Access to University (A2U) is a collaborative project between the Working Centre and Wilfrid Laurier University, designed to enhance critical learning skills for non-traditional students. Applications for the A2U program are now open. For an overview of the program, please visit the Access to University main page.
You may also download this poster and let others know about this project.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is A2U?
A2U is a partnership between Laurier University and The Working Centre and funded by the Lyle S. Hallman Foundation. It is designed to support access to University for people who would not traditionally participate in University. The program is designed to encourage University learning, to build skills in writing and communication, and to build confidence while enjoying learning.
The program is divided in two parts, a preparatory program (building skills for successful completion of University courses), exploring how a University education suits your goals, and building a shared learning environment. As well, 2.5 credits will be offered to registered participants over 2 years, through Wilfrid Laurier University.
Who is eligible for the program?
Non-traditional learners are eligible for this program. This program is suitable for you if you are:
- First in your family to attend university
- New Canadian
- Living on a low income
- A high school graduate out of school for 3-5 years
- Someone with other barriers to entering university
How will you select the people to participate in the program?
If you are interested, please complete the application form (see link at the top of this page). We will contact you for a time to meet in person to talk further about this project and if it is a good match for you. All participants will register for Laurier through the Ontario University Application Centre – but don’t be too worried about this – we will help you to complete your application.
When will the program begin?
The second group of A2U will begin in September, 2017. The 2.5 credits would be completed by April 2019, for a total of about 2 years.
Where will the program take place?
The first course will be offered at The Working Centre, and the other 4 courses will be offered at Laurier’s Waterloo Campus.
What days and time will the courses take place?
The days and times of the courses will vary.
How many people will the program accommodate?
The second group, beginning in September 2018, will include 15 people.
Do I need to prove my English language proficiency level if English is not my first language?
Yes, students attending the program must have excellent proficiency in the English language to benefit from the program. You will be required to submit acceptable evidence of your English proficiency level to Wilfrid Laurier University.
You have the following options:
- An official transcript satisfactorily demonstrating a minimum of 3 years in an institution that teaches in the English language.
- Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL)
- Internet-based testing: an overall score of 83 or higher with a minimum score of 20 in each component.
- Paper-based testing: 560 or higher.
- International English Language Testing System (IELTS)
- An academic score of 6.5 or higher.
- Michigan Test of English Language Proficiency (MELAB)
- 85 overall or higher.
- Canadian Academic English Language Assessment (CAEL)
- 70 overall or higher (each band 60 or higher).
- Pearson Test of English Academic
- 59 overall or higher.
- An overall score of 63 with a minimum of 65 in Writing and Speaking is required for double-degree programs with the University of Waterloo.
- Cambridge English: Advanced (CAE)
- Overall score of 176.
Do I have to pay to be part of the program?
No, each student will receive bursary support to cover tuition, textbooks, student fees and a bus pass.
Will I have support for textbooks?
Yes, course materials are covered through the bursary support.
What University services can I access?
After the Preparatory Phase, you will be formally registered at the University and will access all the services that regular students can access.
What kinds of support are there for the students in this program?
Besides the regular supports Laurier offers students, you will also have support from The Working Centre at all times. Our hope is to help you to explore all the issues that get in the way – including building confidence around succeeding at University, problem solving the life issues that can sometimes be a distraction, and any other issue that emerges as you participate in this program.
If I need more information who should I contact?
We are excited about this program and we invite you to contact The Working Centre to find out more information, phone: (519) 743-1151