Transitions began as a pilot project in 2003 with 16 students. Today, 100 high school students from across PEI are participating.
The program offers students an opportunity to get a taste of some of the 70+ Holland College programs across the Island. Students attend college for half days for one semester and are bused to and from the college campuses. They receive two high school credits upon completion of the Transitions program.
Twelve students from Westisle Composite High School are currently in the Transitions program pilot at the Holland College West Prince Campus. They are exploring Holland College programs at the West Prince Campus in Alberton, and are also bused to campuses in Charlottetown and Summerside.
Program Manager Joan Diamond says the Transitions program encourages high school students to attend post-secondary education and helps students make a more informed decision about what program to apply to.
“The Transitions program includes information sessions and guest speakers on topics such as student loans and bursaries,” says Joan. “We also assist with financial planning in the classroom to give students a good idea on how to budget as they attend college.”
Other components of the program include tours of various businesses, guest speakers, and self-awareness activities such as personality assessments.
The 12 Westisle students are divided into three groups: trades, healthcare and business. Each group has its own mentor.
Christine Batten is the supervisor and mentor for the business portion. “In the business rotation, a guest speaker talks about the importance of self-exploration when choosing a post-secondary option and a career path,” says Christine. “We develop business ideas and look at what it takes to become an entrepreneur.
“David Gamble, an instructor with the Business program at West Prince Campus, spoke with the students. We attended the Youth Entrepreneur Forum in March, and Bryan Maynard of Farm Boys Inc. will be another guest speaker. We will also visit several other local small business owners in West Prince who will tell us about their career journey.”
“In the health rotation, we visited the WJ Phillips Residence and played bingo with the seniors, toured the Island EMS paramedic base, talked with local paramedics, and shadowed the current RCW class at the West Prince Campus,” says mentor Nikki Gallant.
Students will volunteer at the Alberton Food Bank, tour Community Inclusions, learn about the Child & Youth Care Worker program, and learn how to work with small children.
In the trades rotation, students work with mentor Gary Gaudet and build a small solar car and hear a guest speaker from West Prince Solar Inc. They also wire a light switch, build a boot rack, and learn about Occupational Health and Safety.
They spend a day in the welding class, and visit the Wind Energy Institute of Canada. They also learn about basic vehicle maintenance and visit the Wildlife Conservation class.
For more information about Transitions, contact Joan Diamond, Program Manager, at 902-629-4248.