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Parent & Family Resources

Dear Families, Parents and Guardians of Pearson Students,

Welcome to our Parent and Family Resources Page. We know that you care deeply about your son, daughter or other family member who is a student at Pearson College UWC. We created this page especially for you to put faces and names to some of the people you and your student will be interacting with over the course of their time on campus. We have also put together a number of useful links to resources and created a series of frequently asked questions (FAQs) that we hope will help answer some of the most commonly-asked questions we hear. Like our students, alumni, volunteers and supporters, we regard parents, guardians and other family members as part of our Pearson community and we welcome you to the United World College movement.  

Craig Davis
Head of College

Key Contacts

Administration

Craig Davis

President & Head of College

cdavis@pearsoncollege.ca

Academics

Emily Coolidge

Director of Learning

ecoolidge@pearsoncollege.ca

Academics

Arno Dirks
Dean of Studies

adirks@pearsoncollege.ca

Residential & Student Welfare

Angela Gatari
Dean of Students

agatari@pearsoncollege.ca

Residential & Student Welfare

Julia Clark
Strategic Wellness Coordinator and Faculty Member

jclark@pearsoncollege.ca

Admissions & Scholarship

Melody Miu
Director of Admissions

mmiu@pearsoncollege.ca

Physical & Mental Health

Morgan Yates
Director of Health Services

myates@pearsoncollege.ca

Transportation & Host Families

Dawn Boshcoff
Coordinator of Host Families, Volunteers and Student Transportation

dboshcoff@pearsoncollege.ca

University Applications

Becky Halvorson
Universities Counsellor

bhalvorson@pearsoncollege.ca 

Student Records

Donna Grunder
Academic Services and Student Records Coordinator

dgrunder@pearsoncollege.ca

Accounting & Invoicing

Claudia Eguiguren
Finance Technician

ceguiguren@pearsoncollege.ca

Advancement & Fundraising

Carly Milloy
Director of Advancement and External Relations

advancement@pearsoncollege.ca

Communications

Brian Geary & Nikola Mende
communications@pearsoncollege.ca

Reception Desk

Phone: 250-391-2411 
Fax: 250-391-2412 
info@pearsoncollege.ca

PARENTS, GUARDIANS AND FAMILIES

Why do you have an unceded territory land acknowledgement? Is Pearson “owned” by an Indigenous First Nation?

Our campus is located on the traditional and unceded territory of the Sc’ianew (Beecher Bay) First Nation. Members of the Sc’ianew and other Coast Salish Indigenous Nations have inhabited southern Vancouver Island since time immemorial. Acknowledging this in our teachings, at campus gatherings and in our outreach is an important step in our school’s Reconciliation Action Plan. Land for our campus was donated by the Government of Canada in the early 1970s to be used for educational purposes. Sc’ianew and other area First Nations are currently part of the Te’mexw Treaty Association which currently negotiating with the federal government to conclude an agreement.

Where can I go for comprehensive information about the student experience on campus?

The Pearson College UWC Student Handbook 2021-22 gives both students and their families a good flavour of what to expect before arrival on campus and during the school year. In particular, check the Life at Pearson section for a comprehensive but concise overview.

What role should parents/guardians play while students are attending Pearson?

Parents and guardians can be their family member’s most important sounding board and counsellor. In our Message to Parents and Guardians section of the Student Handbook 2021-22, we underline the importance a UWC education gives to helping young people develop the independence, critical thinking and decision-making skills that help them navigate the challenges of a IB school like Pearson and beyond into their post-secondary education. 

How often will I hear from the school about my student?

Parent/guardians will receive academic progress reports at the end of each term – in December and May. These term reports include narrative comments about how your student is doing in academic classes, extracurricular activities and house responsibilities. Throughout the school year, you will receive updates from the Head of College and occasionally from your family member’s Advisor and teachers. Advisors write a holistic summary of your student’s term, including an overview of successes and challenges in their Pearson experience. These are accessible through our iSAMS Parent Portal. 

How often will I hear from my student?

That’s up to you and your Pearson student. While texting and calling over apps are inexpensive and freely available, we advise families not to be surprised if they do not hear from their students as often as they might expect. Students are extremely busy and are juggling a full academic and experiential education load.

Can I visit my child? Can my child stay overnight with me off-campus when I’m visiting?

Yes, you can get together with your child on a visit to this area. But please remember that your student will be very busy during the academic year and is actively building friendships and relationships with their new peers from around the world. We strongly urge you to avoid visiting in the first two months of the academic year (September and October) as this is an important tone-setting period for your student. Similarly, we urge you to not take your child for an overnight stay off-campus during that time as well as not during the week throughout the school year. See more in the Campus Visitors section of the Student Handbook 2021-22.

What is ISAMS?

ISAMS is our school management information system. You will receive login information for the iSAMS Parent Portal at the start of the school year. In the Parent Portal, you can access the school calendar, review email history sent through iSAMS, view your student’s attendance, and view your student’s school reports. If you are unable to access iSAMS, please contact isamsinfo@pearsoncollege.ca  

ACADEMICS

How does your demanding academic IB curriculum integrate with your experiential education curriculum?

The International Baccalaureate (IB) is a demanding academic program recognized worldwide by post-secondary institutions. Before students arrive on campus, they chose from a variety of IB courses offered by Pearson each year. Scheduled classes normally end by mid-afternoon so that students can take part in activities and experiences that help them develop organization and leadership skills, meet a variety of challenges, practice teamwork and develop an enduring commitment to humanitarian service. And, as our teachers say, to have fun along the way.

What are your classrooms and other learning facilities like?

We consider our entire campus a classroom! Students will learn in traditional-style classrooms, in our 300-seat theatre, in modern, updated art rooms and in a magnificent floating marine lab building. But they will also learn on the waters of Pedder Bay and local seafronts, in the surrounding forest, in the dining hall, in their residence houses, in the library building and while walking on paths between buildings.

What are CAS (Creativity, Action, Service) and Project Weeks?

Once per term, usually in late October and late March, students engage in two off-campus experiential learning weeks. Students plan and design their activities ahead of these weeks which allow them to develop skills and knowledge related to a student-selected activity and to explore opportunities such as humanitarian service, creative expression and outdoor challenges.

What support is in place for my child if they are struggling academically?

Pearson faculty habitually go above and beyond in their support of all students.  There are also a number of academic supports at Pearson ranging from adult Advisors for each student to learning and language supports. See more in the Academics section of the Student Handbook 2021-22. 

HEALTH AND WELLNESS

Where can I go for more information about campus health and wellbeing?

You can access information and “meet” our Campus Health Centre team and allied health providers at our health and wellness microsite. Our team includes health providers with nursing, medical, counselling, Indigenous wellness and related professional experience. The microsite also has its own FAQs.

Can students drop into the health centre or do they have to make an appointment?

Either one. Drop-in hours are available six days a week and are listed on the centre’s microsite. Students can also arrange appointments outside of drop-in hours. On-call coverage is provided 24/7, including weekends.

What about mental health support during the school year?

Appointments with professional counsellors and related health care providers can be made confidentially through our health centre. Our school doctor also has specialized mental health experience. In addition, the health centre recently introduced a new Stay Healthy at School mental health initiative that allows students to connect with a counselor 24/7 by phone or email. All conversations are confidential with services available in more than 180 languages. Finally, our entire campus community encompasses a “circle of careapproach to student wellness with all adults empowered to recognize and support student wellbeing. 

What COVID precautions have you taken?

Pandemic protocols and Public Health Office/BC Centre for Disease Control guidance is constantly evolving. The best way to stay on top of these is to access our COVID-19 website page. For general information about the COVID situation in British Columbia, check this provincial webpage.

What happens if a student shows COVID symptoms?

While we were pleased that the 2020-21 school year saw no COVID cases reported within the campus community, we have not let up our guard even as more and more people on campus and on Vancouver Island become fully vaccinated. Several measures remain in place — such as vaccinations, indoor masking, specific room capacity limits, directional signage to avoid crowding and so on – to mitigate against viral transmission. The Campus Health Centre has specific protocols should a student show COVID-19 symptoms including a supervised, self-isolation apartment on campus and working with regional public health authorities.

STUDENT LIFE, SERVICE AND COMMUNITY

What should my student bring to campus?

We ask that students arrive and depart with no more than the equivalent of two checked suitcases and one carry-on bag. Amenities such as bed linens and laundry facilities are provided. Students are responsible for the upkeep of their rooms, common areas and personal clothing and possessions. (Cash, passports and other valuables can be held in a safe located in each Houseparent’s residence.)

What is the dorm room set-up?

Students are comfortably housed in five recently-renovated student residence houses accommodating abut 40 students — half on the ground floor and half on the second floor. Students live four (in some cases, five) to a room with their own bed, study desk and personal clothing and storage areas. Normally, each room includes students from four (or five) different countries and a mix of first and second years. Each house has a large dayroom where students can relax, socialize and prepare snacks.

Will students participate in community service and related projects?

Yes, students participate in weekly community service activities around the area such as friendly visitors at elders’ residences, training as emergency responders and campus peer counsellors and working on regional environmental initiatives and projects. Students also contribute to the Pearson community through organized Village Service, house duties and by taking on leadership opportunities. 

Why do you have mandatory fitness activities?

Participation in weekly fitness activities is an important part of a balanced program to enhance overall wellbeing and build healthy campus relationships. A group of dedicated students (now alumni!) launched a student-led fitness program to respond to the need for physical activity, team building and joy through movement. A variety of activities and options are offered with support and encouragement for all participants. 

Can students leave campus on weekends?*

Yes, students are free to travel to nearby town centres (Metchosin, Langford/Colwood, Victoria) by public transportation (BC Transit) or by borrowing a College bicycle and helmet. For safety reasons, and in the event of a campus emergency, students must sign out and advise their Houseparents of their destination and expected time of return. *Depending upon COVID pandemic-related Public Health Office guidance, independent off-campus trips may be temporarily or periodically restricted.

Who are Host Families?

Some of the most open-hearted and generous people your family members will ever meet. The Host Family Volunteer Program invites families (in the region and beyond) to open their homes to Pearson students for short respites – an evening, a weekend or a longer period during scheduled school breaks. Host Families provide a “Canadian family experience” and, in turn, have the opportunity to learn more about their guests and their respective homelands. In the process, lifelong friendships are often initiated. 

How do you know where students will be when they are off-campus on their own time?

Students who go off-campus for personal activities like eating at a restaurant or shopping downtown are required to check out when leaving and to check in when returning to campus. They are also obliged to respect weekday and weekend deadlines to return to campus. Students are able to record their off-campus absences through a convenient mobile app and in certain circumstances, to check in directly with their residence Houseparents. *Depending upon COVID pandemic-related Public Health Office guidance, independent off-campus trips may be temporarily restricted at certain times.

OUTREACH AND FUNDRAISING

Where can I find general and updated information about Pearson and the UWC?

Pearson’s Communications team has created and maintains multiple sources of updated information. We invite you to check, view and like our social media pages regularly. Our website is constantly updated and chock-full of useful information. Don’t forget to subscribe to our monthly e-newsletter, Pearson eNews. We love to hear from you and we love to tell stories about our students and our alumni!

Why do you encourage donations?

Pearson College UWC is a non-profit, charitable-registered College.  We rely on generous individual and institutional donors that enable us to offer scholarships and financial assistance to as many deserving students as possible. Fundraising also enables us to continually update our campus infrastructure to improve the learning and living facilities for students. There are options available to make a one-time gift or to set up a regular monthly or annual gift.

How do I donate?

Our online portal allows you to easily make a gift online using your credit card. You can also contact our office to donate by phone, mail or through PayPal. If you have any questions about making a donation, please contact advacement@pearsoncollege.ca or call Kim Schille at (250) 391-2494.

I’m not in the position to donate money right, how else can I help?

There are many ways you can help.

  1. Consider including Pearson College UWC in your estate plans.. For more information, please visit: https://www.pearsoncollege.ca/get-involved/make-a-gift/legacy-giving/
  2. Share our appeals for support with others in your network.
  3. Inquire with your employer about corporate giving programs. Many organizations offer donation matching programs as a benefit to their employees.
  4. Help by volunteering your time. If you would like to learn more about volunteer opportunities, please contact volunteer@pearsoncollege.ca
  5. Continue to follow us on social media, and like/share our posts!

THE UWC MOVEMENT AND ALUMNI

What exactly is the UWC “Movement?”

The UWC (United World Colleges) Movement is an informal way of describing both the mission and the makeup of the UWC. As schools, faculty, staff, friends, donors and especially alumni, our collective mission is to make education a force to unite people, nations and cultures for peace and a sustainable future. The combined and continuing commitment and impact of diverse and involved UWCers continues to have a positive impact across the globe and all socioeconomic, geographic and cultural borders.

Why should my student care about becoming a Pearson and an UWC alumni?

Pearson alumni, and graduates of all UWC schools, can be important contacts and mentors for current students. Pearson alumni now number about 4,300. Since the 1962 founding of the first UWC college, a network of more than 60,000 alumni worldwide committed to contributing to a more sustainable and peaceful world has developed and spread. The impact of alumni are not simply measured through job titles and academic and other achievements, but also through their dedication to service — a key principle of their UWC experience.

Pearson College UWC is proud to acknowledge that our community lives, learns and works on the unceded territory of the Sc’ianew First Nation.