Carleton has introduced a new academic support program designed to specifically address the needs of first-year Aboriginal students.
The Aboriginal Enriched Support Program (AESP) is part of the current ESP program, and offers Aboriginal students the unique advantage of having an Aboriginal peer mentor to assist them throughout the year.
Project leader for the Centre for Initiatives in Education (CIE) Aboriginal and Northern Projects, and co-ordinator for AESP, Patricia Reynolds, says the program works to make sure students are aware of both the academic and cultural resources available to them on campus.
“The Aboriginal peer mentor works hard to connect students to the Carleton community.” This includes the Aboriginal Student Council and the Centre for Aboriginal Culture and Education.
Aboriginal students can often find it difficult to feel a sense of belonging at university, says Reynolds. Programs like AESP, however, help ease the transition. “Western education can be very alienating, and consequently the idea of working with the rest of the Aboriginal community is comforting. This is one of the reasons why we decided to attempt this project.”
Since its pilot launch in 2002, a total of nine students have gone through the program, with the majority moving on to degree programs in a variety of disciplines. Participants are generally non-traditional students such as single parents or mature students, and have all credited AESP as the reason for their academic success. An additional seven students have registered for ASEP for the 2004-2005 school year.
From – http://www.now.carleton.ca/2004-09/465.htm