Acadia Advantage 2.0
In September 2008, Acadia moved to a student-owned notebook computer version of the Acadia Advantage. Acadia Advantage 2.0 is the next generation of the Acadia Advantage initiative, Acadia is empowering students to choose and own the laptop they bring to class, while we continue to enhance our technology-rich learning experience that is unparalleled elsewhere – it’s that simple.
The early days
In 1996, Acadia University pioneered the use of mobile computing technology in a post-secondary educational environment. This academic initiative integrated the use of notebook computers into the undergraduate curriculum and inspired innovative teaching and research. By 2000, all full-time, undergraduate Acadia students were taking part in the Acadia Advantage. The initiative went beyond leasing notebook computers to students during the academic year and included training, service desk support and the use of course-specific applications at Acadia that revolutionized learning at the Wolfville, N.S. campus and beyond.
Because of its pioneering efforts, Acadia is a laureate of Washington’s Smithsonian Institution and a part of the permanent research collection of the National Museum of American History. It is the only Canadian university selected for inclusion in the Education and Academia category of the Computerworld Smithsonian Award.
The true Acadia Advantage is much more than laptop computers. Canadian opinion leaders consistently place Acadia ahead of all other primarily undergraduate universities in the annual Maclean’s Magazine survey of post-secondary education. In fact, Acadia is the only university to have placed first in all four reputational categories: best overall, highest quality, most innovative, and leaders of tomorrow. In 2007, Acadia was named the “Best Overall” undergraduate university in Canada by MacLean’s.
In October 2006, Acadia established a commission to review the Acadia Advantage learning environment 10 years after inception. The mandate of the commission was to determine how well the current Advantage program meets the needs of students, faculty, and staff and to examine how the role of technology in the postsecondary environment has changed at Acadia, and elsewhere. The commission was asked to recommend changes and enhancements to the Acadia Advantage that would benefit the entire university community and ensure its sustainability.
Some of the recommendations coming from the Acadia Advantage Renewal Report include developing a choice of model specifications and moving from Acadia-issued, student-leased notebook computers to a student-owned computer model. The compelling rationale for this was the integral role technology now plays in our lives, which was not present in 1996.
The University was also advised to unbundle its tuition structure so that the cost of an Acadia education is more detailed and students can understand how their investment in the future is allotted. Acadia acted on this recommendation in 2007.
The big picture
Acadia University has long been recognized nationally and internationally for its focus on quality and innovation in education. The Acadia Advantage contributes to this reputation through the exemplary work of Acadia’s faculty, staff, and students. The changes implemented in September 2008 have enhanced the Acadia Advantage—and by extension, the University—to the next level of excellence in undergraduate education.
Acadia University, in Wolfville , Nova Scotia , has long been recognized as one of Canada 's premier undergraduate institutions. With its nationally and internationally recognized research initiatives, small classes and technology-rich teaching and learning environment, Acadia offers students an experience that includes academic achievement combined with personal growth and development