Cash for aboriginal learning

Thompson Rivers University is among 11 public post-secondary institutions in B.C. receiving funding for additional programs and services to improve the educational outcomes of aboriginal learners.

The other institutions that received almost $3.6 million in 2016-17 to support Aboriginal Service Plans are Camosun College, Capilano University, College of New Caledonia, North Island College, Nicola Valley Institute of Technology, Northwest Community College, University of Northern British Columbia, University of Victoria, Vancouver Community College and Vancouver Island University.

The money will also be used to strengthen partnerships between post-secondary institutions and aboriginal communities and increase the relevance of post-secondary institutions for aboriginal learners.

Aboriginal Service Plan funding from the Ministry of Advanced Education will support new and continuing programs and services, such as language programs in Secwepemc, Hul’qumi’num and Nuu-chah-nulth, a tourism program that provides participants with the basic skills needed to enter the hospitality and tourism sector and aboriginal counsellors who will provide students with educational and personal support.

This new funding is in addition to one-time funding in 2016-17 to the other 14 public post-secondary institutions to deliver programs and services that support aboriginal learners.

Aboriginal service plans help increase access to post-secondary education and training for aboriginal learners as well as strengthen partnerships between public post-secondary institutions and aboriginal communities. The service plans are designed to make post-secondary institutions and programs more receptive to aboriginal learners and more relevant to them.

Government has invested more than $20 million in aboriginal service plans since the launch of the aboriginal framework.

Aboriginal learners in B.C. were awarded 3,340 credentials in 2014-15, an increase of 27 per cent, or 706, over 2009-10. One of the aboriginal framework goals is to increase the number of credentials awarded to aboriginal learners by 75 per cent by 2020-21.

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