Kwantlen Polytechnic University Offers New Dual Credit Opportunities Thanks to ScotiaRISE Grant

By Kwantlen Polytechnic University Modified on May 21, 2022
Tags : Academics | BIPOC | Community | High School | Indigenous

KPU is working with Scotiabank to offer dual credit programs for under-represented high school students.

 KPU Offers New Dual Credit Opportunities Thanks to ScotiaRISE Grant

Around 200 high school students will be introduced to new academic and career opportunities over the next three years thanks to a $200,000 gift from Scotiabank.

The Future Students’ Office at Kwantlen Polytechnic University (KPU) and the KPU Foundation worked with Scotiabank to develop the Scotiabank Strive Dual Credit Program to address a gap in existing provision.

Dual credit programs

Dual credit programs give high school students the opportunity to take courses that give them credits towards both the secondary and undergraduate post-secondary level. However, data shows persistent participation gaps in dual credit programs for Indigenous and racialized students, youth in care, and students from low-income backgrounds. The ScotiaRISE grant enables KPU to remodel a traditional dual credit program to address these low participation rates.

“KPU recognizes that we need to do more to create equity for Indigenous and racialized students and other under-represented student populations, and more attention needs to be paid to barriers these students face before they step foot on campus,” says Steve Cardwell, KPU vice president, students.

Scotiabank Strive Dual Credit Program

KPU is working with Surrey Schools and Richmond School District to deliver the Scotiabank Strive Dual Credit Program twice per year. One cohort of up to 35 students will be at the Surrey campus and one cohort of the same number at the Richmond campus. One cohort will be in the spring semester, starting 2022, and the other in the fall semester.

The classes will run for three hours in the evening and the courses offered will be tailored to the student demographic. The debut course, Arts 1100, features service learning with local non-profits and volunteering in the community as part of the coursework, which tackles contemporary social problems.

To support the success of the students, the program will have a dedicated academic advisor or counsellor, literacy support, learning centre support, accessibility support and student mentorship. There is also a student assistant to act as liaison between the university and the partner school districts. Community partners include Atira, Surrey Food Bank, Metis Nation BC, Seven Sacred Fires Society, Fraser Region Aboriginal Friendship Centre Association (FRAFCA), Qmunity, and MOSAIC.

“This program will have a profound impact on these students’ lives, and this is only achievable with the visionary support of Scotiabank,” says Randall Heidt, chief executive officer of the KPU Foundation and KPU vice president of external affairs.

Jenifer Lee, district vice president for Scotiabank, says the partnership with KPU is the first academic donation made in BC and Yukon under ScotiaRISE, a 10-year, $500 million community investment initiative designed to promote economic resilience among disadvantaged groups.

“The Scotiabank Strive Dual Credit Program will be a game-changer for youth who do not fit the traditional Ministry-funded model of secondary school dual credit programs, providing these students who have faced extraordinary challenges in their lives with the opportunity to envision a future that includes post-secondary education,” she adds. “We are excited to see more young people from our communities get to experience university life and what they may achieve in the future.”

Learn more about dual credit programs at KPU

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