For our youngest students, living away from home in another country has its own set of opportunities and challenges, which is why Columbia has established our “Young ASEP Achievers” program for students who are 16 years of age or younger as of July 1 each year. The Young ASEP Achievers program offers age-appropriate guidance and care to students as they transition to independent living, giving them the rewarding experience of developing routines and skills to succeed in university and in life.

Tailor-made programming encourages these students to explore their strengths, discover hidden talents, broaden their horizons through hands-on activities and develop exemplary character. All Young ASEP Achievers are assigned to house parents who provide around-the-clock care, which means house parents can give each student the same special attention that he or she would receive at home.


Character building

Columbia’s distinctive age-tailored character program allows students to develop positive social and emotional behavior. These qualities are valued by top universities in Canada and around the world, which are recruiting well-rounded students with good academic standings, mature behaviour and outstanding character. Character education is embedded in all subjects and is delivered in a way that appeals to all students, whether they are visual, kinesthetic or auditory learners.

Social outreach project

As a group, junior middle school students participate in a social outreach research project that focuses on world issues such as clean water, food security, building school and health care. Students develop character attributes such as caring, self-advocacy, responsibility and perseverance as they create seminars and fundraising events to raise awareness about different issues. Upon completion of the project, students gain confidence that they can work together as a team and make a real difference in the world.

Young Global Citizen program

This program inspires students to take action on local and global issues that matter. Students learn to contribute to the local and global community; value the Earth as a precious place to live and protect its future; and respect and honour the diversity of the world’s cultures. They come to understand the impact of culture, economics, technology and the environment on world events. They seek solutions to injustices. And they learn to take responsibility for their own actions.

Character building certificate

To be eligible for a certificate, students must participate in a language speaking club and an activity that fosters intercultural learning; complete a global social outreach project; perform community service in the school and community; complete the Life and Personal Growth Skills program at Bark Lake Outdoor Education Centre; and complete a “Be the Change Action Plan”, which is a reflective paper that outlines steps to be taken for global improvement, based on what they’ve learned at Columbia.