Door to Degree: The Advantage of Pathways Programs

Chloe DeVries smiles as she stands in the library at Mohawk College Fennell Campus.

Chloe DeVries, a student in the Business – Administration program at Mohawk College, never saw herself being able to succeed in or even get accepted to a university program while in high school. “Coming out of high-school, I really doubted myself and my ability to thrive in a university environment,” said Chloe. “At the time I was lacking in my passion for education; school wasn’t something that I enjoyed. Choosing a college pathway was more in-line with my mentality at the time, as I wanted a more hands on approach to learning.”

“I took a year off and worked after high school, as I didn’t really know what I wanted to do to further along my education,” she continued. “I knew I wanted to get some sort of general business degree, and I decided to apply to Mohawk.”

Chloe began attending Mohawk College and noted that her program was covering more material than her friends who were in competing programs. “A couple friends of mine attend other colleges and/or universities, and in comparison, I feel that Mohawk is especially effective in making sure that their students gain a widely based knowledge of all aspects of the business arena,” said Chloe.

When she enrolled at Mohawk, Chloe started in the Business (General) program, and swapped into the Business Administration program once she discovered the programs pathway transfer options. “I decided to transfer into the Business Administration program, as I felt that it offers opportunities for advancement upon completion that were better suited for me,” said Chloe. “The Business Administration program offers a pathway to McMaster University, which is something that I knew I wanted to work towards during my time as a student.”

The Business Administration program has created a bridge for Chloe that she didn’t think was possible. “The pathway to university that is offered through this program is such a great opportunity that I never thought I would have access to,” said Chloe. “The continuation from Mohawk to McMaster seemed like the obvious choice for me.”

The transfer pathway to McMaster University allows graduates from the Business Administration program at Mohawk College to enter the Bachelor of Commerce Degree program at McMaster University in the third year. Students spend three years in the Business Administration program, and an additional two years in the Bachelor of Commerce program, for a total of five years of study. Graduates require a grade point average (GPA) of 77% to be eligible for the pathway. For students like Chloe, this pathway can create an open door to a degree.

“I am very excited for the opportunity to continue my education through the McMaster pathway,” she said. “Having this pathway as something to work towards and getting to use Mohawk as an amazing foundation for all the necessary skills and learning opportunities, has been a hugely beneficial experience.”

Laurence Smith, program coordinator for the Business Administration program, breaks down how the pathway opens doors for students. “Students in high school who don’t have the 90-93% grade point average (GPA) needed to get into DeGroote School of Business can come to the Business Administration program, do an extra year, and all they need is 77% GPA from my program to get into McMaster,” said Laurence. “This program provides them an opportunity to get where they intended in the first place, but with a different way of getting there.” Students who use the pathway to complete both programs earn an advanced diploma from Mohawk College, and a degree from McMaster University. 

Chloe feels the pathway can be beneficial for other students like her who aren’t ready, or don’t think they have what it takes, to dive directly into university. “I think that this pathway is really great for students who aren’t necessarily ready for the jump from high school to university right away,” said Chloe. “I’m so glad that this opportunity exists, as it’s not something that I thought would be part of my future.” 

Laurence understands that for some parents, college isn’t the first choice for their child, but he makes an appeal for them to consider the benefits it holds for them as well as their children. “Parents want their kids to have degrees, but what if your kid can’t get into McMaster for a business degree, and now you have to send them off to a faraway place that’s costing huge amounts of money overall?” He said. “Why don’t you send them to the Business Administration program with a vastly reduced price, close to home, and give them the chance to earn a degree in a different way?” 

Laurence has seen many students like Chloe succeed where they thought they couldn’t thanks to the program and pathway. “The big benefits of the program are to build students confidence that they can do this and get through university,” he said. “When they get to McMaster they have a strong foundation to become specialized in the final year, and that really makes them blossom and gives them confidence that they can do what they thought they couldn’t do.”

Chloe is preparing to join the ranks of graduates who have used the pathway, and she believes her time at Mohawk has left her future ready. “Now that I’m nearing the end, I am excited and grateful for my time here at Mohawk. I feel like I’m ready to continue my education, and that Mohawk has been a great way to get started upon that path.”

Questions about this and other pathways?

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