New initiative helps people gain admission into VIU programs

Students working in a classroom

Pathways begins this September, and applications are now being accepted.

Photo: Vancouver Island University

July 27, 2022 - 11:00am

Students seeking pre-requisites for post-secondary programs that train them for specific, high-demand careers will now have unique supports.

A new program for adult learners who need a little extra help to get into programs with certain pre-requisites is launching at Vancouver Island University (VIU) this September.

Called Pathways, the program helps students interested in entering professional programs at VIU in three different areas – health care (Nursing, Health Care Assistant, Dental Hygiene and Dental Assistant), Early Childhood Education and Care, and Science and Technology (Engineering, Computer Science, and Web and Mobile Development). The program is funded by a $561,500 investment from BC’s Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Training.

“The Pathways initiative is an exciting opportunity for people who may not have seen themselves attending post-secondary or who have struggled with more traditional approaches to upgrading,” said VIU Dean of Academic and Career Preparation Dr. Jean Maltesen. “It provides unique supports for obtaining necessary pre-requisites for post-secondary program entry and sets students up for success in programs that lead to careers in health care, early childhood education and technology. Pathways is a game-changer for anyone who is thinking about returning to school."

As an example, part of a nurse’s job is determining how much medication to give a patient based on a specific prescription. This is a real-world application of the math concepts ratio and proportion.  Pathways will help students who plan to enter Nursing begin to develop this skill through real world scenarios in math that teach ratio and proportion specifically as it applies to dosing medication.

“What sets our program apart is the combination of individualized student supports provided through the coordinator, alongside curriculum tailored to each student’s career choice and the community building,” said Roberta Jenkins, Pathways Program Coordinator at VIU. "Students will have the opportunity to meet faculty from the programs that they’re interested in and become more familiar with the language specific to the field that they want to pursue.”

Each student will work with the Pathways Coordinator to develop an individual learning plan at the beginning of their program that includes the pre-requisite classes they need for entry into the professional program of their choice. The curriculum will include specific content that has been designed in consultation with faculties and program areas; the curriculum is connected to each pathway to help students be part of their chosen field earlier in their educational journey.

Students will also be placed in learning pods with other students on similar paths, although each individual’s learning pathway will be unique, depending on the classes they need. They may begin their journey at any point in the year that they begin classes.

Applications are now being accepted for the September intake of this program and there is no fee to apply. Tuition is free and funding assistance may be available for student service fees and books. To learn more about the Pathways program, contact Jenkins at:



Eric Zimmer, Communications Officer, Vancouver Island University

P: 250.618.7296 | E: | T: @VIUNews

Tags: Teaching and Learning

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