School District (SD) 58 and Nicola Valley Institute of Technology are partnering with a new initiative that aims to help students and families transition to life after secondary school, whether that includes post-secondary education, taking a gap year or entering the workforce.

“Whether attending college or university, community living, engaging in apprentice training, or entering the workplace, students will have a clear plan for an initial post-secondary destination,” reads a statement from the program.

Jennifer Lisle of NVIT and Dave Andersen of SD58 will be heading the program, and helping high school graduates decide where they want to go in life and how to get there. According to Andersen, this will include:

  • Searching for appropriate post-secondary programs
  • Applying to post-secondary schools
  • Finding and applying for scholarship/bursary dollars
  • Understanding and applying for student loans
  • Connecting with supports on campus
  • Securing student housing
  • Job searching and employment skills

“We are also tasked with follow up and tracking of recent graduates of SD58,” said Andersen.

“We are there to offer some of the same supports to students that may be switching programs or took a gap year after graduation. We are hopeful that by establishing a relationship during secondary school, students will be more likely to reach out and seek help from us if they need it later on down the road.”

Although Lisle works for NVIT, the program is open to all SD58 grads whether they plan to attend NVIT or not. She has held various roles at the college, from Admissions and Registration Officer, to Academic and Financial Planner, to Assistant to the Associate Vice President.

“Her expertise in the post-secondary world can be a huge advantage to students and families trying to navigate the complexities of properly applying and registering for post-secondary programs,” said Andersen.

Students are encouraged to meet with faculty and, along with their course work in Career and Life Connections 12, develop a detailed post-secondary transition plan.