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research model and its applied and professional degree programs. The action-oriented, applied research model has been designed to complement the professional outcomes- based educational model and to advance the university’s mandate to respond to labour market needs of British Columbia, Canada and the world. Within a knowledge-based economy,
our research model is action-oriented and problem-solving
in nature, re ecting the evolving learning community that RRU has fostered.
Therefore, in most programs at RRU, students engage in applied and action-oriented research activities aimed at developing solutions to real organizational problems, whether it is a class assignment, an applied organizational consulting project,
or a formal thesis or dissertation. In fact, having various course- based research-oriented activities take place throughout
a program is an important way of facilitating tighter linkages between teaching and research in the academic curriculum. Jenkins, Breen and Lindsay with Brew (2003) suggest that the value of strengthening this linkage or “nexus” (p.2) between teaching and research is very important in an age of the knowledge economy that “requires individuals with creativity and ability to develop,  nd, and synthesize new knowledge” (p.24). Jenkins et al’s (2003) perspective is supported by number ofresearcherswhohaveinvestigatedthebene tsofstudent engagement in curriculum-based research activities such
as increased learning con dence and independent thinking (Baxter Magolda, 2001), heightened intellectual growth (Blackmore and Cousin, 2003; Baxter Magolda, Boes, Hollis, and Jaramillo, 1998), enculturation into the profession (Baxter Magolda, Boes, Hollis, and Jaramillo, 1998), increase in deep learning as opposed to surface learning (Brown and McCartney, 1998), and increased value placed on learning (Jenkins, 2004).
Creating the right environment for learning also means building a caring, service-oriented community to support students whether they’re on campus or around the world. One of
the unique qualities of a student’s learning experience at
RRU is the level of integration of services available to support students’ on-campus and online learning experience. Like most universities, RRU offers a range of student services, including academic program support, a comprehensive library of leading online databases, recreation centre, career services, counselling support, and  nancial awards and scholarships. What makes
the RRU experience unique is how staff members providing these services work together as a ‘whole university’ to support students from the application process right through to graduation.
An effective support system that promotes the integrated delivery of services to students has been shown to enhance students’ educational experiences and improving student retention (Thomas, Quinn, Slack and Casey, 2002). Gappmaier and Rose (2001) note that an integrated system for student services in the 21st Century in support of this ‘whole university’ approach feature core elements such as a common vision
for student support, cross-functional teams, and collaboration across previously ‘siloed’ services.
At RRU, a variety of pathways have been created such
as  exible admissions, block transfer agreements, dual degree partnerships, etc. to support broadly based access and as well as seamless entry of students into our programs. Many of these pathways: (1) recognize the importance of relevant workplace and life experience; (2) acknowledge the value of both formal and informal learning that is highly relevant to the program under study; and (3) provide multiple point of entry
into RRU programs.
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