ISAP first-year learning communities

In ISAP learning communities, students with shared academic goals come together in popular first-year courses and weekly gatherings with upper-year peer mentors.

Find your pathway

Medicine Wheel Learning Community

Science, technology, engineering and math (STEM)

Examples: nursing, engineering, health sciences, natural sciences, environmental science

Star Blanket Learning Community

Social sciences and humanities

Examples: psychology, sociology, economics, Indigenous studies, Indigenous governance and politics, Indigenous justice and criminology

Willow Hoop Learning Community

Humanities and fine arts

Examples: history, English, studio art, drama, creative writing, wîcêhtowin theatre, Indigenous storytelling

”The ISAP feeling of community within the university's huge environment really helped me feel like I belonged!” –First-year ISAP student

"By participating in ISAP, I learned how strong and significant my culture is, and how important it is to keep and maintain it.” –First-year ISAP student

More ISAP opportunities

ISAP Common Courses

Course sections that emphasize Indigenous perspectives and collaborative learning—available to students at all levels of study.

ISAP STEM Pathways

Missing high school prerequisites? Returning after time away from school? Science is still an option!

ISAP Peer Mentorship

Upper-year students: get leadership training and share your knowledge as an ISAP peer mentor or student ambassador.

Summer Start

Kick-start your university learning journey at this three-day event in August.

The ISAP advantage

ISAP offers a strong start to 60+ academic programs in the College of Arts and Science and across USask.

ISAP courses are taught by dedicated and culturally responsive instructors who put your learning first


ISAP learning community students are eligible for a textbook bursary to purchase learning materials each term

95 per cent of ISAP students say they would recommend ISAP to a sibling or friend

FAQs

Frequently asked questions about the ISAP student experience

ISAP is committed to Indigenous student achievement. We offer:

  • popular first-year courses, including interdisciplinary electives
  • small class and cohort sizes (usually a maximum of 30 students)
  • dedicated and culturally responsive instructors
  • peer mentorship and social connectiona community for learning
  • personalized advising through the Trish Monture Centre for Student Success
  • subject-specific tutorials to build academic skills
  • financial advocacy and bursaries
  • support with inter-college transfers, professional college admissions, and career preparation
  • ISAP celebrations and cultural engagement throughout the academic year
  • A strong foundation for success at ISAP Summer Start

ISAP classrooms offer an opportunity for Indigenous students to challenge themselves in a team-focused learning environment. ISAP courses offer a high instructor-to-student ratio to maximize opportunities for collaborative learning, connection to Indigenous culture and perspectives, and development of academic confidence in each student.

ISAP courses meet and exceed standards for student engagement and achievement, and are strong preparation for continuing studies in any of the 60+ degree programs offered in the College of Arts and Science.

ISAP students take responsibility for creating a growth-oriented environment within ISAP classrooms—an approach that, since 2012, has a proven track record of increasing students’ sense of belonging at USask, increasing their academic confidence within and beyond ISAP courses, and supporting student retention and academic achievement.

ISAP supports students as whole people, with programming that attends to students' academic, emotional, cultural and financial needs.

As in all academic programs, preparation and regular attendance in ISAP classes, extended learning opportunities, tutorial and laboratory sections are essential to success. ISAP students self-monitor their academic progress, and have the advocacy of dedicated Indigenous advisors when they require advice during their studies.

Yes—the Aboriginal Student Achievement Program (ASAP) changed its name to Indigenous Student Achievement Pathways (ISAP) in 2019.

A Learning Community (LC) Hour is a weekly meeting with other students in your ISAP learning community and two upper-year peer mentors. Your LC Hour is a space to develop study skills, participate in cultural activities, explore career options, discuss ‘big ideas’ and common interests, learn from your peer mentors’ experience, and make lifelong friendships!

ISAP LC hours are coordinated to fall on the same day and time between ISAP cohorts—this allows us to bring the whole ISAP community together for special events like our term end celebrations, faculty and Elder visits, and to host other guests and speakers.

Yes, you certainly can.

Most students in first-year ISAP learning communities will be taking their three ISAP courses together, and adding an elective (or two) from general population courses.

For example, a student in the Term 1 Star Blanket LC will be taking ISAP sections of English 120, Sociology 111 and Psychology 120, and might also register in a general population first-year course elective tied to their interests: e.g. History 115 “The Vikings: History and Myth”.

Some students may also combine ISAP LC courses with an ISAP common course.

For example, many students in the Medicine Wheel LC will be taking ISAP sections of English 113, Biology 120 and INTS 102 as well as registering in ISAP STEM Accelerator courses—perhaps one or both of Physics 90 and Chemistry 90.

Physics 90 satisfies the 30-level physics prerequisite required for intercollege transfers to the College of Engineering; and Chemistry 90 is an excellent foundation for success in ISAP’s Term 2 section of Chemistry 112, a course required for most undergraduate natural science programs, as well as for admission to the College of Nursing.

Upper-year students will be registered mainly in general population courses, and choose ISAP common courses as electives to broaden their degree options (90-levels) and explore Indigenous perspectives (Walking Together courses) within their disciplinary areas.

 

  • Step 1: Apply to USask.
  • Step 2: Once you have received and accepted your admission to USask, you are eligible to opt-in to ISAP courses and learning communities through our online intake form.
  • Step 3: Our ISAP programming officer and Indigenous student advisors will register you in your selected courses and be in touch to confirm registration by email, usually within 48 hours. They may also request an in-person or phone appointment to discuss your goals and strategies for the term.

You can set up an advising appointment to discuss your academic plans and non-academic supports at any time in the academic term. Contact the Trish Monture Centre.

Provincial, federal and band-administered sources of educational funding are awarded at different times throughout the year. Many students do not receive notice of financial support until late spring or mid-summer—but sign-up for ISAP courses and learning communities opens in early spring (March/April).

Signing up for and registering in ISAP and other courses can proceed before you have secured funding.

You will not be charged for course tuition as long as you withdraw from courses before the deadline for registration changesusually the third week of September for Fall Term, and the third week of January for Winter Term.

ISAP courses and learning communities are available to all First Nations, Inuit and Métis students who have qualified for admission to a direct-entry college at the University of Saskatchewan. This may include Regular Admission, Part-time, and Special (Mature) Admission students. All students should speak with an academic advisor to ensure that they have attained prerequisite course credits and academic skills for success in their course selections.

Note: Students admitted through the University Transition Program (UTRAN) cannot enroll in for-credit ISAP courses or learning communities until they have successfully achieved 18 credit units. Exceptions may be made for non-degree credit STEM Accelerator courses (Biology 90, Physics 90, and Chemistry 90)—ask your UTRAN advisor for more information.

ISAP has limited seats, which are prioritized for First Nations, Inuit, Métis and Native American students who have committed to academics at this point in their life and learning journey.

Each term, seats in some courses offered through ISAP may be made available to non-Indigenous students who have an interested in participating in a rigorous, collaborative, and culturally centered learning environment.

Non-Indigenous students interested in ISAP courses should consult an academic advisor (tmc@artsandscience.usask.ca) to inquire about seat availability and set up a registration meeting if applicable.

Note: Non-Indigenous students will be asked to indicate their reasons for requesting an ISAP course seat, and to demonstrate understanding of and commitment to meeting the expectations for ISAP student participation and community engagement.

More answers to common student questions

Visit Arts and Science Indigenous student FAQS or get in touch!

In the news

Stories about ISAP students, staff and faculty have been featured in media around the world—including The New York TimesEagle Feather News and The Globe and Mail.

 

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Partners

ISAP is a collaborative program with contributions from a dedicated interdisciplinary team, 15 departments in USask’s College of Arts and Science and leadership from the Office of the Vice-Dean Indigenous. ISAP is proudly offered through the College of Arts and Science with support from SaskPower.