Creating opportunities and a welcoming community

Video Transcript

At Lassonde, we’re dedicated to nurturing a diverse community of students who, together with their faculty, transform their ideas into tangible solutions that leave a positive mark on both local and global scales. We firmly believe that these diverse viewpoints are not just beneficial but absolutely essential for addressing the complex issues of our time. 

That’s why Lassonde is fully committed to dismantling systemic barriers in STEM. We recognize that traditional stereotypes, unequal access to opportunities, implicit biases, and a lack of diversity impedes our collective progress.  We’re determined to change that by fostering decolonizing, equity, diversity and inclusion in our programs and initiatives, and by ensuring our community is equipped to address global challenges head-on. 

In 2022-23, we’ve worked hard to provide our students with incredible opportunities and a welcoming community through initiatives from our k2i academy, Bergeron Entrepreneurs in Science and Technology (BEST) program and new activities like a first-generation student/alumni networking night. This year our efforts were recognized with the k2i academy receiving the Minister’s Award of Excellence in the category of Equality of Opportunity.

Working hand and hand with a visionary group of businesses, organizations and industry associations, Lassonde developed, designed and launched Canada’s first fully work-integrated degree program, providing students the opportunity to earn a competitive salary while advancing their education. This progressive concept aims to tackle financial barriers restricting marginalized groups in STEM and cater to non-traditional learners who excel in experiential learning environments.

Learn more about how we created opportunities and a welcoming community:

Key Highlights

Three Lassonde students chatting at the staircase outside of the Bergeron Center

York University’s Lassonde School of Engineering receives provincial funding to launch STEM program for Black youth

Lassonde’s k2i (kindergarten to industry) academy received $463,800 from the Ontario Ministry of Citizenship and Multiculturalism to develop and implement a unique micro-credentialed, Specialist High Skills Major (SHSM) educational program, for Black youth in grades 7 to 12 as part of k2i’s Bringing STEM to Life in Schools stream. For this program, k2i academy will work with some of the largest and most diverse school boards in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) to design and implement an intentional and tailored program to reach more than 1,500 Black youth and help address inequities for Black youth in science, technology, engineering, mathematics (STEM). The program will engage with K-12 educators, STEM industries, community partners and postsecondary partners.

Young professionals working on project together

York University’s Lassonde School of Engineering Introduces Inaugural Cohort of Canada’s First Fully Work-Integrated Degree Program

The Lassonde School of Engineering launched Canada’s first fully work-integrated degree program in Digital Technologies, welcoming the inaugural cohort in September 2023. Students in the new program are employed full-time for four years, earning a salary while studying for a Bachelor of Applied Science (BASc) degree. Employer partners include Alstom, BMO, Ceridian, Ontario Power Generation, Quanser and Shopify, who have hired one or more of these future software developers, cyber security analysts and data scientists.

Meet Digital Technologies Employers

Meet Digital Technologies Students

“As a first-generation learner who has benefited from postsecondary studies, I’m passionate about opening doors to other first-generation learners, especially those from underserved communities.”

– Lassonde Dean Jane Goodyer, from the article Lassonde connects first-generation students with alumni at a professional networking event (UN SDG 10)