Montreal, April 21, 2015. Vanier College is offering a unique initiative designed to help high school students living in rural areas of Quebec to prepare for college life. The High School Outreach Program uses videoconference sessions to discuss an array of topics in order to help inform young students about the experience of attending a college in a major urban centre like Montreal.
“This is truly a very unique initiative. It’s also extremely useful as many teenagers living in the rural areas of the province have so many questions in terms of what they can expect and how they should prepare for college life. The program allows Vanier College students to act as mentors by providing answers to questions related to such matters as how to apply for student loans, look for an apartment and what it’s like to live in Montreal,” said project coordinator and Vanier teacher Jacky Vallée.
The program is run in collaboration with LEARN (Leading English Education and Resource Network ). LEARN is a non-profit organization whose mandate is to serve the educational needs of the public and private Anglophone and Aboriginal, youth and adult education sectors of Quebec.
Some of the high schools participating in the program are located in areas such as New Richmond, the Laurentians and Joliette. The program also aims to reach out to high schools located on Aboriginal reservations and eventually to French high schools.
During each videoconference session a lesson plan is presented centred on a specific theme such as diversity, city living, college level academic skills or how to choose a career. Discussions between students from the different high schools and Vanier College ensue followed by a question and answer session.
“This program is a prime example of how we can use videoconferencing technology to bring groups of students together who might not otherwise ever have a chance to meet. At the same time it offers an opportunity to analyze the needs of high school students while giving Vanier students an opportunity to share their knowledge and experiences with others, “ said project coordinator and Vanier teacher Marlene Grossman.