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Leveraging Digital Tools to Lower the Barrier to Re-entry into Post Secondary Education
May 9, 2022 @ 9:30 am - 4:30 pm
This event is part of the 2022 Celebrate Learning Week: https://celebratelearning.ubc.ca/events/2022-events/
In 2017, the provincial government expanded the Provincial Tuition Waiver Program to all public institutions in BC, waiving tuition fees for all former youth in foster care. However, only 55.1% of foster youth in BC finish school with high school credentials. As such, many former youths in care are not able to take advantage of the tuition waiver. In addition to the formal qualifications required for entry into post secondary education, many former youths in care have been out of the education system for more than a couple of years and need help acclimatizing. This poster session details the recent success I’ve had using digital tools to help former youth in care access post secondary education during the Covid pandemic.
In conjunction with a team of social workers at Aunt Leah’s, I help alleviate the many barriers confronting former youth in care. The Supporting Education for Former Foster Youth (SEFFY) program at Aunt Leah’s provides holistic mentoring and advising to help demystify the post secondary education system. The SEFFY program provides individual tutoring, academic counselling/coaching, life skills workshops, and refers participants to other supports at Aunt Leah’s. During the Covid pandemic, many of these services had to move online which required us to adapt to virtual learning environments. I leveraged digital tools to help organize student’s schedules, break down their assignments, academic writing, and improve their note taking strategies.
The youth that Aunt Leah’s supports represents a subsection of the population that has historically not been able to access post secondary education. The implements that the SEFFY program has created can also be used to improve academic coaching for students struggling to acclimatize to the rigorous coursework at UBC.
– Jonathan Lopez, Go Global, Student Information and Program Assistant