RCDSB provides post-secondary transitional support to students
Fellowes' Grade 12 students Caroline Rose (left) and Kristianna Videto (right) share their success stories with the RCDSB about their experience with the 'Enhanced Support for Transition to Post-Secondary Education' pilot project.
RCDSB has successfully piloted a new project to ensure equitable access to post-secondary education.
Since the beginning of the 2017-2018 school year, the Renfrew County District School Board has implemented a pilot project – funded by the Ministry of Education – with the aim of assisting Grade 10-12 students as they transition to post-secondary education.
“The minister gave us an opportunity to submit a proposal near the end of last school year for a project that was designed to address barriers to equity to post-secondary education. So through that proposal we were able to start this pilot project through our student success initiative and to have Ms. Sweeney work with all of our secondary schools in the county,” said Jenny Smith, student success leader with the RCDSB.
During the first school semester, a total of 84 Grade 12 students – 10 to 15 from each school – took part in the new project under the direction of RCDSB post-secondary education project coordinator Carrie Sweeney.
“All of these students face a variety of barriers that could impede their pursuit of post-secondary education, so through this pilot project I’ve been working with them through the school-year to facilitate that process,” said Sweeney.
Of those 84 students from first semester, 89 per cent have already received early offers from colleges and universities.
During the Feb. 27 RCDSB meeting, two of those students spoke before the board to share their success stories.
Kristianna Videto, a Grade 12 student at Fellowes, expressed that the program helped her to narrow down her interests and decide on a post-secondary route that best suited her.
“It has really helped me in the sense that now I will be able to pursue what I want to do when I am older and it's made it so much easier having all of this extra help to apply,” said Videto. “I now want to be a personal support worker (PSW) and I got accepted into the program here at Algonquin College so I’m pretty excited for that and it's only a nine-month program that starts this September.”
Caroline Rose, another Grade 12 student at Fellowes, echoed similar sentiments as she expressed how the program helped her on the path towards successfully determining out her goals and applying to post-secondary.
“I already knew where I wanted to end up as a career but I had no idea how to get there. I knew that I needed to go to university and that would be a six year program but the issue as that I didn’t know how to apply to university and I didn’t know when or how I should be doing that,” said Rose. “So this program has really guided me through that process.”
With the success rate they’ve witnessed through the pilot project, Smith said that the RCDSB hopes to continue the project into the future.
“We will have the opportunity to submit a proposal for a project for next year and we will be eagerly waiting for that opportunity and very hopeful that we will be able to continue,” said Smith.