Making lifelong learning accessible through the Level Up Alumni Awards
SAIT graduates are on inspiring journeys, trailblazing across industries. From innovative tech startups to groundbreaking medical research, their impacts resonate globally.
The Level Up Alumni Awards initiative grants credit awards for SAIT graduates accepted into a certificate, diploma or degree program. It also provides continuing education awards for graduates registering for a course within SAIT’s Centre for Continuing Education and Professional Studies. It’s a catalyst for driving these students’ exciting careers forward.
Since its inception in 2020 as the Alumni for Alumni bursary, over $1 million has been invested towards supporting SAIT graduates who return for further education. The funding stems from SAIT's 30-year affinity partnership with TD Insurance Meloche Monnex (TDIMM).
When SAIT graduates secure favourable rates on home, auto and travel insurance through TDIMM, they not only make financial savings but also contribute to exceptional programs like the Level Up Alumni Awards, benefiting current and prospective alumni.
Hands-on learning approach
Alumnus Ryan Proulx’s (BBA ’10, pictured right) curiosity was first piqued by robotic process automation (RPA) through his company's engagement with the technology. Although resources are available online to learn more, he sought a course that could provide a tangible, hands-on learning experience.
“This was a good way for me to understand what exactly RPA is, how it works and the application of it in the business,” he says.
The Level Up Alumni Awards opened the door for a return to SAIT, affording Proulx the chance to immerse himself once again in the unique learning environment he was looking for with Applied Robotic Process Automation.
“The cost of the course was more than I was willing to spend,” he says. “The 75% payment really helped.”
Honing a skill
Giselle Wedemire (Journalism ’13, pictured left) echoed this sentiment. After graduating from SAIT’s journalism program ten years ago, she was interested in improving her design skills through the SAIT Continuing Education Graphic Design Certificate of Achievement.
While Wedemire found her position in communications and graphic design fulfilling, she felt her design education required more legitimacy for her resume and prospective employers. As the costs of upskilling were piling up, she discovered the Level Up Alumni Awards while browsing the Continuing Education website.
“When I saw that the award allowed for a significant discount on one course, I applied immediately,” she says.
The program allowed Wedemire to strengthen design skills like page layout with software like Adobe InDesign, while developing expertise in logo design and creative photo retouching.
A move towards advancement
Similarly, Michelle Chung (Hospitality Management 19, pictured right) also sought to impress recruiters. While working in the hospitality field, she discovered further education could create more career advancement opportunities.
“Jobs are limited if you don’t have a bachelor’s degree,” Chung says. “You need one more step to get to a management position.”
After discussing her options with classmates who had already received their degrees in hospitality, Chung realized the benefits of completing the Bachelor of Hospitality and Tourism Management degree to help her climb the career ladder faster. SAIT was the obvious choice for her, as hospitality degree program options are limited across Canada.
“I had already decided to go to SAIT regardless, but I think the Alumni Award will help a lot,” Chung says. “Going to school and giving up a full-time job is hard.”