Helping answer community questions and improving lives.
In six short years, UBC has had a tremendous impact in the Okanagan. Our goal is to encourage broad community engagement on campus and beyond. Students, alumni, faculty, and staff are involved with the community in meaningful ways: volunteering, providing expertise, and conducting research that helps address problems and improve lives.
One particular program, the Community Service Learning Program, underpins our commitment to community collaboration and social impact. Partnering with community groups across the Okanagan Valley, Community Service Learning Program initiatives are enhancing the university’s impact in the community while expanding our students’ understanding of critical community issues.
UBC is working with the Aboriginal community to help ensure our campus is a place where Aboriginal learners can succeed. Recognizing that 96% of Aboriginal high school graduates in BC do not have the course credits to enter university, UBC’s Okanagan campus has created the Aboriginal Access Program. It gives all Aboriginal learners open access to the campus, with no academic prerequisites. Students are given strong learning and social supports, and can then move from the Access program into a degree program. We are committed to making the Okanagan campus a place where Aboriginal learners can succeed in post-secondary education.
In January 2012 the whole community will welcome the first class of medical students to the Okanagan. Part of the Faculty of Medicine’s distributed medical program, students in the Southern Medical Program will share the same curriculum and meet the same academic standards as their peers in Victoria, Prince George, and Vancouver. It takes a community to train doctors. Donor support in student awards, rural placement stipends and research opportunities will encourage them to stay in the Southern Interior and make a lasting difference to our quality of life.