatives, their effectiveness, especially for students from indigenous, racialized, international and LGBT2SQ backgrounds, in creating nonstigmatizing and inclusive conditions where they feel comfortable to disclose uncomfortable distress before its escalates to a suicidal crisis

CACUSS Competency: Equity, Diversity and Inclusion

Full Day Session: Off site hike and teachings at Crawford Lake Conservation Area

1B. Walk the Talk:  Connecting to Space and Place at Crawford Lake

Student affairs professionals are constantly “on-the-go” and need to find space for contemplation while responding to challenges.  As we put one foot in front of the other, this workshop invites participants to take a deep breath, and connect to historical past within the space and place at Crawford Lake, while reflecting on ways to incorporate Indigenous knowledge into practice with programs and services.  As we continue to look at responding to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Calls to Action, a key element will be a cultural experience through a tour of the village to learn about the First Nations history including teachings and lunch in a Longhouse. 

Join your colleagues for a full day on the Mississauga of Credit First Nations land, including a morning 6km hike along the internationally known Bruce Trail to the Village, and end the day with a second 6km hike through another section of the Bruce Trail offering the opportunity to reflect on today’s student, and future opportunities. 

During the Longhouse experience, participants are encouraged to reflect and recognize the Indigenous students of today.  Too frequently we see indigenous people as part of history, but we need to be intentional of today’s opportunities and challenges though a lens of recognition of the legacy and future opportunity if we choose to take it.  From 1973 to 1987, excavations uncovered 11 longhouses on the site and over 10 000 artefacts from day-to-day lives of the people who once lived in the village. Three of the longhouses have been reconstructed based on the archaeological findings.

Wander around the village and learn about what daily life was like over 600 years ago through Interpretive programs, including simulated digs and fire starting demonstrations. The state-of-the-art Longhouse features seasonal exhibits that explore contemporary Indigenous art and culture.  The revitalization of Crawford Lake’s Village is now entering its third phase with the revitalization of the Turtle and Wolf Clan Longhouses. The Turtle Clan replica Longhouse was constructed in 1984 and the Wolf Clan replica Longhouse was constructed in 1987.  

The end of the day offers a mindfulness reflection and a meditative walk to support participants in finding focus and a state of deep peace that supports becoming more mindful of our experience. Through the walking experience people can open themselves up to life in a way that reduces distractions/ stressors of daily life that then creates space for internal layers to emerge - emotions, memories, the big questions of life - and offers the possibility of new insight.  Walking affords the opportunity to journey through these challenging aspects of our Student Affairs work and to be transformed by them. To find the future we need to understand and heal the past.

Note:  Participants are asked to bring a day pack, full water bottle and sturdy footwear designed for a day’s walk.  A rain coat is recommended.


  • Tricia Seifert, Department Head and Associate Professor, Adult & Higher Education at Montana State University.
  • Karen Cornies, Executive Director at Silver Lake Outdoor Education Centre
  • Louisa Drost, Director of Student Wellness Initiatives, Mohawk College,
  • Joanne LeBlanc Brief and Trauma Therapist at Pathstone Mental Health
  • Seán Kinsella Director, the 8th Fire Centennial College
  • Dr. Johanne McCarthy, Indigenous Curriculum Specialist, Mohawk College

For bios click here

Half-day (afternoon) meetings

1A: Developing an Integrated Student Affairs Curriculum

Time: 1:00 PM – 4:00 PM​

How does our work in student affairs contribute to student learning and development?

How does each department or functional area within student affairs align and support shared goals and outcomes for student learning?

How do you measure, assess and evaluate the impact of student affairs on student learning and development? 

With a focus on how curriculum design and assessment can be guided by a foundational understanding of equity and inclusion, this pre-conference will support participants in exploring how to develop and assess an integrated student affairs curriculum, with specific reference to their institutional context. This is an approach that involves the use of learning outcomes at the departmental or divisional level to guide the design, sequencing, and assessment of student learning within co-curricular settings. Using multiple examples across student life, residence life, and career services from a variety of institutional types and sizes, we will examine key components of this approach, how this approach connects with the assessment cycle, and share strategies for navigating common challenges to ensure successful implementation. 


Atifa F. Karim, Lead Coordinator for Career Education at the University of Toronto.

Sara Wills, Manager, Integrated Learning & Assessment at Western University.

Others TBC

For bios click here

CACUSS Competencies:

Strategic planning, research, and assessment, Student learning and development, Equity, diversity and inclusion

2C: Postsecondary Education Partnership – Alcohol Harms (PEP-AH) Annual Meeting

Time: 1:00 PM -5:00 PM

This half-day meeting for university and college staff and students engaged in alcohol harm reduction work will include results from Health Canada’s new national Alcohol and Drug Use survey (CPADS), and highlight evaluated campus initiatives from the five areas of PEPAH’s evidence-based strategic framework. Participants will be able to identify specific tactics they can apply on their campus, and connect with colleagues and peers who will share their successes and challenges. The costs for this meeting are being covered by CCSA. Space is limited. Please visit https://pepah.ca/pep-ah-annual-conference/ for more details. For information regarding this meeting contact llevett@ccsa.ca


Canadian Centre on Substance Use and Addiction, PEP-AH members.