The following blog post was written by Charlotte Beaubier, a faculty member at the Centre for Excellence in Immigrant and Intercultural Advancement. This is the first story in our blog series on the Youth in Transition (YiT) program at the Centre.
What is the Youth in Transition program (YiT) and how is it different from other ELL programs? This is a question I am often asked by new learners as well as other instructors at the Centre.
There are several key features of YiT that make it different from traditional ELL programs.
First of all, age, benchmark level and years of education are the initial requirements for acceptance into YiT. Our learners are between the ages of 18-25 and must have a minimum of 10 years of education prior studying to with us. They also need to be working at a CLB Benchmark 3 or higher. The main goal of our learners is also different. The majority of our students need or want further education, so our course guide focuses on academic skill development, college readiness as well as settlement. Everyone in our program works with a student advisor to prepare a learning pathway.
Another area that is a very important part of our curriculum is financial literacy. YiT learners don’t necessarily have a lot of experience with having their own money, using credit responsibly, creating a budget or even banking in general. Therefore, we have made this an integral part of our programming to help them have more independence and financial success in Canada.
Digital literacy and project based learning are also central to our teaching. Through our laptop program we try to give our students access and opportunity to use many examples of the software and programs that will help them to be successful in their academic endeavors.
Some of the feedback that we have received from our learners is that they like that we move a little faster and that the pace is better for them. Also, they appreciate having the opportunity to form relationships with people their own age instead of being in classes with learners who are the same age as their parents.
Our program creates a real sense of community and we have seen the majority of our alumni move on to flourish in their academic careers.