1. What is the S3P?

The S3P is KPUs response to the changes taking place in the K-12 system. The Surrey Portfolio Pathway Partnership, or S3P, is intended to create policy options for a new way to admit students to post-secondary education. This system would accommodate the new competency and portfolio-based values of the K-12 system, which is designed to show a more complete picture of each and every individual's skills and abilities than do traditional letter grades. The goal, then, of the S3P project is to bridge the gap that currently exists between the K-12 school system and post-secondary. This goal is in line with the K-16 movement – which seeks to improve the transition from grade 12 to post-secondary study.


How will the S3P work?

Grades will still be part of the K-12 system. We are, however, creating another way for students—especially those for whom the grading system is not an effective way of showing their full achievement—to gain admission into higher education. We are most interested in the use of portfolios to demonstrate student competencies. In light of this focus, we are building strong partnerships with Surrey Schools, and Surrey students.


What is the KEPI Institute?

In phase 2 of the S3P, we recruited a small group of Grade 12 students from the Surrey School District to create exemplary portfolios to be admitted to KPU with. Each student was paired with a veteran undergraduate researcher, as well as an instructor, from KPU to mentor them through the process. The portfolios were completed in June of 2018, and are currently being analyzed. This analysis aims to develop a method for identifying competencies within artifacts.

 We want, in short, Surrey K-12 students to both benefit from the S3P and to help build it. This partnership will not only set a new standard for portfolio-based admissions, but also for K-16 collaboration.


What is competency-driven education?

Competency-driven education is a form of teaching and learning which focuses on measuring the mastery of competencies. Competency-driven education puts less emphasis on memorization, and more emphasis on developing competencies.  


What does portfolio-based mean?

Portfolios are (an often digital) collection of student work drawn from any aspect of their lives. Through these portfolios students can tell us what they think is important when displaying their competencies. To us, portfolio-based admission is a system in which student portfolios play a meaningful role in proving post-secondary institutions with their preparedness for future study.


What exactly are the changes?

The S3P, if fully implemented, would mean that students from the Surrey School District could opt into having their portfolios be weighed within their admission process.

For some, nothing will change through the S3P, because, broadly speaking, all universities in BC will continue to accept students with grades, including KPU. On the other hand, for others, the changes could be profound. This is because there will be an expansion of what is considered for university entrance. Students who may have not been able to gain access into post-secondary in the past due to letter grades may now have more opportunities to pursue post-secondary.

The main goal of S3P is to develop a proposal for a pathway through which Surrey K-12 students can choose to enter KPU with their portfolios rather than grades.


Will the S3P affect all students?

Only students who choose to use the potential Pathway will be affected by S3P. The pathway will simply be one more option when students are enrolling to KPU.


Will there still be grades?

Yes. While B.C’s curricular reform is moving towards portfolio-based systems, all school districts it will still be administering letter grades and KPU will continue to accept them.


Why KPU?

KPU’s open access mandate makes it one of the best places to build the future of grade 12 to post-secondary transitions. We see this as an exciting opportunity to allow our open access mandate to open doors for deserving, talented, and diverse individuals.


Have more questions?

Email us at: 

david.burns@kpu.ca