empty chairs in a partly-lit lecture hall

Online learning into the future

Where is the COVID shutdown leaving high school grads when it comes to next steps?

While out on a recent hike, I happened to overhear a conversation between a high school teacher and her friends. The teacher expressed her frustration at the (very) low number of her Grade 12 students who had actually participated in class since schools were closed at March Break. Now, many of the non-participants are requesting boosts to their grades to support university admission.

Universities and colleges typically make admissions decisions based on mid-term marks. That’s just the timing of the application-and-admissions cycle. Mid-term grades are what is available when students apply in early winter. Then, each institution uses its own rules for how final grades are assessed. Maybe a student’s average must stay above a certain level in order to keep their offer of admission. Or, maybe they just need to pass all their courses and achieves their OSSD. This typically depends on both the institution and the program.

If you have a child in high school right now, chances are you are aware that their grades were essentially frozen when schools closed. Students could work to improve their grades, but would not be penalized if they struggled with the move to online learning, did not have reliable internet at home or were struggling with their mental health so much that school would be a problem. Now, most colleges and universities in Canada are moving to an online format for the fall 2020 semester. What are the implications?

Check out my take here.

Career help

Does the youth in your life need some extra career support right now? Are you a parent or guardian who is completely lost on how to talk to your kids about all this? We have you covered.

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