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Patricia Power

Choose your own academic adventure

In the first edition of RED, Professor Peter Mehan’s cover story discussed the collaborative programs amid colleges and universities, which have become commonplace in Ontario. In this environment, Seneca has emerged as a provincial leader in developing academic pathways for students across various programs.

These new academic options have opened the door for Seneca students to build on their credentials by transferring their college credits to university. They are often able to receive advanced standing in MA, MBA and even PhD programs.

“Everything I have achieved is based on that one choice I made to attend Seneca,” says Patricia Power, who is currently completing a master’s degree in health sciences at McMaster University. “It made a huge difference and put me so far ahead.”

Both Patricia and Xiang Li graduated from Seneca’s Biotechnology Technologist Research program before going on to earn their bachelor of science degrees as a result of a long-standing transfer agreement the School of Biological Sciences & Applied Chemistry has with universities, including Guelph and York.

In Patricia’s case, she received advanced standing at Guelph, which allowed her to enter in to the third semester of the degree program. Since then, she has been working on her master’s degree, where she is leading a study on bone cancer at the Juravinski Cancer Centre in Hamilton. Patricia is nearly finished her research and will be defending her master’s thesis in the summer.

“There’s still a lot of work to be done,” she says. “But I’m proud of what I have been able to accomplish so far.”
Xiang, who came to study at Seneca from China, went on to earn his degree at York University, and in just four years he was able to earn both his diploma and degree.

After he graduated, Xiang returned home to China to work as an assistant researcher at the Chinese Academy of Sciences before deciding to pursue a masters and PhD in biology.

With that goal in mind, he applied and was accepted into the University of Queensland in Australia. Xiang earned his master’s in Molecular Biology and is now a PhD candidate at the university’s Brain Institute where he is conducting a research study to determine how our DNA contributes to the development of psychiatric disorders such as post-traumatic stress disorder.

“If you are a student who wants to fast-track from a diploma to a PhD the Biotechnology Technologist Research program really helps save you time,” Xiang says. “Thanks to my Seneca training I was a step ahead of other university undergraduates.”

Academic Pathways

Seneca is Ontario’s college leader in university pathways with more than 270 individual degree pathways for graduates at 59 partner institutions in Canada and around the world.

To learn more about degree pathway opportunities at Seneca, visit