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STN Magazine talks to Ana Helena Caldas, university pathways manager at EC English

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Bridging the gap between language learning and university study, EC’s university pathway programmes in Canada continued to attract students even when borders were closed and travel was limited, as Nicola Hancox of STN Magazine found out.

The idea of improving language skills before starting university appeals to hundreds of thousands of international students each year. However, during the pandemic, providers had to think about more than just course contents and programme outcomes.

ST magazine header announcing EC on shortlist

With students unable to travel or physically attend a course, providers had to develop appropriate process for course deferment and in many cases, cancellation, as well as think about how to best shift their programmes online.

Global language provider EC English decided early on to pivot from in-person learning to online hybrid programming, confirms Ana Helena Caldas, University Pathways Manager, to a) support students already enrolled on a programme in-country and b) to offer an alternative option to students determined to join an international learning environment even if unable to travel there physically.

Ana Helena Caldas Canadian Pathways

In October 2020, EC expanded its virtual platform to include university pathway programmes (alongside its general English, French and IELTS preparation programmes). The online pathway certificate programme is the same as the in-person programme, noted Ana Helena, with the added benefit of monthly one-to-one university counselling sessions with a pathway expert and a free college/university application assistance.

The on-demand product has been welcomed by students and college partners, she adds. “All our college partners started to accept the certificate, provided that previously agreed academic standards were maintained.”

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