Transitioning Into Post-Secondary (TIPS)

Transitioning Into Post-Secondary (TIPS)

Transitioning Into Post-Secondary (TIPS)

The Calgary Bridge Foundation for Youth (CBFY) is a charitable not for profit organization that serves over 12,000 individuals annually. CBFY provides a welcoming and inclusive environment for immigrant and refugee youth and their families by enriching them with the appropriate information, knowledge and experience as they build a life in Canada.

The Transitioning Into Post-Secondary (TIPS) program matches pre-service teachers and students with international experience with immigrant and refugee youth. Participants serve as mentors to newcomer youth, providing support, resources, and information. The goal of this program is to help newcomers achieve their personal, social, and academic goals, as well as better understand the Canadian post-secondary system and communities. It also offers pre-service teachers and students with international experience the opportunity to gain hands-on experience working with youth, and discover some of the challenges faced by newcomer youth when transitioning into post-secondary study.


All Bachelor of Education students


Work alongside another student to mentor newcomer youth in Grade 11 to 12 about the transition from high school to post-secondary


Fall: October to December

Winter: January to April

Session times will vary from group to group, but often run Tuesdays or Thursdays from 5:00-7:00pm weekly


Please note that due to COVID-19, the TIPS program has postponed all of their in-person classes and field trip activities. They are offering an online or a blended form of the TIPS program instead.

CBFY-TIPS Logistics

What's Involved

  • Pre-Service teachers should commit to attending ~10 two-hour mentoring sessions, which will serve as a knowledge exchange between a newcomer youth, a pre-service teacher, and at least one international student.
  • Sessions will focus on building youth awareness of the postsecondary system (e.g., the application process, student support services, clubs, tech, etc) and learning from the different perspectives within the triad.


  • Pre-service teachers need a current Police Information Check with Vulnerable Sector Screening (issued after July 1 of the current academic year). Students who do not already have a police check should begin this process at their local police station as soon as possible, as police checks often take 4-6 weeks to process.
  • Students placed with TIPS also require a Child Intervention Check issued by Alberta Human Services. We recommend starting the process as early as possible, but more information about the CIC will be provided at the orientation session.

Program Learning Outcomes

  • Apply a variety of facilitation strategies to encourage discussion, generate ideas, and build consensus

  • Apply a variety of leadership strategies to develop meaningful relationships with the program and its participants

  • Apply a variety of mentorship strategies to support mentees’ personal, social, and academic goals

  • Develop cross-cultural competencies related to language, culture, and place.

  • Gain experience working with youth in a small group setting

Werklund Dates and Times

FALL 2023 (Application is now closed.)

  • Werklund Fall 2023 Wrap-Up Session: Friday, December 8, 5:00 pm - 6:00 pm (Zoom)
  • Fall 2023 Placements End: mid-December


  • Winter 2024 application will open on November 20, 2024.
  • Werklund Winter 2024 Orientation: Monday, December 11, 5:00 pm - 6:00 pm (Zoom) 
  • Winter 2024 Placements Start: early January (program dependent)
  • Werklund Winter 2024 Check-In Session: Monday, January 29 at
    • 9:30 am - 10:30 am (in-person) or
    • 3:30 pm - 4:30 pm (Zoom)
  • Werklund Winter 2024 Wrap-Up Session: Tuesday, March 12, 5:00 pm - 6:00 pm (Zoom)
  • Winter 2024 Placements End: mid-March (program dependent)

TIPS Dates

  • Placements begin: February 2024
  • Placements end: April 2024
  • Training Session: February 6, 2024
  • Mentor-Mentee Introduction Session: February 13, 2024
  • Mentoring Sessions: February to April
  • Session times will vary from group to group, but often run Tuesdays or Thursdays from 5:00-7:00pm weekly

In total, pre-service teachers agree to commit to a minimum of 25-30 hours for their service-learning experience

Making Connections

  • Throughout the semester, pre-service teachers will curate their volunteering experiences using a creative medium (e.g., photos, art, storyboarding, videos, etc.) that best reflects their experiences in the program. Your creative reflections will form part of a public showcase of Werklund student experiences later in the year.
  • Pre-service teachers will participate in 2 group meetings: one at the mid-point and another at the end of their placement (1 hour each). These group meetings provide pre-service teachers with opportunities to reflect on the community placement experience and to guide improvements for the program.

Service-Learning group

Winter 2024 applications are now closed.

Interested in applying for a future semester?

  1. Log on to Elevate and go to My Werklund Experiences > Courses/Programs
  2. Find the Service-Learning program and click Apply
  3. Complete the Service-Learning Application

Download an application guide here.

Apply on Elevate!

Sharing my experience as an immigrant navigating the post-secondary system was a really important way for me to give back.

TIPS Participant

It was great experience working with my community partner. She helped me connect with my mentees, learn about community organizations, and understand ways to support immigrant youth.

TIPS Participant