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Grade 12 students headed to university a full year early

Kwantlen Polytechnic University  student ambassador Nicole Johal, right, tours 22 Langley Grade 11 students around campus.  - Monique TAMMINGA/Langley Times
Kwantlen Polytechnic University student ambassador Nicole Johal, right, tours 22 Langley Grade 11 students around campus.
— image credit: Monique TAMMINGA/Langley Times

They may have only completed Grade 11, but 22 hand-picked Langley high school students are heading to university next September.

On June 20, 12 Langley Secondary students and 10 from Brookswood Secondary spent the day being toured around the Kwantlen Polytechnic University campus where they will take one course per semester as part of the school district’s new program called Xcel.

The pilot project allows Grade 12 students to attend one university course each semester, in the evening, but must still take a minimum of six high school courses at the same time.

Courses included in the Xcel program cover a range of concentrations including criminology, international relations, marketing, business management, psychology and sociology.

The bonus is that the district is paying the students’ tuition fees and Kwantlen has waived the application and student fees. The only cost is textbooks.

“This is great for students looking to get a degree because these are breadth courses they are taking so they will fit into every type of degree,” said Pat Rosen, a career education teacher who has become part of organizing the Xcel program. The dual credit was developed over a year by the LSS and Brookswood principals.

The students that have been chosen for next year’s program were picked by student counsellors who made a list of teens that could handle the course load and not “crash and burn,” said Rosen. Once the students expressed an interest, they needed to be on the honour roll, provide two references from teachers, write an essay and then be approved by a committee.

“We had amazing responses from the students who wrote essays showing that the sky’s the limit where they see themselves going in the future,” said Rosen.

The Xcel program will be opened up to other schools after this group of students go through.

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