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New upgrading course announced.

Low-income students in the Thunder Bay area will now have access to a 12-week academic upgrading course developed to prepare them to pursue postsecondary education or to find employment.

The new General Education Development (GED) preparatory and testing course was created by the Nishnawbe Aski Nation (NAN) in partnership with the OshkiPimache-O-Win Education and Training Institute and Confederation College. Through the program, students who have not completed high school can prepare for GED testing, which is often required in order to take advantage of employment and apprenticeship opportunities.

This program will be made available to low-income NAN members as well as to non-Native students.

There are currently 20 students enrolled in the first session, which began Sept. 18 at the Oshki Institute in Thunder Bay. The program is funded through the Ontario Special Bursary Plan, which offers non-repayable bursary assistance to help cover educational costs for members of families with low incomes. Students who don't qualify for the bursary assistance but who still want to take the upgrading course can do so at a cost of $2,500 per student.

"We are pleased that Oshki, through yet another partnership with the college, can bring education to our people in a culturally appropriate and inviting environment, as too often our people are intimidated by mainstream colleges and universities," Oshki executive director Rosie Mosquito said during a Sept. 20 news conference held to announce the creation of the new course.

For more information about the academic upgrading course, contact Mosquito at (807) 626-1880.
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Title Annotation:PEOPLE
Publication:Ontario Birchbark
Date:Oct 1, 2006
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