A partnership between Algonquin College and the foundation is supporting female students in two significant ways.
First, in response to COVID-19, Algonquin College developed an innovative off-campus adaptation of conventional in-class learning. Take-home lab kits, with necessary equipment for applied research projects, were provided to students to support remote hands-on learning for students. The Leacross Foundation’s gift of $60,000 helps to fund kits for 75 women.
Second, in response to the gap in the percentage of female applicants and graduates in STEM, the We Saved You a Seat (WSYAS) program was established at Algonquin College in 2018. The program actively recruits and supports women pursuing education in STEM.
Twenty female students will receive WSYAS bursaries in Algonquin College’s STEM programs in 2021 thanks to the support of the Leacross Foundation.
The goal of WSYAS is to create an environment in which women feel a sense of true belonging. WSYAS works to achieve this through active and intentional recruiting, building awareness with women about the value of STEM programs, connecting students to female mentors and equipping instructors to teach in gender-inclusive classrooms.
We Saved You a Seat allocates 30 per cent of available seats in several Algonquin College programs, including electrical engineering technician, computer systems technician and powerline technician, for women who meet the admission standards.
“These two programs – the take-home kits and We Saved You a Seat – augment and continue our practice in supporting women in underrepresented fields,” adds Bern.