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Growth of Green Path program reflected in academic diversity of students

Green Path is a 12-week program at UTSC that helps students from China adjust to life and study in Canada. (Photo by Ken Jones)

As UTSC’s Green Path program continues to grow its success is being reflected in the diversity of academic disciplines represented by its students.

“It’s remarkable and truly speaks to the maturity of the program,” says Rick Halpern, UTSC dean and vice-principal. “When the program began we couldn’t even dream it would become this successful.”

When it began ten years ago, most of the students were enrolled in business administration, computer science or math programs. Today, the newest group represents a wide range of academic disciplines including 120 enrolled in various science programs, 95 in business administration including management co-op and 42 enrolled in the arts, humanities and social sciences.

Halpern was on hand to help welcome 259 new students—the largest cohort since its inception in 2005—during the opening session held on May 26.

Green Path is a 12-week program that helps students from China adjust to life and study in Canada. The students experience a Canadian-style classroom environment, which includes the expectation of active participation. They also work on academic skills such as English reading, writing and grammar, and get help as they adapt to life in Canada. Once students successfully complete the program, they go directly into first-year undergraduate studies at U of T.

“What started out as a student recruitment program with a narrow focus has blossomed into something much greater,” says Halpern. He points to UTSC’s joint environmental protection and climate change research with Northwest University located in Xi'an city, Shaanxi Province, strengthening of the Mandarin language program on campus and the addition of new courses focused on Chinese politics, history and culture as proof of its enduring legacy.

In addressing the new cohort Halpern praised the foundation of academic success laid by Green Path graduates over the past ten years. 

“Many of the graduates have gone on to do great things including graduate school, professional school and success in the workforce,” he told the students. “It’s a privilege to be able to follow in their footsteps and we will be here to help you every step of the way.”

© University of Toronto Scarborough