AU Retreat: A Great Success!

-by Janet Shuh (AD Social and Life Sciences)

In early February, the Academic Upgrading Program spent a meaningful day of exploration, planning and strategizing around the delivery of adult literacy programming here at Sheridan.  The event at Piper’s Heath Golf Club began with an art facilitation exercise.  Faculty and staff were encouraged to articulate (in both a visual and narrative format) the assets or qualities they personally bring to the AU team.  Each participant had the opportunity to create a Vision Board.    Facilitator and artist, Supria Karmaker, explains the transformative power of this exercise:

“The idea behind this [exercise] is that when you surround yourself with images of who you want to become, what you want to have […] your life changes to match those images and those desires. It can also be a board of celebration, one that celebrates, who you are, your accomplishments, etc.” – Check out Supria’s website @

Despite some initial trepidation, myself included, our ‘inner artists’ emerged and the results proved that collectively, we are a group of creative and original thinkers with a lot of talent and energy  – here are some photos of some of the AU team working on their Vision Boards, along with  examples of the amazing results.

The planning agenda in the afternoon shifted focus as we spent some time learning about and discussing institutional priorities at Sheridan through presentations and dialogue with Joe Henry and Sunand Sharma from Student Services.  The metrics and data collection supporting the requirements of our funding partner MTCU were also discussed.