UW profs offer free courses
For the first time, the University of Waterloo will be offering a 12-week course for individuals who have a low income next spring.
Two UW professors created the program in an attempt to increase accesibility for individuals who are isolateddue to suppressed issues like financial deficiencies. While they have the academic abilities to pursue university, their affordability limits them.
“The idea of this program is to reduce barriers for people who are in a marginalized state,” Renison University College associate professor Kathy Hogarth said. “At the moment, this is only a pilot. Depending on the success from the first run, we will build from there.”
Hogarth and fellow Renison University College associate professor Trish Van Katwyk are currently overseeing the development of this course.
“We are going to make those determinations of who fits low income. It will be part of the community collaboration and what our partners would be doing in the community.” Hogarth said. For the candidates to be a part of this program, they must be enduring the repercussions of poverty, speak English, have a high school diploma or be a mature student. With the tuition being free for the students, the university is responsible for covering the cost of their meal plans, a suitable means of transportation and childcare.
“Professors at the university will be volunteering with their time and expertise to teach.” Hogarth reiterated. There are six known universities that take part in a program similar to this in Canada.
“I would like to see other programs like this and inspire the universities to do similar things. We are hoping that the idea would actually be executed and once executed, we are hoping that we can continue to build on it once we have seen a run-through of the program.” Hogarth said. Though the program is still under development, Hogarth hopes that this program will redefine inclusivity for all students at UW.
“The University of Waterloo has really strong commitments to the community and this is a part of that commitment to community,” Hogarth concluded.