Story written by Georgian College:
Although the School within a College (SWAC) program has been running for more than a dozen years at Georgian College, the program took place for the first time at the college’s Muskoka campus this winter/spring. Despite the challenges of the campus closing amid the COVID-19 pandemic, students have great things to say about the experience.
Trillium Lakelands District School Board (TLDSB) student Matt Tipper enjoyed the change of environment, “I was excited about the community of the classroom and about getting to know the teacher and have them know and respect me,” he said, “I felt like I was treated more as a grown up.”
SWAC students came from the local TLDSB Adult and Alternate Education Centre and three area secondary schools to complete their secondary school diplomas on the college campus.
“Honestly, I felt like we were so welcome and we felt like we were at home,” says TLDSB student Desirae Payne. “I understood what I was going to be taught. I managed to grow up and get work done.”
Along with their high school courses, the students took the college credit, Lifestyle Management.
“Coming into the program I didn’t think I’d enjoy it,” says Gabe Little. “I did life management in high school and I didn’t enjoy it but this course was different. I enjoyed learning about proper dietary options and the dangers of smoking. This program has given me some knowledge that helped me quit smoking”.
Students are selected for the SWAC program because they had disengaged from their high school environment, resulting in attendance and credit accumulation issues. The student’s teacher, Graham Henderson is thrilled with how well the entire class managed.
“Each of these students is a real success story, as they all successfully completed their dual credit, as well as earned their high school diploma,” he says. “I am proud of them and each of them has a sense of accomplishment.”
School College Partnerships Manager Michelle Rao sends a heartfelt thank you to all of the staff on the Muskoka campus who welcomed and supported the SWAC program this year.
For more information about SWAC in Trillium Lakelands District School Board, visit tldsb.ca/pathways.