Program makes postsecondary education more accessible to out-of-school youth in the community

Humber’s Community Outreach and Workforce Development department, School of Liberal Arts and Sciences, and department of Student Success and Engagement have launched a free program to help youth aged 19-29 make a successful transition to college, whether or not they’ve graduated from high school.

The Youth Transition Program (YTP) will be delivered four times per week from November 6 until December 15, and allows participants to explore their interests and career goals while learning more about postsecondary education options. Working with a Student Support Advisor, students will create their own individualized learning plan, focusing on the steps required to transition to a postsecondary program of their choice.

“When young people leave high school, they can become disconnected from the supports that will assist them in preparing for postsecondary options,” says Geraldine Babcock, Humber’s director of Community Outreach and Workforce Development. “This program will allow participants to better understand where they are academically, and whether they require some upgrading or are ready to apply as a mature student. Many young people aren’t aware that colleges have resources that will enable them to prepare for and pursue an education beyond high school.”

Along with sessions to explore career interests and build literacy and numeracy skills, students are also able to take specialized classes in areas such as Health, Business, Media  and Technology. Advising and mentorship are also important components of the program, with individual advising sessions happening once per week and continuing after the program has completed.

To determine the structure and content of YTP, Humber held consultations both with community groups that serve youth and with young people themselves. The feedback indicated that, along with academic skills, youth needed other practical supports to take advantage of the program. As a result, participants receive free bus tokens and lunch for the duration of the program. YTP will also run from 10 a.m. until 2:30 p.m. each day, allowing students with children to drop them off and pick them up if needed. In addition, if students successfully complete the program and decide to apply to a postsecondary program, their application fees will be covered.

“With the recent changes to OSAP, postsecondary education has become more affordable,” says Babcock. “Humber College wants to reach out to youth who have not pursued postsecondary options, ensure that they are aware of this change, and provide the academic advising that will assist them in exploring this option further. Most importantly, the program provides supports to ensure young people have the knowledge and skills to transition successfully to a college program, allowing them to realize their full potential.”

For more information about the program, please go to humber.ca/community/youth