Adult graduate Annette Soosay at The BRICK Learning Centre’s 2019 graduation ceremony. (File photo)

Adult graduate Annette Soosay at The BRICK Learning Centre’s 2019 graduation ceremony. (File photo)

If you didn’t walk the stage in high school, it may not be too late

The BRICK Learning Centre in Ponoka can help adult learners complete their high school diplomas

If you didn’t quite qualify for your high school diploma in Grade 12, you can still complete it regardless of your age and support is available right here in Ponoka.

The BRICK Learning Centre (BLC) is able to assist community members with completing their high school diploma. Unlike a GED which is a diploma equivalency, students who complete their requirements are able to receive an actual diploma.

“It’s a general service for anybody, to assess what they need, and get them in touch with agencies,” said Ian Tisdale, principal of BLC.

First, the centre completes an assessment with the applicant, to see what their individual needs are. Then, they build a plan for the adult learner to complete their diploma or refer them to resources.

Sometimes it’s as simple as a student needing to complete CALM or using their employment to count towards work experience credit, he says.

If they need to complete courses, adult learners are able to attend classes in-person with other students, with schedules that meet their needs.

“We work with whatever they need so that individual can get their diploma,” said Tisdale.

Tisdale says most adult learners who come in for a consult heard about the service through word-of-mouth, and BLC would like to let more people know about it.

“This is why this is an important conversation to have,” he said.

The school’s current student population of around 200 includes about 20 adult learners, says Tisdale.

The learning centre is not able to accept all applicants to the adult learning program.

The learning centre does need to be selective about who can enter the program, as they aren’t able to facilitate all adult learners,. Their primary focus remains providing a safe and caring learning environment for youth in Grades 10 to 12, or aged 15 to 19, says Tisdale.

“Our philosophy is when you educate a community as a whole, the whole community is better,” said Tisdale.

And true to that philosophy, adult learners who complete their high school diplomas through the BRICK Learning Centre get to walk the stage with the rest of the graduating class.

Although all graduates work hard, struggle and fight to complete their diploma, seeing an adult learner achieve their diploma can be very meaningful, says Tisdale.

“There’s a different level of special,” he said.

For example, last year a mother graduated with her son, and one of their oldest graduates to-date was in their 60s and walked the stage with their grandchild.

One 22-year-old he met with recently who will be attending in the fall to complete a Grade 11 science course, says they want to complete their diploma so their child can see them graduate.

“It shows their children the importance (of a diploma),” he said.

This year, the graduating class of 2021 has 31 graduates, including four adult learners.

The BRICK Learning Centre will be celebrating their 2021 graduating class with a drive-up graduation ceremony on June 29, running from 9 a.m. to about 3 p.m.

Rather than speeches, the learning centre provides students with a keepsake that includes messages from Tisdale, MP Blaine Calkins and MLA Ron Orr.

Since the learning centre’s re-branding, they are continuing to strive to change the stigma surrounding outreach schools and highlight the positive outcomes they are seeing with their students, says Tisdale.

Although less common, the school can also sometimes assist those needing to upgrade a course for post secondary prerequisites, however, most often the students are able to do that at their college or university.

Funding is available for adult learners who want to complete their high school diplomas.

The Government of Alberta provides funding students under the age of 20 to complete the diplomas, and there are other programs that provide funding for adult learners to complete courses, including Alberta Works.

For adults who are interested in completing their high school diploma, Tisdale says June is a great time to come in for an assessment, because if they’re needing to apply for funding. The turn-around can take up to eight weeks, which means funds would then be in place for the start of classes in the fall.

Adult EducationEducationWolf Creek Public Schools

Just Posted

(Photo submitted)
PHOTOS: Ponoka Secondary Campus grad

Ponoka Secondary Campus held a drive-in graduation ceremony for their 2021 graduating… Continue reading

Alberta’s chief medical officer of health Dr. Deena Hinshaw reported five additional deaths Wednesday due to COVID-19. (File photo by Chris Schwarz/Government of Alberta)
Red Deer at 169 active cases of COVID-19

Province set to move into Stage 2 of reopening Thursday

t
How to tell if a call from ‘CRA’ is legitimate or a scam

Expert says it’s important to verify you really are dealing with the CRA before you give out any info

Grade 12 students at Wetaskiwin Composite High School took place in the annual water fight off school property on June 11, 2021. Shaela Dansereau/ Pipestone Flyer.
Graduating students in Wetaskiwin throw water fight after being told it could result in suspension

Students were told their participation could result in them being barred from graduation ceremonies.

The arrest south of Winnipeg occurred before Bernier was to arrive at a protest in the city. (Twitter/Maxime Bernier)
Maxime Bernier arrested following anti-rules rallies in Manitoba: RCMP

He’s been charged with exceeding public gathering limits and violating Manitoba’s requirement to self-isolate

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau arrives for the G7 Summit, at the airport in Newquay, United Kingdom, Thursday, June 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Details on Canada’s vaccine sharing plan coming Sunday, up to 100 million doses

Canada’s high commissioner to the UK says details will come after the G7 summit

Conservative MP Tom Kmiec waves to the crowd during the Calgary Stampede parade in Calgary, Friday, July 8, 2016. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
Newborn daughter’s death inspires MP’s bill on bereavement leave for parents

Conservative MP Tom Kmiec says a day or two off not enough for some grieving parents

Victoria’s 2020 Canada Day celebration will not happen this year. (Black Press Media file photo)
Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations backs cancelling Canada Day celebration

Statement made after Victoria cancels Canada Day event as a statement of reconciliation

United Nurses of Alberta is slamming Health Minister Tyler Shandro for suggesting staff vacations are causing emergency room problems. (Black Press Media files)
Physicians were suffering burnout and then the pandemic made it worse, UBC study finds

Burnout prevalent among 68 per cent of doctors – likely a reflection of issue globally, says researcher

Environment and Climate Change Minister Jonathan Wilkinson responds to a question during Question Period in the House of Commons Thursday, Nov. 19, 2020 in Ottawa. The federal government is bringing in a new coal policy saying new or expanded thermal coal mines create unacceptable environmental impacts.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
‘Unacceptable environmental effects:’ New federal policy restricts thermal coal

Policy puts another roadblock in front of Coalspur Mines and its Alberta Vista mine expansion

Kawasaki City Institute for Public Health Director General Nobuhiko Okabe speaks during a press conference after a roundtable on COVID-19 countermeasures at Tokyo 2020 Games in Tokyo, Friday, June 11, 2021. A group of experts participated in a third roundtable on COVID-19 countermeasures proposed for audience-related infection control. (Franck Robichon/Pool Photo via AP)
Tokyo Olympics still undecided on fans — or no fans at all

Fans from abroad already banned from what is shaping up to be a largely made-for-television event

Most Read