This year marks the 15th anniversary of the Green Path program, an innovative 12-week pathway program designed to help students from China prepare for first-year studies at U of T.
Green Path, which is a Chinese adage meaning path to success, allows students to learn life, academic and English skills during the summer. Once students successfully complete the program, they go directly into first-year undergraduate studies at U of T.
The ultimate goal is to make the transition into first-year as smooth as possible, says Margaret Yan, director of international academic programs and initiatives.
“From the moment our students arrive, we want them to be supported and cared for,” says Yan, who oversees the program.
“Coming to a new country, for some it’s their first time in Canada, we want the transition as smooth as possible.”
Students enrolled in the program get to experience the different classroom etiquette and teaching styles in Canada, including lessons on how to use the library system, access academic support, develop research skills, and how to maintain a high standard of academic integrity.
The program also introduces students to life in Canada by allowing students to live in residence over the summer while taking part in a range of social activities and field trips to popular tourist sites in Toronto and the GTA. They also receive life-skill training sessions covering cooking and food safety, as well as information on health services and transit.
This year’s cohort of graduates includes 241 students from 24 provinces across China.
“You are on the cusp of exciting possibilities as you get set for the next stage of your academic journey,” says U of T Scarborough Principal Wisdom Tettey, who addressed the graduates.
“I look forward to seeing your progress during your undergraduate years and I have every confidence that you will do yourselves, your families, your communities, your campus and your university proud.”
Delegates from the Chinese consulate in Toronto, Bank of China-Canada, U of T’s School of Continuing Studies, principals from participating high schools in China as well as parents of the graduates were also in attendance. Ted Sargent, U of T’s vice-president, international, also addressed the graduates. The ceremony included live musical and dance performances, including a traditional lion dance, while scholarships were given to students.
In the evening, a gala event was held at Miller Lash House for past graduates of the Green Path program who live in Toronto.
Since it launched in 2005, Green Path has attracted 2,650 top high school graduates from China. Its success has also attracted new scholarships and co-op opportunities.
Many of the students go on to achieve a high level of academic success at U of T, with all earning at least a 3.0 GPA or higher. Some have received U of T’s highest academic honours including the John Black Aird Award, the Governor General’s Silver Medal, .