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Student Experience Research Team (SERT)


This project, the Student Experience Research Team (SERT), is driven by four commitments:

  • Creating a meaningful, high-impact research opportunity for Toronto Met undergraduate students that will enrich their understanding of their own and their fellow students’ experience in higher education.
  • Supporting these students financially by paying them a good wage for this.
  • Activating non-traditional, “ways of knowing” in our methodology.
  • Making a meaningful contribution to the field of Student Affairs through these research efforts.

The Student Experience Research Team, SERT, is a group of undergraduate students at Toronto Metropolitan University working in Student Affairs and using arts-informed methods of learning, inquiry, and storytelling to deepen our understanding of students’ post-secondary experiences.

On our website at (external link)  you can explore our gallery of research projects concerning student engagement, belonging, first-year experiences, student “desirability”, academic persistence, and more. Further, we invite you in to see SERT as a team, to explore SERT’s pedagogy, our methods.

When we share our work, we share not only our research results but you’ll find our reflections on our process, our drawings and conversations and rough drafts, and we hope you’ll even get a sense of the deep feeling of community we are privileged to create together. Welcome to the student experience research team, we’re so glad you’re here.

The reports for our projects are in zine and illustration format, and are each downloadable in full below. Text-only versions of the reports are also available in word doc format. 

Illustration of books with trends icon

2018-2019 Project: Stuck Narratives and the Student Experience at Toronto Metropolitan University

Undergraduate Student Expectations and Lived Realities of Post-Secondary Education as Explored Through an Arts-Based Research Design

 (PDF file) SERT Zine Report 

 (word file) SERT Report (Text-only)

Explore the SERT experience on our research gallery site at

 (external link) 

In which we invite you in to see SERT as a team, to explore SERT’s pedagogy, our methods, and our reflections on the experience. Joim us at (external link) .

Drawing of a group of students in a community circle

2019-2020 Project: Continuums and Conundrums of Student Engagement, Person to Person

Introducing Academic “Desirability” to Narratives of Belonging and Creating Unique Research Experiences for Undergraduate Students

 (PDF file) SERT Digital Illustration Report

 (word file) SERT Word Report (Text-only)

Navigating careers and employment for persons with disabilities

- some provocations and a literature review from the Student Experience Research Team (SERT) in partnership with the Public Garage Project. 

 (PDF file) SERT Careers Zine Report

 (word file) SERT Careers Report (Text-only)