The Centre for Initiatives in Education (CIE) is transformative in opening the doors to higher education for youth entering university through the Enriched Support Program (ESP).

The purpose of this emergency fund is to provide financial assistance to students participating in ESP who are unable to meet immediate and essential expenses as a result of a temporary hardship related to a personal emergency situation. These hardships can include lack of funds for food, daycare costs, textbooks and supplies, as well as the need for counseling services, or simply missing community support.

“Every year we see ESP students who experience financial hardship and poverty. For students on a low income, it doesn’t take much to create an unexpected setback or unplanned expense that can cut into their food budgets or make it difficult to afford textbooks. Some emergency bursary funding at the right time can really improve their learning conditions and ability to pursue their goal of getting their university education.”

– Jennifer Gilbert, Associate Director, Centre for Initiatives in Education

The Background

ESP students are often those who struggled in high school due to unavoidable personal circumstances and mental health challenges, including young people who have overcome alcohol and drug addictions, youth experiencing homelessness, youth from remote communities with limited access to education, youth and mature students who grew up in low-income families, and young parents.

The CIE will be a support for the many students coming out of the global health crisis who will not be in the position to successfully enter a degree program due to personal circumstances heightened by the COVID-19 pandemic.

During their transition year between high school and degree studies, ESP students are provided with access to programming such as peer-to-peer mentorship, academic advising, cultural supports and special seminars to support them as they strive to gain entrance to a full-time Carleton degree program. For many students, having access to immediate financial assistance can be integral in ensuring they can continue their academic journey.

The Rollout

Carleton supports students not only by providing academic and cultural supports throughout the year, but also by providing emergency funding for such necessities as:

  • Food
  • Housing
  • Childcare
  • Textbooks and school supplies
  • Medication, unexpected dental and medical expenses
  • Clothing (i.e. winter jackets and boots)

The need for emergency funds for the ESP is essential. Our students face a number of unforeseen challenges throughout their ESP year, and it is crucial that we can continue to provide these resources to lighten the burden that these students face. Students entering the Enriched Support Program face barriers to access education already, and so once they have taken this step to transition into post-secondary, we want to be able to support them throughout their entire experience in order for them to succeed.

The Impact

Your gift to this fund is making education more accessible for all. Students enrolled in the Enriched Support Program who may be in jeopardy of dropping out of university receive emergency funding to get through a variety of unforeseen challenges. The emergency funds allow students to stay focused on school rather than dropping courses to work more. The CIE promotes access of these funds directly in the students’ courses, which gives students relief and reassurance when they need financial support due to personal emergency situations.

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