PEISSA Program

The Pre-pathways to Education for Indigenous Students in Southern Alberta (PEISSA) program is designed to support Indigenous students in gaining the pre-requisite courses needed for admission into a program at the University of Calgary. Students eligible to access this program will be permitted to take up to four upgrading courses over one year. This funding is graciously provided through the UCalgary Students Union Quality Money Grant.

PEISSA and Culture

PEISSA will support students academically and culturally by providing opportunities for students to engage with an Indigenous Academic Advisor, Elders, and cultural activities. It is important to ensure that students are well supported throughout their academic experiences. By doing so, students will be able to navigate the postsecondary systems through culturally supportive environments.


The average cost for an Academic Preparation course is $510. The PEISSA program covers the entire cost of up to four courses per student within an academic year.

What courses are available?

Continuing Education's Academic Preparation program offers a wide range of upgrading courses available to students participating in PEISSA. Learn more about our upgrading courses...

Program Dates

September 2022 to April 2024

Course Load

Maximum of 4 Academic Preparation courses per student.

Supports and Services

PEISSA students will have access to the Indigenous Academic Advisor, Elders, and cultural supports.

Student Eligibility

To be considered for admission to PEISSA, applicants must meet the following criteria.

  1. Proof of Indigenous ancestry:
    • First Nations/Status Indian
    • First Nations/Non-Status Indian
    • Métis
    • Inuit

    If you require more information about proof of Indigenous ancestry, please see the Indigenous admissions process...

  2. Resident of Southern Alberta

Application Process

  1. Students will need to complete the application for PEISSA and provide verification of Indigenous ancestry.

    Apply now
  2. An Indigenous Academic Advisor will connect with students to develop an educational plan.

  3. The Indigenous Academic Advisor and Continuing Education's Student Services will enrol students into courses.

Application Deadlines

To start in... You must apply by...
Winter 2023 December 1, 2022
Spring 2023 March 1, 2023
Summer 2023 May 1, 2023
Fall 2023 August 1, 2023
Winter 2024 December 1, 2023
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