Colleges face funding shortfall for at-risk students
Accounting firm Deloitte has released a study that shows certain college programs that help at-risk students are under-funded. Deloitte says colleges spend about $206-million annually to help students with language barriers or mental health challenges. Money is also earmarked for students with learning disabilities. Deloitte says the problem is the province only gives the colleges $45-million to cover these costs resulting in a $160-million shortfall. Deloitte adds this forces colleges to divert money from operations and classrooms in order to meet the shortfall. At Canadore College, President George Burton says all students are entitled to support they need in order to graduate. Burton says Canadore is committed to helping more students graduate so they can go on to great careers. He adds helping all students overcome common and wide-spread barriers helps the community. Deloitte says nowadays the number of at risk college students is growing quickly and one reason is more immigrants are coming to Ontario and enrolling in college. Although the province has boosted mental health services at post-secondary schools by $6-million, Deloitte says there’s still a lot to do. It says in addition to addressing the funding challenges, support can also be improved by helping high school students make the transition to college.