Over 200 Academic Upgrading Students Recognized for their Achievements during Learner Recognition Day


Confederation College celebrated and recognized the accomplishments of more than 200 students from its Academic Upgrading program today with a formal ceremony. Students were presented with certificates, awards and bursaries in recognition of their completion of academic upgrading courses. 10 students received Academic and Career Entrance (ACE) certificates, provincially recognized as a Grade 12 equivalent.   The Academic Upgrading program offers an individualized approach to learning and prepares students to meet their educational, apprenticeship, and/or employment goals. The program focuses on upgrading mathematics, communications, biology, chemistry, physics and computer skills. Following the completion of the preparatory courses, students can gain direct entry into post-secondary programs and apprenticeships, and/or earn their Academic and Career Entrance Certificate (ACE) which is a provincially recognized equivalent to Grade 12.   Each year, approximately 90 graduates from the Academic Upgrading program go on to post-secondary education at Confederation College and many of those students excel. A recent report from the College Sector Committee for Academic Upgrading, titled Prepared for Success 2014-15, proved once again that adult learners who complete academic upgrading programs in Ontario’s 24 public colleges are well-prepared to succeed in post-secondary programs. 1 In fact, it found that the overall pass rate for students in all programs is 82 per cent and in all program categories, more than 75 per cent of students either graduated or had the necessary grades to enroll in second semester programming.   One student who was celebrated at the ceremony today, was Sheena Ganth. Ganth was recognized for earning her ACE Chemistry certificate. She has also studied in the Mathematics, English, Self-Management & Self-Direction, and Speaking & Listening courses. She received the Student Union’s Leadership and Goodwill Scholarship which was presented at today’s event in recognition of her strong leadership skills, positive attitude, willingness to learn and encouragement of her fellow students.   Ganth dropped out of high school in Grade 10 and ended up without a home at 16. In an effort to support herself financially, she got a job and didn’t have the time for school. She now has two young children and wants to set an example for them so returned to school in the fall of 2014 in the Academic Upgrading program.   “I needed to start being able to provide for my family and focus on our future,” she said. Of her experience in the program, Ganth shared how supported she felt. “What I liked most was that everyone makes you feel really accepted, no matter where you came from or what your past is. There is no judgment, they help you strive towards your goals and adapt if your goals change. They care about your success.”   Ganth’s experience also helped her to build self-confidence and learn new ways of coping with her ADHD. “Before Academic Upgrading, I never knew I was any good at chemistry. Aside from gaining more education, I discovered what my strengths are and what I want to do. After completing the Mature Student Assessment, I’m now in the Pre-Health program at the College.”   Ganth has been accepted to both the Medical Laboratory Assistant and Practical Nursing programs at Confederation for the fall of 2016. She excited the prospect of being able to choose which offer to accept and credits her Academic Upgrading experience for driving her to apply. “I wouldn’t be pursuing post-secondary if it weren’t for Academic Upgrading.”   Vice President, Academic, Gail Murdock, offered her congratulations to all students recognized at the ceremony. “We are thrilled to celebrate the achievements of our Academic Upgrading students today. The work they do in the program lays an important foundation for them as they prepare for the next steps in their educational journey and ultimately their careers. We have seen many students from the program enroll and succeed in a variety of our College programs and later, in the workplace.”   Recognition Day is a highlight of the academic year as Confederation College showcases the accomplishments, dedication and success of these learners who are from Thunder Bay and throughout the region. A number of awards, certificates and bursaries were presented along with academic achievement and leadership awards.   www.cscau.com/index.php/78-csc-main/208-prepared-for-success-2014-2015   [author ]Confederation College has been serving the citizens of northwestern Ontario since 1967 meeting the educational needs of students in a catchment area of some 550,000 square kilometres. Along with its main campus in Thunder Bay, Confederation College has eight regional sites located in Dryden, Fort Frances, Geraldton, Kenora, Marathon, Sioux Lookout, Red Lake and Wawa. Confederation College delivers exceptional education and training to an average of 8,800 combined full and part-time students per year and currently has a total of 805 full and part-time employees. Confederation’s regional economic impact and contribution is valued at $411.2 million annually.[/author]  


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