Learner Support Services: Transitioning learners to post-secondary education

Cheryl Lovstrom, Community Learning Network

1 0 23 February 2017

Congratulations, you did it! Your learner has progressed through your CALP program and is ready to transition into further learning! So now what? Your program ROCKS and your learner is thrilled with their progress, but this is the first time anyone has asked about post-secondary training. Where on earth do you start?!

The first thing you and your learner are going to do is celebrate! They have reached their goal and you have a huge success to report. Of course, it doesn’t end there.

To move forward, your learner will need a learning or career goal. Some learners have this very clearly mapped out and you can jump straight into the logistics of moving them on. Others may struggle. They know they want a change and they are beyond CALP learning, but they’re not really sure where their passion lies.

A great place to do some investigating is the Alberta Learning Information Service (ALIS) website: https://alis.alberta.ca/index.html. With access to tools like OccInfo and Learning Clicks this site is a one-stop-shop for career and learning investigation. Learners can access information about different careers and the institutions that offer training in their chosen field. The site also provides information on things like average wage, typical work hours, and other job requirements.

Innovation and Advanced Education is also a great site to visit: http://iae.alberta.ca/post-secondary.aspx. They have information on post-secondary institutions, international students, and apprenticeship training.

Once your learner has found the career of their dreams and the perfect institution for them, there are a few things they will need:

AB Student Number: https://learnerregistry.ae.alberta.ca/
Every learner enrolled in formal education in Alberta requires an AB student number. If your learner attended school in Alberta they will already have one and can find it on this site. If your learner is not from Alberta, they can also apply for a student number here.

Your learner will need a transcript for every high school they have attended. If they attended school in Alberta, your learner can order a transcript from AB Education: https://education.alberta.ca/transcripts/how-to-order/everyone/ways-to-order-transcripts/

If your learner went to school in another country they will need to have their original, translated transcripts in order to apply. Getting those transcripts can be costly and take quite a bit of time, so it’s best to start the process as soon as possible.

Once your learner has their transcripts they will need to be assessed for their Canadian credits equivalency. All institutions will assess international transcripts, but each charges a fee and, if your learner is interested in more than one institution, it can be quite costly. The best alternative for international learners is to have their transcript assessed by the International Qualifications Assessment Service (IQAS): https://www.alberta.ca/iqas.aspx. An IQAS assessment has a one-time fee, is accepted at nearly all post-secondary institutions, and can be used across Canada.

Apply Alberta: https://applyalberta.ca/
Now you are finally ready to apply. Learners can use this site to send their application to multiple institutions at once. This saves lots of time and energy, even if they only have one college or university in mind.

Funding: http://iae.alberta.ca/funding.aspx
Not all students are in a financial position to pay for their program up front. Student loans and grants make it possible for them to attend school and re-pay the loan after their studies are finished and they are working. This site has links to Student Aid Alberta, Scholarships and Bursaries, and Apprenticeship funding.

And that’s it! Your learner is on their way to higher learning and you helped them get there. You really are awesome!

Cheryl Lovstrom
Regional Support Staff
Central Alberta Region


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