Mount Allison University receives $400,000 donation from Scotiabank for student academic support
SACKVILLE, NB — Students at Mount Allison University will benefit from increased academic support services thanks to the generosity of Scotiabank. The bank has donated $400,000, creating the ScotiaSPARC (Student Peer Academic Resource Centre) to assist academic support programs.
“Ensuring all students, particularly underrepresented groups, have the support they need for a successful university experience is a goal we strive for at Mount Allison,” says University President and Vice-Chancellor Dr. Jean-Paul Boudreau. “Investments and partnerships, such as ScotiaSPARC, will help more students succeed at university and prepare them to transition to work or pursue further studies following their time at Mount Allison. On behalf of the entire University, I thank Scotiabank for this forward-thinking gift that will see a direct impact for our students.”
The new funding has enabled the University to build on existing programs and introduce additional resources to provide academic support to students from all backgrounds, including first-generation (first-gen) students, those who are the first in their family to attend university.
“We are proud to be partnering with Mount Allison University on this important program” says David Noel, Regional Senior Vice President, Scotiabank. “Through ScotiaSPARC, we aim to reduce barriers, increase access to opportunities and allow everyone the opportunity to thrive and succeed.”
This community partnership falls within ScotiaRISE, the Bank’s 10-year $500 million initiative that aims to promote economic resilience among disadvantaged groups. Through ScotiaRISE, Scotiabank partners with programs and organizations across its footprint that provide the tools people need to improve their education and employment prospects, adapt to changing circumstances, and increase the likelihood of financial success.
Building on the current resources for students, the Centre will expand to include support for upper-year first-generation Mount Allison students preparing for the post-graduate world as well as a research program looking at the first-generation student experience. A post-grad intern has also been hired to develop further programming, including a peer mentor program, offered in partnership with the University’s successful first-gen faculty mentor program.
“Academic support services at Mount Allison University has always been built on peer-to-peer interaction,” says Shelly Colette, manager of academic support. “This new funding through the ScotiaSPARC program will allow us to work with more students and facilitate programs for all students, across all years and programs.”
Offering a network of student mentors and connections, ScotiaSPARC will support a PASS program (Peer Assisted Study Sessions) as well as FreshSTART (Student Transition and Readiness Training), part of the university-wide START program, required for first-year students, but open to all years. Staff work with students to help customize programming and workshops throughout the academic year. Help centres for math, physics, economics, and computer science, as well as an upcoming psychology can also be accessed through Academic Support.
In addition to enriched programming for first-generation students, the University’s Writing Centre services, open to all Mount Allison students, has expanded with a full-time co-ordinator with the ScotiaSPARC program support. Programs include in-person and virtual support and workshops for academic writing, facilitated by both staff members and peer tutors.
Working with departments across campus, the Academic Support team is based in the R.P. Bell Library and offers services both in-person and virtually. More information about Academic Support can be found at: https://mta.ca/academics/academic-support-and-resources