The Al and Bee Wagner Indigenous Student Transition Program

Program Overview

Brandon University and the Indigenous Peoples’ Centre is proud to offer the first cohort of the Al and Bee Wagner Indigenous Student Transition Program online in the Fall of 2020. The program will focus on offering virtual transitioning support to Indigenous students starting their education at Brandon University under four pillars; academic, social, personal and cultural.

Our online transition program will unlock the potential of Indigenous students by developing their academic skills and by fostering social, community and cultural supports that will increase success rates at the university level.

The program is open to Indigenous students entering the department of Business Administration, the Faculty of Health Studies or the Faculty of Science; or students who have expressed an interest in entering one of the aforementioned programs. Students from other faculties looking for support can contact Indigenous Student Success Officer, Michelle Bessette at the Indigenous Peoples’ Centre at

Students will have support from committed staff and mentors, including traditional knowledge keepers and Elders, as well as strong peer-group support. There will be a wide range of culturally appropriate supports and resources; students can take part in ceremonies.

We will start with a small cohort of students so that they can benefit from personalized attention that is Brandon University’s hallmark. The cohort will meet online throughout the school year to get academic support through study groups, tutors, and the Academic Skills Centre.

The cohort will have access to personal supports from student services counsellors and knowledge keepers. Students will have a weekly online one on one check in with the transition program coordinator. Virtual monthly social events will be held throughout the school year to bring students together to build friendships and support each other.

Students who remain in the program can become peer mentors and tutors to other Indigenous students and graduates can become ambassadors of the program and BU in the future.

We will measure the effectiveness of the program by examining graduation rates, course completion rates, specific tools and skills gained, student journals or reflections and stats on how many students completed or returned for year 2 mentoring.

Laptop computers will be leant to participants to assist in the educational experience. Students who successfully complete the full year program will have an opportunity to keep the laptop as a reward for their hard work and commitment.


Students accepted into the Al and Bee Wagner Transition Program will take part in an extended online two week orientation from August 24th to September 4th 2020. During the first week of orientation students will learn how to navigate the campus and city.  We will focus on the essentials, some examples include; housing, medical, shopping, child care needs and using the online platforms.  Some examples of what we will look at during the second week are: learning to learn, how to study, how to do research and how to write a paper. Our orientation will help students build connections by experiencing a sense of belonging and inclusion. We will end the two week orientation with a social activity.

During the school year the students will be supported by the transition coordinator with an online weekly one on one check in with a reflection piece, weekly online study groups, and monthly virtual social activity.


Who can apply?

Indigenous Students that have been accepted to Brandon University’s department of Business Administration, or the faculties of Health Studies and Science; or students who are undecided but have expressed an interest in entering one of the aforementioned programs. There is no additional application fee for this transition program (students must still pay the application fee to the university).

Application Deadline

Application will be accepted July 1st to July 31st, 2020. Students selected into the program will be notified by August 10th, 2020. The two week orientation will begin August 24th, 2020.

How to apply

Applying is simple. Please complete and submit the following online form

Please note the following:

  • Please ensure that you have applied for admissions with Brandon University before applying to The Al and Bee Wagner Indigenous Transition Program. If you have not applied to Brandon University you can do so here
  • Applicants are encouraged to self-identify as a Canadian Indigenous person.
  • We ask all applicants to write a short letter answering the following questions as part of the completed application:
    1. Please tell us about yourself, where you come from and where you call home.
    2. Please tell us your educational goals.
    3. Why do you want to be in the Al and Bee Wagner Indigenous Student Transition Program?
    4. What are your plans after graduation?

Indigenous Transition Program Coordinator

Deidre Gregory
Phone: 204-727-9623
Cell: 204-724-4581