The University of King’s College (King’s) and The PREP Academy (PREP) celebrate a new partnership to promote access, success and retention of African Nova Scotian students at the university. Together, at a launch event King’s and PREP signed a Memorandum of Understanding to announce the establishment of collaboration, consultation and scholarships for African Nova Scotian students, to drive forward King’s goal of becoming an environment where Black students, faculty and staff flourish.
The PREP Academy addresses systemic barriers and challenges facing African Nova Scotians’ access to higher education. They offer a free college and university preparation program for high school students across the province, and continue wraparound support as students navigate their entry into and throughout their college and university experience. In addition to student centered support, PREP partners and consults to develop culturally responsive pathway programs for African Nova Scotian students within institutions and industry sectors.
“When King’s signed onto the Scarborough Charter in 2022, we committed to ‘concrete actions for change’,” says King’s President William Lahey. “Partnering with The PREP Academy is a step forward on that path, and one that will yield critical insights into the actions we must take to ensure that King’s is an attractive option for African Nova Scotian students and that those who join our community enjoy the full benefits of the education and community King’s offers.”
Taking effect in the summer of 2023, the partnership outlined in the MOU indicates a variety of intentional commitments both parties are excited to launch. PREP will work with King’s to raise the profile of its programs and opportunities among African Nova Scotian students and communities, supporting exposure and exploration at the university for high school students mapping out their postsecondary futures. King’s will devote a minimum of $7,500 in scholarships each year for incoming PREP students, on top of waiving application and applicable registration fees in efforts to remove barriers to access.
In addition to the MOU, PREP will host a series of engagement sessions with King’s African Nova Scotian current students and alumni. The sessions will allow participants to provide anonymous feedback based on their experiences and perspectives as Black students at the university. Feedback from these sessions and detailed assessment of the supports currently in place for students will generate a report overviewing findings and key recommendations to help determine how King’s can best engage and support their African Nova Scotian current and future students moving forward.
“We’re thrilled to partner with King’s on such an important initiative to serve Black students,” says Ashley Hill, Founder and Executive Director of The PREP Academy. “Having a pulse on student perspectives will allow us to improve the educational experiences for African Nova Scotian students and allow them to play an active role in student centered education.”
About The PREP Academy
The PREP Academy is a community based non-profit organization that inspires and prepares African Nova Scotian students for college, university and beyond. PREP coaches students in grades 10, 11 and 12 to plan, prepare and pursue college and university—and continue to provide wraparound support as students navigate their entry into and throughout their education and onto their chosen careers.
Learn more about The PREP Academy at www.theprepacademy.ca.