Largest donation ever to McGill’s School of Continuing Studies will establish a unique professional development program for members of marginalized groups | Writing

McGill University’s School of Continuing Studies is launching a unique experiential training and professional development program, with the support of a $2 million community investment from Scotiabank, to help members of local communities under -represented and newcomers to Canada, including refugees, gain the lifelong skills they need to pursue their career paths.

Scotiabank’s generous donation is part of ScotiaRISE, the Bank’s 10-year, $500 million initiative to promote economic resilience among disadvantaged groups. Scotiabank’s latest investment is the largest ever in the School of Continuing Studies. He will support the School’s Experiential Empowerment & Development (SEED) initiative, which aims to reduce barriers to career advancement and income stability while contributing to civil society and the Montreal and Quebec economy.

“On behalf of the McGill community, I would like to express our gratitude to Scotiabank for helping to make this important initiative possible,” said McGill Principal Suzanne Fortier. “This visionary and generous support will allow the School of Continuing Studies to continue to open doors to better employment opportunities for underrepresented groups.

Help break down barriers

Financial barriers, such as tuition fees and lost earnings, often prevent newcomers, refugees, racialized communities, Indigenous peoples, LGBTQ+, and other marginalized groups from effectively participating in professional development that enriches their careers. Language proficiency can also be a barrier to employability for many job seekers.

The SEED initiative powered by ScotiaRISE is designed to serve students through targeted partnerships with organizations supporting historically excluded and equity-seeking populations. It also aims to expand the range of life choices available to individuals, such as pursuing an education or exploring career opportunities they might not otherwise have considered.

The SEED initiative powered by ScotiaRISE will provide participants with an unparalleled opportunity to gain a degree in the essential skills needed to thrive in a rapidly changing job market, along with strong academic and student support services. The program includes skills upgrading in French and English, personalized career coaching, hands-on and experiential learning, internship opportunities as well as networking with professionals and community leaders. Learners will be matched with mentors, including Scotiabank employees, and will benefit from job shadowing opportunities in various organizations and businesses.

“We are very proud to partner with McGill in overcoming the barriers that many people face in achieving their career goals,” said Meigan Terry, Senior Vice President and Head of Sustainability, Social Impact and communications at Scotiabank. “SEED program participants will strengthen their job skills and build greater economic resilience for themselves, their families, and their communities. Through ScotiaRISE, we continue to focus on programs that enable our Bank to achieve our goal, for every future, and make a meaningful difference in the lives of people in our communities.

“As part of the School’s mission, we have developed programs over the years to empower underserved and underrepresented members of the broader community,” said Carola Weil, Dean of Continuing Studies. “With the SEED initiative powered by ScotiaRISE, we are leveraging our workforce development expertise and an extensive network of local community and private sector partners to create a comprehensive approach to support these learners in their career path.

“By enabling individuals to develop essential professional skills, they will be better able to take advantage of the many professional opportunities in Montreal and Quebec,” added Weil.

Starting in 2023, SEED will welcome up to 40 learners per year who will have their tuition covered by the Initiative. Scotiabank’s donation also includes a stipend for participants to help remove financial barriers so they can access the program.

A full-time intensive learner could complete the initiative in six to nine months, while a part-time learner could take 12 to 18 months.

The School will launch the initiative in an in-person format, but some of the funding will be used to convert the programming to online broadcast to serve a larger community beyond Montreal, Weil explained.

Each year, the School of Continuing Education welcomes more than 6,500 learners. The School welcomes approximately 30% of McGill’s Aboriginal student population. Newcomers – immigrants or refugees who have arrived within the last five years – make up more than half of its student body.

About McGill University:

Founded in Montreal, Quebec in 1821, McGill University is Canada‘s top medical doctoral university. McGill is consistently ranked among the top universities, both nationally and internationally. It is a world-renowned institution of higher education with research activities spanning three campuses, 11 faculties, 13 professional schools, 300 study programs and over 39,000 students, including over 10,400 graduate students. McGill attracts students from more than 150 countries around the world, with its 12,000 international students representing 30% of the student body. More than half of McGill students report having a first language other than English, with approximately 20% of our students reporting French as their first language.

About Scotiabank:

Scotiabank is a leading bank in the Americas. Guided by our Purpose: “For Every Future”, we help our clients, their families and their communities succeed through a wide range of advice, products and services, including personal and commercial banking, wealth management and private banking, corporate banking and investment banking. , and capital markets. With a team of more than 90,000 employees and assets of approximately $1.3 trillion (as of April 30, 2022), Scotiabank is listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX: BNS) and the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE: SNB). For more information, please visit and follow us on Twitter @ScotiabankViews.

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