Post secondary education handbook


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MISIPAWISTIK CREE NATION

POST SECONDARY EDUCATION HANDBOOK


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OctoberJUNE 2014July 2015 1


Introduction



The purpose of this handbook is to outline the services provided to Post-Secondary students who are receiving financial assistance through the Misipawistik Cree Nation Post-Secondary Education Student Assistance Program.

The objective of the Misipawistik Cree Nation Post-Secondary Education Student Assistance Program is to assist MCN members gain access to Post-Secondary education and to graduate with the qualifications and skills needed to pursue individual careers and to contribute to the achievement of First Nation sSelf-governance and Economic self-reliance.



Misipawistik Cree Nation encourages independence, self-motivation, and personal academic growth. It is hoped that the financial support provided by this program will further develop the talents and abilities of our people in preparing for community economic self-sufficiency. Our people are our greatest resource and through their personal growth, skill development, and leadership, they will safeguard our language, our history, our rights and our lands.
Misipawistik Cree Nation requires its students to be committed to successfully gaining a Post-Secondary education. Because of the increased demand for our limited funds we must stress that students will be selected for sponsorship dependent on their commitment level.
The Post-Secondary Education Student Assistance Program is funded by Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada and is based on a cap established in 1996.

Sponsorship Criteria
To be eligible to apply for sponsorship through the Misipawistik Cree Nation Post-Secondary Education Student Assistance Program an applicant must:

  1. Be a member in good standing

  2. Submit a completed Post-Secondary Education Assistance Application Form to the Director of Education, Misipawistik Cree Nation by the established deadlines:

    1. Fall term (Sept) – June 30th

    2. Winter term (Jan) – December 1st

    3. Spring term (Apr) – February 28th

    4. Summer term (July) – February 28th



  3. Provide a letter of acceptance from an accredited Post-Secondary Educational Institution.

  4. Be enrolled in a program with an entrance requirement of Grade 12 and be a minimum of two years in duration.

  5. Be prepared to sign a contract outlining Misipawistik Cree Nation and student responsibilities (Appendix 1).

  6. Maintain a 2.05 GPA, 60-65%, and/or C Grade..


Applications that do not meet the criteria will be forwarded to Misipawistik Cree Nation Employment and Training for possible funding through Pathways or Employment Insurance Programs.


Sponsorship Procedures
Application process:
To be considered for sponsorship or continuation of funding, the following conditions must be met:

  1. Students must be accepted by an accredited Post-Secondary Institution.

  2. Once students have received acceptance at an accredited Post-Secondary Institution they must submit an application for Post-Secondary Education Assistance to Misipawistik Cree Nation. An application must include:

    1. A letter of acceptance

    2. A completed MCN Post-Secondary Education Assistance Application Form application form

    3. Information on Degree/Program indicating entrance requirement and duration and cost of program

    4. A signed Release of Information Authorization Form, giving access to student records, attendance and transcripts to MCN.

    5. Continuing students must also include a transcript outlining their grades from the previous term.

  3. All new students are encouraged to participate in orientation sessions provided by their educational institution at their own cost.

  4. All continuing students must submit funding applications annually, along with the a transcript outlining their grades from the prevriously sponsored period.equired documents.

  5. Sponsored students must submit an MCN Sself-Eevaluation Pprogress Rreport provided by MCN, annually along with their application (Appendix 2).

  6. Students who are required to discontinue attending a Post-Secondary Institution will not be sponsored for a period of one year. Applications will be considered after a one year suspension during which time the student must submit documentation ensuring that the reason for withdrawal has been successfully addressed.

  7. Students enrolled in institutions outside of Canada will be funded in Canadian funds.

  8. Students must pay all required application and registration fees and must submit their receipts with their application. Students will be reimbursed for Application and Registration fees once there sponsorship has been approved.


Sponsorship Selection

In the event that MCN receives more applications for funding then supportable, the following priority list will be used to determine sponsorship:

  1. All continuing students who were sponsored in the previous term and are successfully continuing with their current program.

  2. High school graduates

  3. All deferred students who were not sponsored the previous year due to budget restrictions.

  4. All new students enrolled inaccepted into University accredited University/College certificate, diploma, or degree programsand two year community college courses that have a Grade 12 entrance requirement.

  5. All students who received funding in the past who voluntarily withdrew or were asked to withdraw and have successfully met the criteria outlined above.


MCN may terminate sponsorship at any time if a student does not abide by the criteria as outlined in this Post-Secondary Handbook or has not shown a willingness to meet academic criteria.
Probation

If a student is not fulfilling his/her responsibilities as agreed to in the contract, MCN will place that student on probation. If a student fails to improve his/her performance, termination of sponsorship may follow.
Probation is for a period of three months during which a student’s behavior and progress in his/her program of studies is closely monitored. If after the probationary three month period, the student shows improvement and his/her performance is satisfactory, no further action will be taken and the student will be taken off probation. However the student student’s progress will continue to be monitored
If a student fails to show improvement and performance during the probationary period, MCN may suspend the sponsorship. The length of suspension shall be for one year.
Types of Assistance
A. Full Time Students:

To be considered full time, a student must be registered in a minimum of 24 credit hours during the regular session or maintain a full course load based on their institutions definition of a “full load”.

    1. Tuition Assistance includes:

      • The actual cost of tuition fees at any public university or college. In the event that a student chooses to attend a private university or college, then the equivalent cost for the same or equivalent program at a public university or college shall be paid by MCN and the student shall provide the balance of the costs. Tuition is paid directly by MCN. An Authorization to Invoice is sent to the Educational Institution directing them to bill MCN directly for all tuition fees.

        1. MCN will pay the tuition for a course only one time, in the event that a student fails or must retake a course, the cost of tuition and books is the responsibility of the student.

      • Pre-registration fees, often required to ‘hold a seat’ shall be paid by MCN to ensure that the student does not lose their seat in their program.

      • are paid via an Authorization to Invoice Form. the responsibility of the student. Receipts for payment of these fees may be submitted for repayment once the student has been selected for sponsorship.

      • ARegistration and application fees are paid directly by MCN the student and or can be submitted for reimbursement once the student is selected for sponsorship.

      • Books and Supplies that are required for the program are also paid directly by MCN via an Authorization to Invoice Form. An account is set up at the Bookstore and students sign for their purchase. Only books and supplies assigned to the program may be purchased.




    1. Receipts may be submitted for repayment.

      • Conferences/Workshops that are compulsory by the Educational Institution may qualify for support. Documentation for the Conference must be submitted when requesting support, rRegistration, bus fare and hotel may be covered.

      • Special equipment may be provided if it is required by the program. Documentation for the special equipment must be submitted when making a request.

      • Tutorial Assistance may be provided and must be pre-arranged with the Director of Education for approval of payment.




    1. Travel Assistance includes:

      • Equivalent to bus fareMCN Student Travel rates will be provided to students who are required to live away from their normal place of residence. Assistance shall be provided three times a year (beginning of year, Christmas break, end of year). For students attending Spring/Summer sessions, continuation of travel sponsorship will replace beginning and year end travel.




    1. Moving Costs

    2. MCN will provide moving allowance to cover gas to relocate to the chosen institution, to a maximum of $500 at the beginning of the program and on the completion of the program.

    3. Living Allowance

      • As a sponsored student attending University or College you students will be given a monthly living allowance. This allowance is to help cover all living expenses including rent, food, child care, daily transportation, etc., Allowances are paid monthly, on the 1st of the month. Students are encouraged to open a bank account at the Median Credit Union. We have aA branch is open in Grand Rapids on Tuesday – Wednesdays so that student cheques can be directly deposited into their accounts, otherwise cheques shall be sent by mail. All other arrangements are at the student expense. We receive our funding on the first of each month therefore student cheques cannot be issued any earlier. Students choosing to receive their cheques by mail or otherwise may need to make other arrangements for their rent as the cheques will not be sent out until the first

      • MCN student living allowance rates are higher than AANDC rates. Chief and Council have chosen to use their own source revenue to subsidize the funding we receive from AANDC. The rates can be found in Appendix 3.


STATUS MONTHLY RATE

Single Student 1000.00
Married Student with:

Employed Spouse 1000.00

1 Dependant 1175.00

2 Dependants 1355.00

3 Dependants 1530.00
Married Student with :

Dependant Spouse 1220.00

1 Dependant 1370.00

2 Dependants 1530.00

3 Dependants 1680.00
Single Parent:

1 Dependant 1370.00

2 Dependants 1530.00

3 Dependants 1680.00

4 Dependants 1730.00



    1. Emergency Travel

      • Emergency travel assistance equivalent to bus fare due to sudden illness or death of an immediate family member may be requested.


B. Part Time Students
MCN will provide assistance to cover tuition, books and supplies as outlined in Section “Types of Assistance, A.1. Tuition Assistance includes:” required by the University for courses taken on a part time basis.

Students must complete an Application For Post-Secondary Education Assistance Application Form when requesting part time educational support.

Levels of Education

Assistance will be provided to students enrolled in the following three levels of Post-Secondary institutions:

  1. Level 1 – Community College, two year diploma or one year University certificate program.

  2. Level 2 – University Undergraduate degree program

  3. Level 3 – Masters or Doctoral Program



Student Months

This A student month is refers to a month for which a student receives a monthly allowance for going to school. A student should complete their program in the time identified by the institution. Student months will be monitored to ensure students complete their program in a timely manner.

Length of Sponsorship

Each institution/program has an identified time allocation in which the program must be completed. A student must complete their program in the time identified by the institution. Student progress will be monitored to ensure students complete their program in a timely manner and a record shall be maintained by MCN Education and shall be reviewed annually with the student. A modification to the plan can be made for exceptional circumstances but must be approved by Chief and Council.

specific number of months are identified in which a student should complete a specific degree, diploma or certificate. (ie a 3 year degree program should be completed in 24 months, 3 years @ 8 months per year). The amount of months allowed per program is just sufficient to finish the chosen course therefore it is in the students best interest to take a full course load while they are being sponsored.
Continuing students must be registered in classes that are a natural progression in their studies: such as Bachelor of Education to Master of Education to PH. D. in Education.

Assistance for Students enrolled in Programs that are not on a continuous basis
For students whose program does not run on a continuous basis,, such as University Certificate programs or Modular Programs
MCN may provide the following:

  • Return bus fare or its equivalentMCN Student Travel rates

  • Assistance to cover expenses incurred when students are required to be away from home for studies shall include hotel and mealsLiving allowance may be provided to offset hotel costs if the employer is not able to assist. Receipts must be forwarded to MCN.

  • If the employer is not covering costs for tuition, books and supplies, then arrangements will may be made to bill MCN directly for those costs.



Appeal Process

To ensure fairness and equitable treatment, the Chief and Council, have an appeal process in place. If the student resides out of Grand Rrapids, travel equivalent to bus fare will be provided for the student if the hearing is to be held in Grand Rapids. All attempts will be made to have the hearing at the student’s location. Teleconference hearings may also be available.
Appeals can be made where the student is convinced that the MCN guidelines are not being fairly applied to his/her situation.
No appeal shall be granted against a refusal of assistance based on lack of funds. The student must wait until his/her name has made it to the top of the waiting list.

Procedures:

  • The student contacts the Director of Education in writing stating his/her intent to appeal a decision.

  • The student must provide the following information:

    • Name, address, phone/cell number

    • Institution attended and program of studies enrolled in

    • The reason for the appeal, citing the relevant sections of the Post-Secondary handbook, and



    • A letter of support from the Post-Secondary Institution may be included.








  • An acknowledgement of the receipt of the request for an appeal will be sent to the student and a date will be set to hear the appeal.



  • Chief and Council’s ruling will be based on a quorum vote.



  • Decisions made by Chief and Council will be final.



______________________________________ ______________________________

Chief Councillor

______________________________________ ______________________________

Councillor Councillor

_________________________

Date




APPENDIX 1 POST SECONDARY EDUCATION PROGRAM (SAMPLE)

Contract for Post-Secondary Education Assistance between ___________________________ and Misipawistik Cree Nation.
Students are expected to plan to the best of their ability all aspects of their future education and training. This includes making informed and reasonable decisions with regards to program and class choices, place of residence, and healthy living. When needed, students are expected to seek out assistance and counseling to ensure a successful education experience.
As a sponsored student I agree that I will:

  • attend classes regularly; register in a minimum 24 credit hour course load, (full load),

  • consult with appropriate counselors if any problems arise academically, emotionally, physically or financially;

  • inform the Director of Education regarding any changes to my application and/or registration;

  • inform the Director of Education if I encounter any difficulties so that we can resolve them before they interfere with my schooling;

  • accept and meet the standards for academic success of the institution to which I have been accepted and maintain 2.05 GPA, completing the program within the specified time allocation;

  • accept and meet the standards outlined in the MCN Post-Secondary Education Policy;

  • provide official transcripts when requested to Misipawistik Cree Nation;

  • manage to the best of my ability any education assistance funds from Misipawistik Cree Nation;

  • follow through with the intent of this application.


I, __________________________, agree to comply with each of the above conditions and acknowledge and understand that future education financial assistance could be jeopardized should I fail to comply.
_____________________________ ______________________________

Signature of Applicant Date
Misipawistik Cree Nation, Chief and Council agree to the following conditions under the Misipawistik Cree Nation Post-Secondary Education Assistance program:

  • Provided all the requirements are met and there is funding available, Misipawistik Cree Nation will provide the following:

    • Part-time Students: Tuition and related fees, required books and supplies,

    • Full-time Students: Tuition and related fees, required books and supplies, Monthly Living Allowance.

  • That all payments shall be processed in a timely manner,

  • That all MCN members will be treated equitably,

  • That an appeal process will be available if necessary,

  • That an MCN representative will be available to the student by email and phone.


_________________________________ ____________________________________

On behalf of MCN Chief and Council Date

APPENDIX 2
POST SECONDARY EDUCATION PROGRAM (SAMPLE)
Self-Evaluation
To be completed by student at the end of each year of sponsorship.
All Responses are confidential.

Name: __________________________________________________________
University/College:_________________________________________________
Program: _________________________________________________________


  1. Overall, my academic performance was


  1. My areas of strength are:


  1. My areas of weakness are:


  1. Goals I have been working on this year are:


  1. What I found challenging this year was:


  1. What I am proud of this year is:



  1. Some areas I can improve are:



  1. Some areas MCN can improve are:



APPENDIX 3

STATUS MONTHLY RATE

Single Student 1000.00
Married Student with:

Employed Spouse 1000.00

1 Dependant 1175.00

2 Dependants 1355.00

3 Dependants 1530.00
Married Student with :

Dependant Spouse 1220.00

1 Dependant 1370.00

2 Dependants 1530.00

3 Dependants 1680.00
Single Parent:

1 Dependant 1370.00

2 Dependants 1530.00

3 Dependants 1680.00

4 Dependants 1730.00




Misipawistik Cree Nation Student Travel rates: (subject to review)
Destination Single Family

Grand Rapids – The Pas 150 250

Grand Rapids – Brandon 250 450

Grand Rapids – Winnipeg 200 350

Grand Rapids – Thompson 200 350

Norway House – Winnipeg 300 400

The Pas – Winnipeg 300 400

Thompson – Winnipeg 350 500

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