Funding to Georgian College to support students overcome pandemic learning challenges

Students will benefit from these special projects through the 2023-24 school year

News Release – from Georgian College

Faculty at Georgian College are developing a new General Education course to provide students with additional social, cultural and academic tools to aid in their academic recovery from the pandemic thanks to funding from the Ontario Council on Articulation and Transfer (ONCAT).  

The funding was announced by Adrienne Galway, Executive Director of ONCAT, on Friday at Georgian College’s Barrie Campus. She was joined by Jill Dunlop, Minister of Colleges and Universities, and Kevin Weaver, President and CEO of Georgian College. 

As part of this initiative, ONCAT has awarded over $560,000 to eight postsecondary institutions in Ontario, including Georgian, to develop programs and supports for students impacted by the pandemic. These projects include summer courses to help students recover pandemic-related academic gaps, coaching and mentorship programs to help students transition to and adjust to postsecondary studies, and specialized supports for Indigenous learners, mature students, and prospective students from historically unrepresented groups. All are designed to support the successful experience of students whose academic journeys have been disrupted over the last few years. 

 2022 report from the Higher Education Quality Council of Ontario (HEQCO) recommends enhanced opportunities for skills development, academic preparation, and transitional supports to prepare students for success in their educational journey, particularly for those whose studies were interrupted or affected by the pandemic. 

“Postsecondary institutions are still navigating the impacts of the pandemic on the sector, and it is crucial for them to be able to adapt to their students’ ever-changing needs,” said Dunlop. “Through this funding provided by ONCAT, these eight institutions have created strategies to support students affected by the pandemic so they can reach their full academic potential.” 

As part of Georgian’s General Education course, students will learn how to navigate all the resources available to them during their postsecondary education journey, as well as life skills such as resiliency and self-advocacy. The college will also assess whether this new course could help waive some admission requirements into select programs for students who may be missing an English or Humanities credit from high school. The course will launch in January 2024. 

 “Georgian is grateful to ONCAT for this funding to create additional opportunities to reduce barriers for our students, especially those who have been disproportionately disadvantaged during the pandemic,” said Weaver. “This resourceful course will help ensure they become successful learners we well as increase the transferability of their learnings in the Ontario college system to help them achieve their career goals.” 

Dr. Galway says the funding will give students a strong foundation to build upon. 

“The pandemic continues to impact students as they move along their academic pathways and we need to ensure that they are set up for success on their journey,” said Dr. Galway.  

These projects are funded by the Government of Ontario. Students will benefit from these special projects through the 2023-24 school year.  

Banner image – supplied – Georgian College: Adrienne Galway, Executive Director, ONCAT (far left) and attended by (from left to right) Jill Dunlop, Minister of Colleges and Universities; Michel Beaulieu, Associate Vice-Provost Academic, Lakehead University; Kevin Weaver, President and CEO, Georgian College; Andrea Khanjin, MPP – Barrie-Innisfil; and Doug Downey, MPP – Barrie-Springwater-Oro-Medonte.