Status: COMPLETE May 2020 - April 2021
PYP is a 4-week online learning experience for Indigenous students in which their interest for education will be nurtured through exposure to various academic fields and career exploration.
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Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, the Branches Team has had to re-structure the IMPRESS Program. The new program, called Pick Your Path! (PYP), will be delivered online; as such, changes have been made to the program’s structure to adapt to this new reality. Nevertheless, IMPRESS and PYP share the same mission: to pique the interest of Indigenous students in education by offering an opportunity that gives exposure to various areas of study.
Pick Your Path! is a 4-week online learning experience for Indigenous summer students. Through PYP, students will have the opportunity to have a paid professional development and education experience from a distance. PYP students will meet weekly with an Indigenous post-secondary student mentor, with the program coordinator, and in a group setting to work on a joint project related to their educational paths.
Additionally, students will attend online workshops and seminars. Each week will be led by an Indigenous professional, who will work alongside the Branches team and non-Indigenous professors to integrate Indigenous methodologies. Workshops will be interactive experiences that provide students with career exploration opportunities and exposure to research & academia. Students will hear from professors and students in various faculties over the course of the 4-weeks to get an in depth, personalized view into McGill's post-secondary education. The workshops are meant to equip students with the tools needed to for both capacity building training and to make informed and empowered decisions about their post-secondary education.
Furthermore, PYP is based on the mentorship relationship between students and their Indigenous mentors. Even though the students will not be physically on the McGill campus, they will have access not only to McGill faculty and staff but also to their mentor's experience of being a post-secondary education student and a McGill student. In this way, PYP will directly influence and impact the lack of Indigenous students representation - a sustainability issue identified by the Office of Sustainability in their Vision 2020 Climate & Sustainability Action Plan.
There are currently no initiatives like PYP offered by McGill. Currently, McGill's Enrolment Services has the Summer Academy program for highschool students, for which there is a fee. Additionally, IMPRESS (which will take place next in 2021) will provide an opportunity for CEGEP Indigenous students to experience post-secondary education. The PYP project, although developed due to the COVID-19 outbreak, can compliment both programs and provide a way for Indigenous students to experience a program that will impact their decision-making regarding their educational paths.
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