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Project Offers UBCO Courses for Aboriginal Adults in Downtown Kelowna

A new project by UBC Okanagan and the Ki-Low-Na Friendship Society is aiming to help adult Aboriginal students access post-secondary studies.

The Downtown Education Project will be offering one of UBC's introductory writing courses at the Ki-Low-Na Friendship Centre on Leon Avenue. “The goal of the pilot project is to increase access to post-secondary education for urban Aboriginals,” says Adrienne Vedan, Director of Aboriginal Programs and Services at UBC. “UBC and the Ki-Low-Na Friendship Society recognize that large segments of the urban Aboriginal population face barriers to achieving success in a post-secondary environment. We hope to remove some of those barriers.”

This program will use both academic and non-academic programming, helping those students who'd like to transition to post-secondary schooling. “Providing a way past some of these barriers is best achieved in an environment that’s familiar and reinforces success,” says Edna Terbasket, Ki-Low-Na Friendship Society Executive Director.

Shane Stonechild, Edna Terbasket, and Veronica Roesler chatting about the course to start in downtown Kelowna. (Photo Credit: UBC Okanagan)

“By offering the pilot project at the Ki-Low-Na Friendship Society, the students will be able to learn in an environment where they can access a number of different programs. They will also be able to connect with mentors, program facilitators, and support workers who will be able to assist them in achieving academic success.”

The first course to be offered is WRIT 009: Preparation for University Writing, which UBC teaches from an Aboriginal perspective. This course is meant to help people transition from high school studies to the undergraduate level of academic writing. There will also be transition and orientation program, with the pilot course running from mid-January to April.

Any adult Aboriginal student who's interested in going into post-secondary studies can participate in the Downtown Education Project. If you'd like more information, contact Veronica Roesler at the Ki-Low-Na Friendship Society at 250-763-4905.

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