In Canada, Aboriginal people have a lower high school completion rate than the completion rate for non-aboriginals. This leads to unemployment, poverty and unrealized potential in Canada’s fastest-growing demographic.
In 2000, members of the Sunchild First Nation considered the lack of education in their community and decided alternative methods were needed to reach Aboriginal students. They discovered that:
- Aboriginal students faced unique challenges including family and legal situations, time away from class and relocating to new homes.
- Many Aboriginal students were adults. These students wanted to upgrade and build a better future while meeting their current schedules and responsibilities.
Any successful education program would have to overcome these challenges with a new way of teaching. In addition, high quality education and experienced teachers would have to be brought to small numbers of students in remote locations — without exceeding limited education budgets.
The SCcyber E-Learning model was adopted as a solution.
A MODEL OF SUCCESS
SCcyber E-Learning is different from conventional distance learning programs in that it creates accountability and interaction between student and teacher. Students are expected to be logged into the computer during class times and can speak with the teacher at any time through text messaging or a microphone. In most cases, students work from a classroom environment where a Mentor addresses technical concerns and ensures student participation.
Experienced teachers with a passion for teaching First Nations students head the online classes, providing a level of education that is the same as or better than that found in urban schools. Students who miss class time or change residences can easily catch up by reviewing archived classes. This system also allows students to work at a comfortable pace. Achievement is tracked on a weekly basis so that intervention and support can be provided as soon as it becomes necessary.
The SCcyber E-Learning Community has met with remarkable success. In record numbers, students are re-entering the school system and staying in school. They’re gaining valuable experience with computers, graduating and moving on to rewarding jobs or post-secondary education.
AN INVESTMENT IN THE FUTURE
Graduates of the SCcyber E-Learning Community are educated and competent — the kind of employees who make corporations successful. When companies contribute to the SCcyber program, they help to create skilled candidates for scholarships, advanced training and employment. In this way, they are investing in their own future.
Because SCcyber E-Learning creates such positive results, corporate sponsors are excited about being part of the program. More and more corporations are signing on to support First Nation schools.
FIND OUT MORE
For more information about the SCcyber E-Learning community, call Martin Sacher at (403) 872-0587.
A complete list of available courses can be found on this web site.
Courses follow and are accredited and approved by Alberta Education.