Following 18 months of research and development, pilot testing and refinement, ASCEND officially launched in April 2020. Since then, the program has already been delivered to 155 skilled newcomers across 17 separate cohorts. National interest in the program has supported a rapid expansion; in addition to 5 Service Delivery Partners in BC now offering the program, ASCEND is also offered through 5 partner organizations in Ontario, all of which are new partners for IEC-BC. Interest from other Provinces and Territories indicates that in the coming months ASCEND will be available in Alberta, Saskatchewan, and beyond.
In addition to scaling the program for newcomers across Canada, ASCEND is also supporting international students through new partnerships. Northeastern University in Vancouver is providing ASCEND to students in the university’s MS in Computer Science program. Northeastern University views ASCEND as a tool to better prepare international students for the Canadian workplace, and as a value-added introduction to Canadian culture in general.
If you are a newcomer or international student, employer, school or service partner interested in accessing the program, we’d love to hear from you!