Opening doors to post-secondary education

By STEVE BUIST

Post-secondary institutions are an important part of the Hamilton community but they aren’t always part of the future for many of the city’s high school students, particularly those affected by poverty.

Changing that equation and improving access to post-secondary education is one of the main goals of a new initiative being launched by MohawkCollege.

Saturday, Mohawk is hosting a daylong “unconference” called Build the Dream, aimed at increasing participation rates, especially for students in high-risk neighbourhoods.

More than 120 teens, families, educators and community leaders are expected to attend the event, which is being held at Parkview secondary.

Mohawk’s improved access initiative is intended to build upon the findings of The Spectator’s Code Red series. A followup in June showed the toll poverty takes on students at Parkview.

“Postal codes should not determine who gets a college education, ” Mohawk president Rob MacIsaac said in a recent speech about the improved access project.

Mohawk’s access initiative will focus on three targets: connecting with students who are struggling in their first year of post-secondary education, connecting with students who would like to attend college or university but are having difficulty navigating the process, and connecting with those who just can’t see post-secondary education in their future.

The event will run from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at Parkview, located at 60 Balsam Ave. N.

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