Holland College will launch a pilot project to support prospective students who have been, or currently are, youth in care in Prince Edward Island, college president Alexander (Sandy) MacDonald announced today.
“We understand the barriers that youth in care encounter when they are trying to further their education in the post-secondary environment, and we are committed to providing them with the supports they need to help them succeed,” he said.
The college will waive tuition and related fees for prospective students who are currently in care, or who were in care for at least 24 months when they were minors. There is no limit on the age of applicants, but they must meet the admission requirements for their chosen program of study, and must be residents of P.E.I.
If applicants do not meet the admission requirements of their program of choice, Dr. MacDonald encourages them to consider the college’s Adult Education and GED programs.
“Adult Education and GED programs are offered to all Islanders free of charge,” he said. “I encourage former youth in care to explore their options so that they can plan their post-secondary path using the Current and Former Youth in Care waiver.”
A limited number of students will be accepted into the pilot project in September; but Dr. MacDonald anticipates expanding the project in the future.
Marvin Bernstein, PEI's independent Child and Youth Advocate, said he and members of the Child and Youth Advisory Committee of the PEI Office of the Child and Youth Advocate, offer their youth-led expertise in ongoing support of this milestone announcement in the province.
“I am delighted to learn of Holland College’s ground-breaking decision to create a tuition and fee waiver in support of youth in care and former youth in care,” he said. “Post-secondary education can transform lives and be the gateway to success. As a matter of fairness and equity, young people in and from care should have the same opportunity as their out-of-care peers to access higher education and reach their full potential, particularly since they have, in many instances, the additional challenge of overcoming past adversity. As a community leader, Holland College is signaling to children and youth in care that they matter and that this program offers hope and excitement for their future.”
"As someone who grew up in foster care, I know personally how life changing post-secondary studies can be," said Jane Kovarikova, founder of Child Welfare PAC Canada and doctoral candidate at Western. "I am grateful to Holland College for leading by example in P.E.I. and ensuring that we have the opportunity to thrive in adult life."
To find out more about the Current and Former Youth in Care waiver, Adult Education and GED, and Holland College full-time programs, visit hollandcollege.com, call 1-800-446-5265, or email email@example.com.
For more information about this release, please contact:
Greg Arsenault, Director - Marketing and Communications
Date: Monday, February 22, 2021