Bright Ideas

Cambrian Bucks

Institution: ,

Implementation Date: April 2011

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In April 2011, Cambrian College (Sudbury Ontario) launched a new initiative to encourage at-risk youth to consider pursuing a college education.  Cambrian Learning Accounts give qualified students the opportunity to accumulate up to $5,000 in “Cambrian Bucks” toward future tuition, books and other expenses at the College.  The program targets first-generation learners, Aboriginal youth, low-income students, and those with disabilities, and reaches out as early as grades 7 and 8.  Students accumulate Cambrian Bucks by attending college events and participating in designated activities, such as Cambrian’s Spring or Fall Open Houses ($250 ea), Transition Day for Students with Disabilities ($70), Pathways Learning Disability Conference ($120), or First Nations Experience ($240).

Are other institutions trying similar strategies to encourage the participation of under-represented youth?  What sorts of results are these initiatives achieving?

“Cambrian College students come from a variety of circumstances and walks of life, and access to postsecondary remains a key part of our commitment to the region, to Ontario, and to our students. The Learning Account program works well with the province of Ontario’s 30% tuition grant program to ensure that those who wish to attend college have the means to do so. It also encourages young people and their parents to learn about Cambrian College, career pathways, and to plan for their education early on.” – Peter Lawlor, President, Cambrian College

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