Overview

Students are the most important partner in our education system and the Alberta government believes student voice should play a critical role in shaping every level of it.

With that in mind, it is important to give students opportunities to share input and perspectives on provincial programs and initiatives.

Student engagement initiatives:

  • empower students as leaders of their learning
  • provide opportunities to build positive working relationships with education partners
  • engage students as leaders of change in their communities
  • support leadership development for students at school and community levels
  • honour the capability and capacity of students to engage as authentic education partners

Benefits

When students have meaningful opportunities to be engaged, it can have a positive impact on them, their schools and the province as a whole.

Benefits for students

  • Practice and acquire skills for a successful future.
  • Ownership and sense of responsibility for learning and learning environment.
  • Understanding of diverse opinions.
  • Dialogue and negotiation skills.
  • Greater understanding of governance within Alberta’s education system.
  • Increased leadership ability.
  • Role in driving change.
  • New relationships with a diverse group of students and adults.
  • Improved critical thinking, knowledge application and problem solving skills.
  • Develop the skills to become effective participating citizens.

Benefits for schools

  • Improved relationships between students, teachers, parents, school leaders and education system leaders.
  • Programming and policies informed by student input.
  • Students take responsibility and ownership of their learning and school community.
  • Supports and promotes a welcoming, caring, respectful and safe learning environment.

Benefits to system and province

  • Collaborative relationships with education partners.
  • Access to valuable input provided by students with a diversity of opinions, ideas and lived experiences.
  • Improved decision making with a better understanding of students’ varied needs.
  • A more responsible education system that reflects greater diversity and inclusiveness.

Minister’s Youth Council

The Minister’s Youth Council consists of approximately 32 junior and senior high students with diverse interests, identities, backgrounds and perspectives from all regions of Alberta. Students on the council provide their perspectives on educational issues.

Students are members of the Minister’s Youth Council for a 10 month term which aligns with the school year. During the school year, the council attends 3 meetings and engages in ongoing communication and/or engagement opportunities.

2019/2020 Recruitment

Are you passionate about education?

Are you in junior or senior high and between the ages of 14 and 19 (as of September 1, 2019)?

Are you able to commit three weekends during the school year? Meetings will be held in Edmonton in fall, winter and spring.

Apply online today to be a part of the Minister's Youth Council!

We are looking for approximately 32 youth with diverse interests, identities, backgrounds and perspectives from all across Alberta to participate as partners in contributing to our education system.

We will recruit a minimum of 24 new council members and maximum of 8 returning council members from the 2018/2019 council.

The deadline for applications is July 31, 2019.

If you are unable to apply online, download the application (PDF, 351 KB) and send it to:

Alberta Education Strategic Engagement Branch
Attention: Student Engagement
6th Floor, 44 Capital Boulevard
10044 108 Street
Edmonton, Alberta  T5J 5E6

Only applications with a postmark dated on/prior to July 31, 2019 will be considered.

Application package and documents

The application package requires consent from your parent/guardian. Please complete basic personal information and thoughtfully answer the following questions:

  1. Community

    Why do you think it is important that individuals of all ages contribute to their communities in a positive way?

    Tell us about your efforts to create positive change in your community, through volunteering, working with or influencing others to take action and create change. Please describe your experiences in depth, indicating your contribution and the impact of your actions.

  2. Critical thinking and problem solving

    Tell us about a time when you were faced with a problem or issue at your school or in your community. Please provide details about the situation and the key players involved, and potential risks. Make sure you talk about your role in analyzing the situation, generating ideas, and working to create a solution.

  3. Vision

    Everyone has a story, a series of experiences that have shaped their values, beliefs and choices going forward. What do you value as an individual and how have your lived experiences shaped your values? How does this connect to your motivation for joining the Minister’s Youth Council?

  4. Strategic thinking and planning

    Tell us about a time when you used strategic thinking to deal with challenges you faced and/or planned to take advantage of opportunities (this may include: unexpected schedule changes, work being criticized, planning an event, helping with budgeting, planning for potential difficulties etc.).

  5. Leadership and teamwork

    What do you think is the most important quality in a leader? Using a concrete example of working with a group to achieve a goal, identify the skills, experiences and perspectives you would contribute to the council.

To apply online, you may complete the application in more than one online session. Click the “save” button to save your responses. Please save your work every 15 minutes as the system will timeout after 20 minutes. Once you complete the application, click the “submit” button to ensure that your application will be received and reviewed by Alberta Education.

Applications that have been saved but not submitted will not be accepted for consideration.

Before applying, please read the Minister’s Youth Council Fact Sheet and Student Engagement Fact Sheet.

Recruitment promotional materials

District-level councils

Some school authorities have district-level student councils. These are teams of students who represent the student population from elementary to high school. Usually, the councils work with their school authority leadership and board trustees on educational issues and topics that impact students.

Not only is a district-level student council another opportunity for student engagement, the councils provide meaningful input to school authorities and schools.

District-level councils play different roles depending on the level of engagement students have with system leadership, and on desired outcomes. Councils can:

  • serve an advisory role offering advice to school boards or senior leadership on policies or initiatives
  • help create policy or lead design projects at their schools
  • play a collaborative role with their school authorities by participating in decision-making processes

Regardless of the model or role, the intent is that students are able to provide input on initiatives that impact their educational experiences.

Setting up a council is a collaborative effort requiring support from school authority leaders, school leaders, teachers, parents and students.

Contact

To connect with the Student Engagement Team:

Hours: 8:15 am to 4:30 pm (open Monday to Friday, closed statutory holidays)
Phone: 780-644-8328
Toll free: 310-0000 before the phone number (in Alberta)
Email: edc.studentengagement@gov.ab.ca