Scholarships revamp recognizes diversity of student success

 Education Minister Mike Bernier
Education Minister Mike Bernier

HELPING students to succeed in a rapidly changing world is front and centre in the redesigned Provincial Scholarships Program launching this fall, the Province announced on Wednesday.

The revised program provides more flexibility to recognize well-rounded students who excel beyond the classroom, supports a broad range of student achievement and reflects the different pathways students follow to earning their Dogwood Diplomas.

It also better aligns with the objectives of BC’s Skills for Jobs Blueprint to connect students with skills for in-demand careers and the increasing focus on harnessing students’ individual interests and passions in the classroom.

The revised program also increases the dollar value of scholarships to further support students in their transition beyond high school.

The program now consists of four major scholarships:

* BC Excellence Scholarship – commitment to a particular career path and a demonstration of community involvement / leadership skills;

* Pathway to Teacher Education Scholarship – academic achievement and commitment to a teaching career;

* BC Achievement Scholarship – achievement in grades 10, 11 and 12 courses required for graduation and top elective courses; and

* District / Authority Scholarship – criteria determined by local districts to celebrate achievement in a variety of areas including technical and trades training, fine arts, physical activity, applied skills, international languages, community service and indigenous languages and culture.

The changes follow months of consultation with students, parents, educators, school districts, independent school authorities, stakeholders and the general public. Key themes government heard were the need to eliminate scholarships solely based on exam scores and ensuring the program continues to encourage students to pursue post-secondary education.

The new program will be phased in beginning this fall with full implementation expected in the 2016-17 school year.

Education Minister Mike Bernier said: “Parents are proud of their children’s accomplishments and our scholarship program shows the Province shares that pride. For nearly 30 years B.C.’s scholarship program has helped countless British Columbians take the next step towards meaningful, rewarding careers.’

He added: “Our revamped scholarship program is going to better recognize the diversity of our students and their successes – in the classroom, on the field, on the stage and in the community.”


Quick Facts:

* B.C.’s scholarship program has been in place since 1987. Once the revised program is fully implemented it will provide more than $15 million to students each year.

* Under the revised program, all scholarships will be in the form of a voucher to be used upon registration and payment of tuition at a designated post-secondary institution.

* Consultation on the program took place between February and May 2015 and consisted of an online survey, a telephone survey, written responses from school districts, independent school authorities and partner organizations, a stakeholder forum, a student forum, a working group of school district representatives and group sessions with ministry staff.