Improving access for northern Sask. students to science and engineering programs

The University of Saskatchewan and Northlands College partner to improve access to northern students for post-secondary science and engineering programs. File / Global News

The University of Saskatchewan (U of S) is aiming to improve access to post-secondary science and engineering programs for northern Saskatchewan students.

A program being offered at Northlands College is designed to help the students successfully transition to the university.

READ MORE: Northlands College takes over university education in northern Saskatchewan

The 42-week pre-engineering and science (PRES) program includes high school upgrading, 10 university courses and programming.

Patti McDougall, the vice-provost of teaching and learning at the U of S, said the program recognizes that indigenous people are underrepresented in engineering and science.

“It can be quite challenging for people living in northern Saskatchewan to pursue an education in science or engineering, and since 2014 we’ve been in discussions with Northlands College to figure out how we can help,” McDougall said in a release.

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“I am proud to say that this new PRES program will provide residents of northern Saskatchewan the chance to locally begin science and engineering programming leading to a range of colleges at the U of S.”

McDougall said the program will give support to the students taking math courses and give them a foundation in chemistry and physics.

READ MORE: NORTEP students will be accepted into Northlands College according to CEO

Toby Greschner, president and CEO of Northlands College, said those credits can then be transferred to multiple diploma and degree programs at most colleges and universities.

Greschner said this will allow students to take less classes during their first year of post-secondary education and ease the transition to college or university.

“The strength of our institution is partnerships, and this partnership with the University of Saskatchewan is another example of how we are all working together to increase educational opportunities and improve the overall quality of life for the people of northern Saskatchewan,” Greschner said.

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The first students will start the PRES program in September 2017 in either Buffalo Narrows, Creighton, Île à la Crosse or La Ronge, with applications accepted until June 1.

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Students who choose to attend the U of S will be able to take part in a free two-week transition program in August, which will offer personal support and program-specific information.

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