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(January 11, 2001, Gazette)

Unique partnership

(L-R) Steven Rowe, Level III student; Hayward Blake, member of the Board of Regents and Ascension principal; Diane Cmor, QE II librarian; Michelle Snow, Office of Recruitment of Promotion; Dr. Axel Meisen; and Darren Pike, Ascension vice-principal.

Memorial University will become a computing technology and library services resource for Conception Bay students thanks to an agreement announced Dec. 14.

The unique educational partnership program will be piloted at Ascension Collegiate in Bay Roberts.

A formal agreement for a one-year pilot program was signed in March 2000. As in all partnerships, both parties expect to see benefits from the agreement.

“At Ascension Collegiate we are always seeking ways to ensure that our students are provided with the very best educational experiences,” said principal Hayward C. Blake. “I believe that this partnership with Memorial University will expand our capacity to offer students quality learning opportunities and will better prepare them for postsecondary studies.”

Under the partnership agreement, Ascension students will have access to Webcat and interlibrary loan service at Memorial’s QE II Library. The school’s learning resources specialists have spent time on campus learning about the various resources and a Web site has been created to guide students through the resources available to them at the university. Ascension has also been given access to the extensive computing communications and technology resources at Memorial, especially those related to product support services.

Dr. Axel Meisen, president of Memorial, said the partnership builds on Memorial’s close connection with the high school system and is consistent with the university’s mandate.

“Memorial is mandated to share its expertise with the community. When Ascension Collegiate proposed the idea of this partnership to us, we knew that this was something we needed to explore and I am delighted to see this pilot program launched.”

The partnership agreement will also provide for a mentoring program whereby Ascension students – as they decide upon which areas of study to enrol – will have the opportunity to seek advice from members of the Memorial University community.

By far the vast majority of Memorial students come from high schools in Newfoundland and Labrador, and Dr. Meisen noted that the partnership could yield a recruiting dividend.

“While the past couple of years have seen increases in the percentage of eligible students who choose to attend Memorial, there are areas within the province where there is significant potential for attracting more students,” he said. “One such area is the Avalon West School District, and Ascension Collegiate is the largest senior high school in that district and we think the partnership may encourage Ascension students to consider making Memorial their university.”

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