Laurentian U. offering extra help for high school students affected by strike

As the province gets ready for a one-day strike by teachers. Laurentian University is giving students a chance to spend the day on campus.

One-day high school strike coincides with first university application deadline

Laurentian University is extending its Liaison services to help out students who have concerns while high school teachers hit the picket lines. (Erik White/CBC)

As the province gets ready for a one-day strike by teachers, Laurentian University is giving students a chance to spend the day on campus.

January 15 is the first deadline for university applications in Ontario, the same day as a province-wide strike by Ontario's Secondary School Teachers' Federation. 
Laurentian says the strike may be causing some anxiety for students and their parents, especially those getting ready to graduate, so Pieter Breijer, Laurentian's manager of Liaison Services, said they're extending some of their services to help ease any concerns...and to entice any last-minute applicants.

Breijer concedes that the timing might be "slightly opportunistic," but is still looking forward to the opportunity to meet prospective students.

Laurentian’s manager of Liason Services is Pieter Breijer. (Markus Schwabe/CBC)

"We want to make sure that we're educating parents, students, whoever else is going to be coming on campus...because they don't necessarily know the extent of all of the services that are there," Breijer said.

"So if we have this opportunity, we're we're going to seize it, obviously, but we do want to seize it for the purposes of educating."

Breijer, who has worked at Laurentian's Liaison department for 11 years, said he normally hears concerns about course selections from prospective students.

"A lot of it is 'do I have the right courses for my next year for admissions?,'" Breijer said. "Do I have the right course? Is it a detriment to me if I have my chemistry second semester versus first semester? If I take a course at night school or I don't have enough room in my schedule does that put me any kind of disadvantage?"

Breijer said in the past he's even fielded calls from parents asking about courses– at other universities.

"Actually we got that phone call yesterday from a concerned father who said 'my son is looking at applying at Brock and I just I don't know what to do'," Breijer said. "So my office basically counselled him to say if you contact Brock there will be someone on the other end that functions in the same way as here, because all 21 universities have a department similar to mine."

Breijer also suggests that despite the deadline, graduating students don't add extra pressure on themselves by hitting the January 15 deadline. The Ontario University Application Centre still accepts applications past the deadline.

He says students and parents interested in seeing what Laurentian has to offer should contact the Liaison department at (705) 675-1151 ext 3109 or email 

Laurentian University is making sure students aren't left behind during a one-day high school teachers' strike. They're offering extra help for students and parents who may be considering Laurentian. The university's manager of Liaison Services, Pieter Breijer joined us in studio with more details, 7:18


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