Wilfrid Laurier University’s Lift Off to Higher Education program, previously known as Jumpstart to Higher Education, is a free, interactive online program that supports students in grade 7 and 8 in identifying their interests and skills and introduces them to various pathways of education. Also included in both programs is information on financial literacy and how it impacts students’ futures.
Through the Lift Off program, our professional facilitators lead engaging presentations for grade 7 and 8 classes. The presentations are presented in six to seven modules that are accompanied by a workbook and independent activities for students. Lift Off is intended to support guidance counsellors, classroom teachers, special education teachers, and administrators as they present ideas for career planning to their students.
As of January 2023 the Lift Off program has reached more than 36,000 students in nine years with this free program.
We have presented to schools within the Waterloo Region District School Board, Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board and Hamilton-Wentworth Catholic District School Board.
The Grade 7 and Grade 8 Lift Off program objectives are aligned with the Ministry of Education’s Creating Pathways to Success: An Education and Career/Life Planning Program for Ontario Schools.
The objectives focus on the document’s four areas of learning:
“I’m so thrilled Laurier is still involved in this project. A shout out to all of you that help make this program work. It takes volunteers, a staff, it takes structure and we are so thrilled you are still with us after all these years.” The Honourable Marty Deacon, senator and former teacher, principal and superintendent, Waterloo Region District School Board
“I’m so thrilled Laurier is still involved in this project. A shout out to all of you that help make this program work. It takes volunteers, a staff, it takes structure and we are so thrilled you are still with us after all these years.”
The Honourable Marty Deacon, senator and former teacher, principal and superintendent, Waterloo Region District School Board
There are new exciting developments in our programming that will support students in grade 7 and 8 ESL/ESD programs, as well as students in grade 7 and 8 ACE classes.
The piloting for our new grade 6 program is now underway! Schools will be able to request this program starting in September 2023.
Check back to this website in the coming weeks or contact one of the coordinators directly for more information about any of these new developments!
How do our individual skills, interests, values and personality make us unique and how does this knowledge help inform our career choices? This is one of the many questions we explore during the Grade 7 Lift Off program.
Students who complete the program will have experience:
We want to help students and their families understand how a postsecondary education can be achieved by choosing the high school stream and postsecondary pathway that’s right for them.
During the Grade 8 program, our facilitators will guide students through:
Lift Off, in partnership with the department of Indigenous Initiatives, will soon be ready to share a new program to support Indigenous youth.
The program is called Tehotikahrathè:tha “Their Eyes Sparkle” and will be available in the spring of 2023.
Please contact one of our coordinators for further information.
Lift Off to Higher Education
We encourage teachers, guidance counsellors and principals interested in bringing the Lift Off program to their schools to reach out to one of our program coordinators.
The Lift Off program was launched under the name Jumpstart to Higher Education through the generous support and funds from The Astley Family Foundation from 2013 to 2018.
Since 2019, Laurier's Lift Off to Higher Education program is funded by our donor partner, Manulife Financial.