ACE accomplishments celebrated at York

The 2007 graduates of the Advanced Credit Experience (ACE) Program were recognized at a celebratory dinner on May 17. Almost 200 guests attended the event at Michelangelo’s Restaurant on York’s Keele campus to honour the 34 graduates of the program. Guests included the students’ families, course instructors, donors and campus sponsors.

Above: ACE graduates celebrate their accomplishments. Pictured clockwise from bottom left are Patience Adamu, Amar Ramroop, Fuad Abdirahman, Tanmoy Barua, Inderjit Lal, Jamal Thompson and Natasha Douse.

The ACE Program, part of the York/Westview Partnership, provides opportunities for grade 11 high-school students to gain first-hand exposure to postsecondary education. Students spend one semester on York’s Keele campus enrolled in a first-year university course or in a college course offered by Seneca College. They also work three days each week in a cooperative educational placement.

Toronto high-school students from Westview Centennial Secondary School and Emery Collegiate participated in this year’s program. The students were enrolled in first-year courses in political science, an introductory course in business and a course on government and society. They were placed in co-op positions in a number of departments and every Faculty at York University and Seneca College.

The program targets students who show the academic potential for university or college but, who, due to systemic barriers, may lack either the confidence or the resources to proceed. Students who complete the program are eligible for generous bursaries provided by the York University Faculty Association (YUFA).

In his welcoming remarks, Paul Axelrod, dean of York’s Faculty of Education, described the ACE Program as "a remarkable example of collaboration and community building, both within York and between the University and its neighbours." He said that the York/Westview Partnership programs have received funding from the provincial government, and highlighted that the challenge ahead is to sustain and expand these initiatives through additional public and private sector support.

Nineteen bursary winners from the 2005-2006 ACE Program were recognized at the celebration and presented with certificates. ACE student Joseph Smith from Emery Collegiate achieved an "A" in his course and received a $5,000 bursary from YUFA. Augustine Obeng from Westview Centennial and Abdirazak Alifrom Emery each received a $4,000 bursary. Twenty-four students are also eligible for 2006-2007 bursaries for a total of $69,000 if they receive and accept an offer from York.

ACE Program coordinator Jackie Robinson, from York’s Faculty of Education, hosted the dinner and thanked the donors, co-op supervisors and co-sponsors of the ACE Program, including the Toronto District School Board, York’s Faculty of Education, the York University Faculty Association, Seneca College, York’s Office of the Vice-President Academic, and Foyston, Gordon, Payne Inc., a Toronto investment firm.

In the fall of 2007, James Cardinal McGuigan Catholic Secondary School in the Toronto Catholic District School Board and C.W. Jefferys Secondary School in the Toronto District School Board will join the ACE Program.