By Derrick Kunz, Greater Saskatoon Catholic Schools
New education partnerships will give some Saskatoon Catholic high school students a head start on their post-secondary studies.
Starting this winter, Grade 12 students enrolled in the Health and Sciences Academy (HSA) at Bishop James Mahoney High School (BJM) will be able to earn credit for select post-secondary courses taught at the school by highly-qualified teachers.
Memorandums of understanding were signed today by representatives from Greater Saskatoon Catholic Schools, Saskatchewan Polytechnic’s School of Health Sciences, and the College of Arts and Science at the University of Saskatchewan. There are tentative plans to include more courses in the future.
“We’re pleased to be able to offer our students this advantage,” said Scott Gay, superintendent of learning services at Greater Saskatoon Catholic Schools.
“The Health and Sciences Academy already offers students several opportunities to expand their learning beyond a traditional classroom and get a leg up for their future in science or health-care related fields. This is one more reason for students to consider attending the academy,” said Gay.
“Sask Polytech’s School of Health Sciences is excited to offer dual credit courses to all Bishop James Mahoney High School students. Dual-credit courses provide students with the opportunity to get a head start on their post-secondary education,” said Sandra Blevins, dean of the School of Nursing and School of Health Sciences at Saskatchewan Polytechnic. “We look forward to exploring additional dual-credit courses moving forward.”
“The College of Arts and Science is delighted that our colleagues at Greater Saskatoon Catholic Schools and BJM brought this partnership opportunity to us,” said Gordon DesBrisay, vice-dean academic at the College of Arts and Science.
“Faculty in our Department of Biology leapt at this chance to work with a well-qualified teacher and an engaged and highly capable cohort of students. The biology course offered to these students is foundational to every STEM field, and will help students find the right post-secondary path for them just that little bit sooner,” DesBrisay said.
The Health and Sciences Academy at Bishop James Mahoney High School, which started in 2017, gives students interested in science or health care a unique learning experience that emphasize hands-on learning, critical thinking, collaboration, creativity and communication. Partnerships, like the ones signed today, allow students to earn industry certifications or post-secondary credits.