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
”The ISAP feeling of community within the university's huge environment really helped me feel like I belonged!” –First-year ISAP student
More ISAP opportunities
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
95 per cent of ISAP students say they would recommend ISAP to a sibling or friend
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 connection—a 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 tutorials and course sections offer Indigenous students opportunities to challenge themselves in a team-focused learning environment. ISAP maintains a high instructor-to-student ratio to maximize opportunities for co-learning, connection to Indigenous culture and perspectives, and development of academic confidence in each student.
ISAP LCs include reserved seats in large classes, as well as small cohort ISAP class sections. ISAP classrooms meet and exceed standards for instruction and student engagement, 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 two to four ISAP courses together, and adding an elective (or two) from general course offerings.
For example, a student in the Term 1 Star Blanket LC might select ISAP sections of English 113, 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”.
Many students in the Medicine Wheel LC might select ISAP sections of English 113, Biology 121 and INTS 102, and might also register in preparatory STEM Accelerator courses—perhaps one or both of Physics 90 and Chemistry 90.
Physics 90 satisfies the grade 12 physics prerequisite required for intercollege admission to the College of Engineering; and Chemistry 90 is an excellent foundation for success in 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, but may choose ISAP common courses as electives to broaden their degree options (90-levels) or for opportunity to focus on Indigenous perspectives and priorities across the disciplines.
Step 1: Apply to USask.
Step 2: Once you have been assigned an NSID you are able to request ISAP LC and course reservations through our online sign-up form.
Step 3: Our ISAP programs team will process your course reservation request, and may get in touch to confirm your course selections. Be sure to include up to date contact information!
Step 4: In order to register in your reserved ISAP seats, you must receive and accept your letter of admission to USask. For support completing required steps, contact firstname.lastname@example.org and view advice online.
Step 5: Registration for ISAP students opens June 13th at noon. You will receive a message with detailed instructions the week before (June 8th) and ISAP Staff will be available to support your registration process as needed.
Provincial, federal and band-administered educational sponsorship notices are awarded at different times throughout the year. Many students do not receive notice of financial sponsorship 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 requesting seats in ISAP classes can proceed before you have secured funding.
Course registration can also be initiated 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 changes—usually 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 USask Transitions Entrance Program (USTEP) cannot enroll in ISAP 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 USTEP 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 the ISAP programs office email@example.com to inquire about seat availability.
*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.
In the news
Stories about ISAP students, staff and faculty have been featured in media around the world—including The New York Times, Eagle Feather News and The Globe and Mail.
ISAP is a collaborative program with contributions from a dedicated interdisciplinary team, including 15 academic 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 and the College of Nursing.