Enhancing the life and vitality of the Niagara region and beyond is entrenched in everything Brock University does.
Two new pathways for admissions to the University are aimed at opening the door to post-secondary education for more people in Niagara and the wider community, regardless of their age or previous education experience.
On Wednesday, Oct. 28, Brock Senate, which oversees the academic policy of the University, approved the Fresh Start and Open Studies pathways, which will go into effect in the near future.
“Brock continues to explore how best to ensure the pathways we offer align with the needs of our communities — we have listened and we are acting in support of the communities we serve,” said Brock University President Gervan Fearon. “These two new avenues to education will help the University become more accessible and relevant to our community.”
Over the past year, Brock has conducted consultations with internal stakeholders and external community members such as the local chambers of commerce to better understand the labour skills gap and identify ways to enhance Brock’s offerings targeted at a wider variety of potential students, such as continuing education.
“Fresh Start and Open Studies directly respond to the needs of our community and the desire of more people to have access to post-secondary education,” said Lynn Wells, Provost and Vice-President, Academic. “The social and economic benefits of a post-secondary education are well established by research. Universities like Brock have a responsibility to make them as accessible as possible to their local community.”
The Open Studies pathway will allow people of all ages and educational backgrounds to take individual Brock courses on a part-time basis without registering for a full certificate or degree.
It may be of interest to anyone looking to upgrade or add new skills, looking to take courses out of general interest, or those without any post-secondary experience looking to explore courses before committing to a full credential.
The Fresh Start pathway will allow Brock to admit students based on their high school records, even if they have previous post-secondary experience. In essence, it allows prospective students to wipe the slate clean of any previous post-secondary experience and gives them the opportunity to start over in a better position to succeed.
“The pandemic has had untold effects on students’ personal lives and physical and mental health in ways that may have compromised their ability to succeed academically,” said Wells. “Similarly, the changes some universities have made to their admissions criteria mean that some students may quickly find themselves looking for a new university that is a better match for their expectations and learning style.”
More information on the Open Studies and Fresh Start programs will be available in the coming weeks.