Medicine Hat College’s (MHC) annual Pathways Gala will return on June 10 to shine a spotlight on the student experience.
While the inaugural celebration last year followed a more traditional style and included a formal dinner, the 2017 event will feature student life exhibits, live music, and food stations. Guests will have the opportunity to learn about the challenges facing today’s students and support their educational goals through Pathways Student Life Enhancement Fund (Pathways Fund).
There are various types of funds that students can access to help ease the financial strain of post-secondary education. Scholarships are awarded based on academic achievement and bursaries are awarded based on financial need. In most cases, however, these types of awards have specific criteria which can limit the number of students who qualify.
The Pathways Fund was developed to fill a gap in covering costs that could prevent students from completing their education. According to Denise Henning, president and CEO of MHC, “Even with access to traditional funding options, many students learn that the cost of education goes beyond tuition and textbooks. Daily life outside of the college can create barriers and add stress to an already demanding program. The Pathways Fund provides an alternative source of funds with fewer restrictions”.
Students can apply for assistance from the Pathways Fund to cover items such as educational fees, daycare costs, groceries, or even rent. “Students in need first talk with our financial aid staff who then assess each student’s individual need and match them to the most appropriate funding source.” explains Linda Tooth, manager of fund development. “The flexibility of the Pathways program means that some students who don’t qualify for other funding might still be able to access money, allowing them to continue in their program and, ultimately, changes their life’s path”. The majority of students do not receive loans and rely on a variety of sources to fund their education and 90% of MHC students consider their program at MHC worth the financial cost.
Starting this fall, $5,000 of Pathways funding will be allocated to support students. Additional donations, including the proceeds of the 2017 Pathways Gala, will build this endowment, ensuring this support for students will be available for years to come. “Our goal is to continue to build the Pathways endowment so that students have increased access to funding resources on campus.” says Tooth. “Support such as Pathways gives our students the opportunity to achieve their education goals and make a difference in our region and our community”.
Members of the public who are interested in supporting this cause are invited to attend the Pathways Gala. Tickets can be purchased online at www.mhc.ab.ca/pathwaysgala for a cost of $100, which includes a $50 tax receipt. Anyone unable to attend but still interested in supporting the Pathways Student Life Enhancement Fund can visit www.mhc.ab.ca/pathways for more information.
Support from the community comes in MHC students many ways to. Anyone interested in helping support students through donations are encouraged to contact the MHC Foundation to learn about the opportunities available to invest in our students, our college and our community.
Learn more by contacting Linda Tooth, manager, fund development firstname.lastname@example.org or 403-529-3897), or Jenna Williams, community relations officer (email@example.com 403- 502-8995).
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