Increasing access to post-secondary education among Crown Wards
By Communications Staff
Queen's is part of a new initiative aimed at helping youth in the care of area children's aid societies get to university and college.
Members of the Crown Ward Education Championship Team of Southeastern Ontario recently formalized an agreement that creates a specialized network of professionals who will work with Crown Wards who want to attend post-secondary education (PSE).
"These students are under-represented at post-secondary institutions because they often face numerous challenges and barriers to higher education," says Ann Tierney, Vice-Provost and Dean of Student Affairs. "This team will be working together to help these students find a path to university or college."
Contacts at each institution and organization provide one-on-one guidance and advice to youth who are Crown Wards and will work together to organize special events to introduce these students to post-secondary educational opportunities. There is a day-long PSE experience event planned each fall and a new three-day on-campus course offered through Queen's Enrichment Studies Unit this May, when students in grades seven and eight can live like university students and explore academic disciplines including engineering, medicine and arts.
“It’s exciting to work on the ground with care providers and high school educators because we are creating these amazing educational experiences for Crown Wards and youth in care,” says team member Lara Therrien Boulos, an Admission Coordinator at Queen's, responsible for first-generation applicants. “When youth go to a college or university campus and see what is possible, it gets them thinking about what they can do. All of a sudden, post-secondary education is within their reach, and it opens up a whole new world.”
The team initiative is funded by the Ontario Ministries of Education, Children and Youth Services and Training, Colleges and Universities. The institutions and organizations involved are Queen's, St. Lawrence College, Family and Children’s Services of Frontenac, Lennox and Addington, Highland Shores Children’s Aid, Loyalist College in Belleville and the University of Ottawa.