Transition Program: About

What is Shifting Gears?

  • A transition program for students entering McMaster University with a disability.
  • A series of summer workshops preparing you for ‘the shift’ to university expectations.
  • An introduction to services and campus resources available for students who require academic accommodations.
  • The opportunity to be matched with a Student Ally who can offer guidance and help you build your university routine.
  • Access to a study skills website on Avenue to Learn.
  • Assistance with the academic accommodation process.

Weekly Summer Orientation Sessions:


Accommodations and SAS Orientation

  • Thursday July 13th, 2:00 – 4:00 PM, or
  • Wednesday July 19th, 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM, or
  • Tuesday July 25th, 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM, or
  • Thursday August 3rd, 2:00 – 4:00 PM, or
  • Tuesday August 8th, 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM, or
  • Tuesday August 15th, 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM, or
  • Monday August 21st, 2:00 – 4:00 PM

All sessions are offered in the Mills Library, Wong Room (L107). 

You will receive individualized guidance on MOSAIC, course timetables, the accommodation process, services and supports. Learn about the academic accommodation process at McMaster, including documentation requirements and the role of the IEP. Learn about specific financial and academic resources available for students diagnosed with a disability.  Round out the session with a virtual tour of the general campus.

Summer Transition Welcome Week Workshops:


Academic Accommodations

Thursday August 31st, 2:00 – 4:00 PM

Note: The weekly orientation session covers the material below and use of MOSAIC. If you attended the weekly orientation session, you do not need to attend this workshop.
Learn about the academic accommodation process at McMaster, including documentation requirements and the role of the IEP. Learn about financial and academic resources available for students diagnosed with a disability. Services available through Student Accessibility Services will be highlighted.

Driving School: Essential Skills for Success

Wednesday August 30th, 10:00 AM – noon

Learn skills essential to success in university, including time management skills, McMaster website navigation, and resource locations. Topics will also include academic accommodations, course timetables, the role of the Faculty Advisor, and financial resources specific to students registered with SAS services.

Tune-up, Tune-in: The Lecture Experience

Monday August 28th, 2:00 – 4:30 PM

Learn and practice notetaking skills during real lectures! Professors from various subject areas will provide a short lecture during this workshop. Notetaking skills will be discussed and software specific to notetaking will be demonstrated.

Information Highway: Library Use in the Fast Lane

Wednesday August 30th, 1:00 – 3:00 PM

Library skills are essential; learn how to find and access required sources. The services available through Library Accessibility Services and assistive software within the libraries will be highlighted.

All workshop locations to be determined.

Workshop Registration & Location Information


Register for the one of the weekly Accommodations and SAS Orientation session here.

Please note: you must have met with your SAS Program Coordinator prior to registering for the orientation.

Register for the Summer Transition Welcome Week Workshops here.

Workshop Location Information:

Please see our campus map and accessible campus maps to locate the Mills Library and Kenneth Taylor Hall buildings.

More Information:

Friends and family are more than welcome to attend the workshops with you! A notepad and pen are recommended, but not required.

Please note: If you have missed your registered orientation session, apply as soon as possible through the online registration form for another session. If you miss a workshop please contact for further information.

Student Ally Program

Enjoyed the Shifting Gears summer workshop series but would like some more help adjusting to university life? Consider our Student Ally Program. Our Student Allies are able to help you throughout the year to navigate and transition into university. You’ll be matched with an upper-year student who is there to answer your questions about university, help you with study skills and join you at our regularly scheduled events! To request an ally, speak with your SAS Program Coordinator or fill out the Request for Student Ally form.

Study Skills Assistance

Did you know we have a Learning Strategist who can work with you to improve your learning and study habits? You can visit with our Learning Strategist as often as you wish. Talk to your SAS Program Coordinator to see how you can get connected.

Also, check out Learn2Learn listed as a course on your Avenue to Learn McMaster webpage. This web-based guide can offer academic study tips including note-taking, study skills, and time management. 


For more information on the transition program, contact:



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