Selected Thames Valley students to finish high school at Western
Wednesday, April 11, 2012 – High school students who may not initially have set their sights on a university education will be going to Western University this fall as part of a new program that is the first of its kind in the province.
The School Within a University (SWAU) program will give 25 Thames Valley students the opportunity to complete their final high school courses required for graduation, as well as earn a university credit at no cost.
“All students have different learning needs and a university campus setting may make a difference for some students pursuing a post-secondary education,” says Laura Elliott, TVDSB Superintendent of Program Services.
Elliott says the new program was developed in partnership with Western and its affiliated colleges and builds on the success of the TVDSB’s School Within a College (SWAC) program created in partnership with Fanshawe College.
SWAU will allow students to complete up to six senior high school credits while earning a university credit – all on Western’s campus.
Eligible students will be selected by school staff for the pilot program and must meet criteria set by TVDSB and Western’s Admissions Office that prove they are academically capable. The students will also be supported by mentors to facilitate their success.
Julie McMullin, a Western sociology professor who takes special interest in helping youth overcome challenges, approached TVDSB with the program idea.
“I gathered a group of people at Western and in the community to discuss ways in which we help youth with exceptional challenges transition to university,” recalls McMullin, who eventually discovered TVDSB’s School Within a College program at Fanshawe. “I was very moved by the program,” says McMullin.
While the new Western-based program doesn’t guarantee entrance to any university, it will give students the opportunity to experience university life. Organizers believe the SWAU program will be as successful helping students continue their education as the college-based program.
For More Information:
Dr. Julie McMullin, Professor of Sociology