CultureWorks, Brescia teamwork paying off for EAP students.

CultureWorks teacher Melissa Douglas and her PYP students take a break for a photo-op …
CultureWorks teacher Melissa Douglas and her PYP students take a break for a photo-op …

The relationship between CultureWorks EAP school and Brescia University College is a solid one.

To begin with, you don’t have to look any farther than the CultureWorks home office — located on Brescia property known as the Mary Manor – to see the educational teamwork.

It was back in June of 1961 when the Ursuline sisters of Brescia purchased the Mary Manor to help house some of the students and sisters.

Several decades later, CultureWorks rented the space. Teachers and staff moved their day-to-day operations into the building, now referred to by CW students as the “White House.”

Other than bricks and mortar, there are many other reasons for the ongoing relationship between the two organizations.

A special English as a second language program

On this occasion, it is a time to remind all of a special ESL program that began with Brescia and now has language training support from CultureWorks.

The program we refer to is the Preliminary Year Program, or PYP if you prefer.

… And now, the photo-op is over and it is time for the CultureWorks students to get back to their classroom work.
… And now, the photo-op is over and it is time for the CultureWorks students to get back to their classroom work.

“All PYP students are Brescia students. Officially, they are Brescia students. We come in at the language level and we are teaching them English language skills,” CultureWorks Academic Director Meredith McGregor said, in explaining the relationship.

Meredith said it has been many years since Brescia started the PYP program. It was established because there was a need for students who wanted to go to university, but they did not have all the required high school credits.

“So it gave students an opportunity to come in, do the credits needed just to enter university, and then also pick up a credit or two prior to starting their first year of university.”

There are four options for students taking the English as a second language program, Meredith said, but for this purpose we will focus on the two major ones involving CultureWorks. (All four are outlined at the bottom of this story).

CW Academic Director Meredith McGregor walks us through the PYP program.
CW Academic Director Meredith McGregor walks us through the PYP program.

“Language only: It’s for students who are only focusing on English language skills. They are not taking credits. They are not allowed to yet. Those students come in with a certain level of proficiency and are just focusing on reading, writing, listening and speaking and all the academic skills they need.”

Meredith said it’s one semester and as soon as they finish successfully, they advance into the second semester.

“Language-plus credit: Now they are taking fewer hours of English-language training – goes down to 14 hours, 24 hours in the lower level —- plus a credit, so they can take a university credit. It could be a math, could be sociology, could be physics.”

An ESL program for students who want to attend Brescia or another Canadian university

Brescia, an all-women’s university, allows males to take classes at Brescia.

“I am not sure when that started, but for many, many years. Even when I was going to Western, I took a course at Brescia where there were guys in my class. They can take a course. They just can’t be enrolled as full-time Brescia students.”

Meredith said the PYP program was never intended just to join Brescia, although you could take your PYP program and go right into Brescia.

It is meant to go anywhere and Brescia will help you with the process of applying to other institutions.

Meredith said the PYP track was a large CultureWorks success in September with three cohorts and about 50 students.

“It’s really been an important part of our student body this year. I think the goal is for it to continue to grow. I think that is a goal CultureWorks has and that is a goal Brescia has as well.

“So we are working together.”

Here are the details for the four PYP options.

Option 1: Language + Preliminary Year Credits

  • Students needing English language courses can combine that coursework with Preliminary Year credits to satisfy university admission requirements.
  • Students with a 6.0 IELTS or equivalent can take English courses + Preliminary Year credits. Students with below 6.0 IELTS may be eligible to take this combination, but will be subject to individual review and approval. Students presenting below a 5.5 IELTS can study language full-time, and add Preliminary Year credits once a higher level of English is obtained in the program.
  • Students will be assisted in applying to the final university of their choice as part of the program.

Option 2: Language + First Year Credits

  • Students needing English language courses can combine that coursework with first year university credits to receive advanced standing into year one or two.
  • Students with a 6.0 IELTS or equivalent can take English courses + credits. Students with below 6.0 IELTS may be eligible to take this combination, but will be subject to individual review and approval. Students presenting below a 5.5 IELTS can study language full-time, and add credits once a higher level of English is obtained in the program.
  • Students will be assisted in applying to the final university of their choice, as part of the program.

Option 3: Preliminary Year Credits Only

  • An opportunity to complete first-year university admission requirements and learn the skills you will need to succeed in university: essay writing, taking lecture notes, writing examinations, etc.
  • Students are enrolled in 5 academic subjects plus a non-credit course designed to provide study skills and transition support
  • Students will be assisted in applying to the final university of their choice, as part of the program.

Option 4: Preliminary Year + First Year Credits

  • A co-educational pre-university qualifying year.
  • Students will be assisted in applying to the final university of their choice, as part of the program.

(More information on the Preliminary Year Program can be found in the CultureWorks website. https://cultureworkstheschool.com/english-program/preliminary-year-program/)

Are you interested in taking the Preliminary Year Program?

Learn more about how CultureWorks can help you learn English as a second language and prepare for university!