UNBC Northwest offers University Life 101 for young Aboriginal students

March 2, 2018

The University of Northern British Columbia is bringing its Spring into Transition program to its Terrace campus, which gives Aboriginal youth a taste of university life.

Not knowing what to expect may discourage any young person from attending a post-secondary institution. This is just one of the reasons why UNBC developed the Spring into Transition program as part of its Aboriginal Service Plan.

“Providing Aboriginal youth with an opportunity to experience University while they are still in their Secondary School years is important,” says Dr. Rheanna Robinson, Senior Advisor to the President on Aboriginal Relations at UNBC. “Not only may this ease the students' transition to post-secondary education, but the Spring into Transition program provides a significant opportunity to show the breadth and depth of supports available to students in higher learning institutions to bolster success.”

The program runs from March 12 – 16 and welcomes both Aboriginal learners and their communities to post-secondary education by providing an innovative, supportive, and highly engaged experiential learning experience.

Open to Grade 11 and Grade 12 Aboriginal students from the Northwest region, students will master new learning strategies and participate in cultural activities, as well as meet and learn from Elders, guest speakers, and professors.

Students will be enrolled in ARTS 101: Learning Strategies, a UNBC course where they will identify their strengths as a student, recognize their skill sets, determine their career goals, and, learn how best to make a successful transition to university. Upon completion of the course, students will earn three University credits that are eligible towards a UNBC degree.

“The lectures, seminars, and culturally relevant experiential learning opportunities in the ARTS 101 course are an exciting way to introduce youth to University programming,” says Robinson. “The Spring into Transition program highlights the potential opportunities available through post-secondary learning, and also enables students to realize the contribution Aboriginal communities make to our campuses, as an integral part of the UNBC community.”

Although it is a new program to Terrace, Spring into Transition is in its fourth year at UNBC’s Prince George campus, with more than 50 enrollees to date. Past students have had a chance to meet with UNBC Elders to learn about First Nations cultural history in the area and participate in cultural activities; they visited the University’s science labs, and were able to build friendships with peers from other communities or bands.

Spring into Transition at UNBC Northwest Terrace campus is open to 28 participants. Anyone who wishes to enrol is encouraged to apply. The program supports all student fees, food, supplies and activities, and reimbursements of transportation costs will be provided for out of town students.