High school students across the West Kootenay are reaping the benefits of the Southern Interior Development Initiative Trust (SIDIT) fund through Selkirk College’s Transitions programs.
Students who are interested in entering a wide range of trades, technology and academic programs have access to $200,000 in support over the next two years. The SIDIT donation was received in 2008 and is the single largest donation for student awards in the history of Selkirk College.
“The ability to pursue a college education while in high school is fantastic,” said Chef Randy Davis, Instructor of the Professional Cook Training program at Selkirk College. “Over half of the students in the class were from the local high schools. There is some real talent in these groups – the majority of the high school students have been successful in completing their course loads and are a pleasure to have around.”
The Transitions programs, available through School Districts 8 and 20, had over 60 students enrolled for the 2008-2009 school year. Students interested in participating in the Transitions programs are expected to go through an application process. Once accepted, students are able to obtain college credits in programs such as Professional Cook Training, Carpentry, Millwright/Machinist, Hairdressing, or a variety of University Arts and Sciences courses. The credits earned can be applied towards their high school diploma.
To date, SIDIT has distributed $100,000 to Transitions students, to help cover the costs of the program which include tuition, books and other supplies. Thanks to this and other government funding, high school students can advance through the levels of their chosen college program for little or no cost.
Sonja Vonk, a grade 12 student from Salmo Secondary School who just finished her Level 2 Professional Cook Training at Selkirk College, is grateful for the opportunity. “I’ve always liked cooking and when I heard about this program, I applied and was accepted. It has really helped me out…I only have one level of training left and I can go for my Red Seal. I don’t think I could have come up with the money to go through school otherwise.”
For details on SIDIT funding and other scholarships available through Selkirk College visit selkirk.ca/students/financialaid/awards-and-support/.
First published on May 14, 2009