Slow Suffocation of Access and Equity Program by UofT Sparks Student Outrage

TORONTO, Feb. 11, 2013 /CNW/ - The decision by the University of Toronto to eliminate its largest student access and equity program runs directly counter to the University's goals of expanding opportunities to students from underrepresented groups. The Transitional Year Program, the University's entrance program for adults without formal qualifications for admission, is being forced to wind down as the University of Toronto starves the program for funding. Founded in 1970, The Transitional Year Program is a model for supporting academic excellence, and equity and access in academia.

"We need to fight to keep this program alive, and not only for current students," said Lincoln DeFreitas, alumnus of the Transitional Year Program.  "We need to for the people that are not here. The students who benefit from this program here in the future."

The Transitional Year Program has been weakened due to decreasing financial support from the UofT. The program serves approximately 60 students annually with the support of a faculty of ten, a registrar, an administrator, and a program assistant. The Transitional Year Program is unique in Canada and provides support services addressing the unique lived experience of each of its students. Current students and alumni have organized to support the program by hosting an open townhall to discuss the future of access and equity at UofT. The townhall will be hosted on Wednesday, February 13 at 5 King's College Road room 254 at 6:30pm.

"The death of the program closes doors to students who would otherwise have no access to university," said Fabien Henderson, current Transitional Year Program Student. "It's like the University is purposefully stopping our studies. When you constantly hear that your program is on the verge of permanent closure, how do you think that makes current students feel? Saving the program is about giving people a chance to succeed."

SOURCE: University of Toronto Students' Union

For further information:

Eric Jadidzadeh
Faculty of Transitional Year Program Student
TYP Director, University of Toronto Students' Union
typ.actionplan@gmail.com
(416) 400-33369

Michelle Vogn
Faculty of the Transitional Year Program Alumnus
typ.actionplan@gmail.com
(647) 762-1362

Gerald McBride
Faculty of Transitional Year Program Alumnus 
typ.actionplan@gmail.com