Yukon College won’t give up on you

“I thought no one cared.”

This Yukon College student can be forgiven for being surprised. Just over 10 per cent of students at this institution are struggling, as he was, and are on probation.

But then they were introduced to the Learning Assistance Centre’s latest initiative: Reboot.

For those who have been academically dismissed or are on probation, personalized help is available.

By taking a maximum of three of their courses along with cohorted classes on study skills, time management, exam preparation, exam anxiety and personal budgeting, they will be guided back to where they need to be to finish their education.

Perhaps they chose the wrong program and are floundering. Or they have kids at home to worry about, or jobs that require too many hours away from studying.

The Learning Assistance Centre has always provided personal counselling, career counselling and First Nations support.

Even with this help, some students are academically dismissed.

Reboot is for those students.

“There is academic rigour that is important,” says Jennifer Moorlag, Yukon College’s registrar. “You have to be doing well, or at least mostly well, to be able to stay at the college.

“Students who have not been performing well after two terms on academic probation can not come back for one year.

“So we say to them, ‘You are on dismissal anyway, so why not give this a chance?’”

The response from students who have been given this second chance has been encouraging.

Birgit Martens, an education support facilitator, says, “Some of the registered students at the initial intake have indicated excitement about having the accountability, a place to come in to study or chat about where they stand this semester.”

Moorlag adds: “My team has extremely welcoming people; and the Learning Centre is getting new carpet and a new paint job, so it will be a much more welcoming space.

“That’s what we want for the students: a place they can see themselves in.”

This is the first year for this program. It was patterned after an outside university’s Back On Track Program and Moorlag doesn’t anticipate many growing pains.

“There will be some tweaking, but there won’t be a huge amount of trial and error,” she says.

“These people, working with the students, are experts in their field and they know how to interview students and they know how to develop academic improvement plans and they know how to drill down to what the students need and that key piece in connecting the students with the services we have.”

But, since prevention is the best cure, the Learning Assistance Centre is launching its third year of Academic Success Boot Camp.

During the evenings from Aug. 29 to Sept. 1, any student planning to attend college or university can attend this workshop to prepare for academic life.

“These are the skills you are going to need to be successful,” Moorlag says.

They will learn about time management, study skills, preparing for tests, stress management and overall wellness.

Any student interested in Reboot or Academic Success Boot Camp can call 456-8620 for more information.

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