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Five-year award for Opticianry students established

Thanks to a new award for Seneca Opticianry students, more students will receive financial support to help them stay focused on their studies and complete their education in Seneca’s highly regarded Opticianry diploma program, the largest postsecondary program of its kind in Canada.

The award was established by Ruth Priebe, Director of Operations at The Optical Group, who understands the challenges many students face when it comes to completing their postsecondary program.

“As someone who worked full time while raising my three boys while in school, I understand the struggle students face in pursuing an education and I hope this award will help eliminate some barriers to success,” said Ms. Priebe. “These student opticians are the future of our industry.”

Ms. Priebe’s experience is one that many students will connect with: 72 per cent of students expect to work up to 20 hours a week and one in 10 expect to work more than 20 hours a week. In addition, more than one third of Seneca’s students care for children, spouses or elders.

The award comes at a particular time when the majority of Seneca’s students are suffering financial hardships because of the pandemic — a time when employment opportunities that students rely on have been eliminated. In a survey of Seneca students, 70 per cent said they are experiencing financial hardship, and one quarter have experienced food insecurities.

These are students who, despite the financial hardships, are trying to continue their studies and complete their Seneca education. For some students, completing their program would not be possible without financial aid provided by generous donors like The Optical Group.

Thanks to The Optical Group, each year two students from the Opticianry program who demonstrate financial need and have a minimum GPA of 3.0 will receive a $1,000 award. The Optical Group has made a five-year commitment to support students. In addition to the award, The Optical Group is a longstanding partner of Seneca and actively participates in the annual opticianry trade show.

With their support, many students in the Opticianry program will achieve their goals and realize their dreams.

Seneca has the largest postsecondary opticianry program in Canada, with 120 students registered annually, ranging from high school and university graduates to mid-career professionals and newcomers to Canada. As the need for skilled opticians continues to grow in our community and across the country, Seneca is committed to providing the highest quality education, emphasizing experiential learning and strong industry partnerships.

To learn more about how you can support Seneca Opticianry students, contact