Discover Your Direction introduces grade nine students to University

By Everett Dorma Posted: May 14, 2015 2:35 p.m.

Students focused on learning at the 2015 Discover Your Direction conference.
Students focused on learning at the 2015 Discover Your Direction conference. Photo: U of R Photography

On May 12 and 13, students from Regina’s partner school divisions attended the University of Regina to learn about the options a post-secondary education provides.

“This is the fifth year we’ve held the Discover Your Direction student conference, which is primarily focused on Aboriginal students in grade nine,” says Len Brhelle, consultant with the High School to University Transitions Committee, which hosts the conference. ”Many of these students are coming to the University for the first time and we hope to show them that they will be welcome and can be successful here.”

Approximately 100 students, from the Regina Public, Catholic and Prairie Valley school divisions, and local First Nation reserves attended this year’s conference. Students toured the University of Regina’s main campus. They stayed overnight in residence rooms, participated in breakout sessions delivered by faculty and heard from current University students about the challenges and rewards of campus life.

“We’ve had tremendous support and participation from the faculty and our student volunteers and they do an excellent job of introducing these students to the campus and letting them know that going to University is a viable option,” says Brhelle.

The High School to University Transitions Committee promotes a shared responsibility in the successful transition of students from high school to University. The Discovering Your Direction conference helps achieve the committee's goal that all students be encouraged to explore a post-secondary education.

Cowessess high school student Jasmine Grey says, “This has been a great experience for me, everybody has been very friendly and welcoming and there are a lot of opportunities here.  I will definitely consider coming to the University of Regina when I graduate high school.”

The Discover Your Direction initiative supports the University’s new strategic plan, which identifies student success and Indigenization as strategic priority areas. Over the past five years, the University’s Aboriginal student population has increased by 50 per cent and now comprise 11 per cent of the student population.