USask creating pathways to help Indigenous students enter engineering and succeed

The University of Saskatchewan’s (USask) College of Engineering has launched a program designed to help more Indigenous people enter the college and successfully complete their degrees.

The new Engineering Access Program, which was officially launched on Monday, is part of the college’s Indigenous Peoples Initiatives Community (IPIC).

“We want Indigenous young people to know that engineering is a great career option for them,” said Suzanne Kresta, dean of USask’s College of Engineering. “The IPIC Engineering Access Program is part of our commitment to support Indigenous students during every part of their journey toward completing their engineering degrees.”

“Once Indigenous students come into engineering through initiatives like this, it is important to support them throughout the program. This sets the stage, draws a foundation for ensuring success,” said Jacqueline Ottmann, Vice-Provost of Indigenous Engagement at the U of S, according to an article in Eagle Feather News. “We benefit as a society when our students graduate from these programs.”

The program supports prospective and current Indigenous engineering students in three specific ways:

Pathways to Engineering – A year of academic upgrading for students that do not have the required pre-requisites to apply to the College of Engineering. Available through USask or Northlands College in northern Saskatchewan.

Summer Bridging Program – Students spend several days on and around campus, in sessions focusing on academic preparation, navigating campus and transitioning to life in Saskatoon. Summer Bridging is required for students entering the College of Engineering through Pathways to Engineering and is also available to all Indigenous students entering Engineering.

Student Success Program – Social, academic and financial supports are available for Indigenous students in the college. For first-year students, this includes meeting regularly with an academic advisor and attending first-year facilitated study sessions to help ensure their success as engineering students.

Read more about this commitment (USask).

University of Saskatchewan opening doors for Indigenous engineering students (Global).

New U of S program aims to graduate more Indigenous engineers (Eagle Feather News).

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