Low-income adults looking for upgrading courses at Thompson Rivers University can expect to find easy access to the Adult Upgrading Grants recently announced by the Ministry of Advanced Education.
“Adult Basic Education is in our DNA at Thompson Rivers University,” said Dr. Airini, TRU’s Dean of the Faculty of Human, Social and Educational Development. “We continue to make every effort to ensure the adults who enrol in our upgrading courses know how to access the new grants and are fully supported academically.”
TRU’s University and Employment Preparation (UEPrep) Department has many supports for adult learners including free tutorial help in the University Preparation Centre (UPrep Centre or UPC), a quiet space for Adult Basic Education (ABE) students with a dedicated computer lab.
Jane Horton, Chair of UEPrep at TRU, says the faculty and staff is planning extra workshops in the UPrep Centre for students to receive direct support to apply for the upgrading grants. “We know that accessing the tuition coverage may be a challenge for some of our students, but we will help them get all the assistance there is available.”
TRU’s Financial Aid and Awards Office has prepared a briefing sheet on how to access financial support for each new student enrolling, and support staff have been made aware of the new study awards available and will provide students with advice on where to get assistance to apply. Students are not able to use the grant to complete courses to earn credits to complete high school, the grant only applies to those students who have are upgrading at a college or university to enter a public post secondary program.
For Horton, the fact that students can be upgrading as they are attending university is one of the program’s best values. “As an adult student, you can get started on your university program without a high school diploma.”
The TRU Board of Governors voted to re-instate tuition fees for Adult Basic Education at its regular meeting on Friday, May 29. The vote followed the January announcement by the BC Government that all of the province’s public post-secondary institutions would need to charge tuition for Adult Basic Education because the government would no longer be providing funding through block grant allocation.
The board decision to charge tuition for adult upgrading programs was necessary to ensure sustainability of the programs. Tuition for full-time study for a 13-week semester is capped at $1600. Classes are 6 to 7 hrs/course to a suggested maximum of three courses/semester.
Since 2008 Adult Basic Education has been offered tuition-free throughout the Province. The change in policy means that adult students who have the means to do so will contribute to the cost of upgrading for further studies and entry into the workforce. Low-income students who cannot afford to pay will have access to grants that cover tuition and other education-related costs such as supplies, textbooks, transportation and childcare
For more information contact:
Chair, University and Employment Preparation
Thompson Rivers University