HighTechU is a non-profit initiative of the UVic Department of Computer Science, developed in collaboration with members of the Greater Victoria technology and education sectors, which seeks to build our community through technology-focused experiential learning opportunities for Vancouver Island youth.
Our Mission is to empower the next generation of innovators on Vancouver Island, through real-world, technology-focused experiential learning opportunities for high school students.
Our Vision is to improve the public perception of computer science and software engineering, and reduce diversity gaps in the fields.
diversity is a cornerstone of HighTechU. Through our programs we aim to create a safe and welcoming environment where all persons, regardless of race, gender identity, sexual orientation, or socioeconomic status, can discover and explore the world of technology and their role in leading future innovation. We are particularly focused on helping provide an opportunity for under-represented groups, such as women, indigenous youth and members of visible minorities, to gain exposure to the high tech industry and post-secondary education.
Think differently. Dare to be original
Work collaboratively towards a common goal
Embrace and Drive Change
HighTechU is truly a community-led non-profit initiative, and would not be possible without the amazing contributions of our Educational and Industry partners. Through their on-going support we are able to offer a program that can pivot quickly in the ever changing world of technology, delivering relevant and meaningful opportunities for island youth that helps address the growing demand for talent in BC and beyond.
The goal of HighTechU is to provide local youth, in grades 9-12, with opportunities to develop their technical abilities, build tech-focused workplace skills, and gain real-life experience with leading technology companies on Vancouver Island. To help us accomplish this goal, there are three main programs within HighTechU: the Community Hub, the Skills Academy and our Summer Internships. Learn more about each of the HighTechU programs by clicking on the relevant buttons below:
With your support we will be able to continue our mission to empower youth in our community, improve the public perception of computer science and software engineering, and reduce diversity gaps in the fields.
We recruit, screen and train highly-motivated and talented youth from around Vancouver Island who could be a great fit for your company. Our team works diligently to connect you with the best up-and-coming talent the Island has to offer, providing full-time support to interns and companies during the course of the internship.
Past Summer Internship hosts include:
Whether it is guest-speaking at one of our community events, hosting local teens during a tech-crawl, or leading a team in our Skills Academy, Industry Mentors are an integral part of the HighTechU Team. Becoming a mentor is a great (and flexible) way for any developer to build their leadership skills in a fun and engaging environment, all while giving back and empowering the next generation of talent in our community.
Do you have a burning question, but aren't sure if it's worth emailing about? Check out the Frequently Asked Questions below as a great starting point!
To participate in the 2018-2019 HighTechU programs, you must meet the following eligibility criteria:
Offered in partnership with local youth-serving and STEM-focused community organizations, (U)ser e(X)perience Day is an opportunity for local teens, parents and teachers to learn about some of the great programs available for youth interested in science and technology on Southern Vancouver Island. UX Day will take place on Saturday December 1st from 10AM - 4PM, on the main floor of the UVic Engineering/Computer Science Building. This event is held in a laid-back, drop-in STEM Expo format, meaning you can stay for as long or short as you like, with information booths, presentations and snacks available all day! So whether you already know you want to apply for a program, or are simply looking to learn more about what is available for teens in Victoria, there is sure to be something for everyone.
Learn more about UX Day and get registered here!
Membership is a new addition for 2018-2019 aimed at allowing more youth to become empowered by technology through our programs. While we recognize many students are interested solely in the Academy and Internship programs, membership has been introduced to provide any interested youth (regardless of prior knowledge) the opportunity to learn and grow, through on-going access to our online Community Hub and resources that will help them to build digital skills.
A one-time Pay-What-You-Can membership fee of $10 will be requested with all applications, covering HighTechU membership until the end of 2020. In addition to gaining access to all HighTechU programs, this membership will also include some sweet HighTechU SWAG.
In addition to the one-time membership fee, successful applicants to the Academy will be required to pay a $90 administrative fee to demonstrate commitment and help offset the costs of running the Academy program. This fee will also help cover costs for your T-Shirt, Supplies and Certificate of Completion.
Should there be financial hardship that may limit a successful applicant’s ability to pay the fee, please reach out to us directly by e-mail.
Students must be currently enrolled in Grade 9, 10, 11 or 12 in a public or private educational institution in the Capital Regional District (CRD) in order to apply. If you are currently a home-school student living in the CRD, please contact us before submitting your application.
While coding experience will certainly be helpful for programs like the Academy and Internship, HighTechU is for anyone looking to bring their tech knowledge and skills to the next level.
For those new to the world of code, HighTechU programs serve as a challenging jumping-off point - an opportunity to build your skills working alongside other like minded teens in a supportive and engaging environment.
For experienced developers, the HighTechU is a chance to take a deeper dive into software development, enhancing your technical skill-set while applying your knowledge in a more realistic team environment.
At this time applications are limited to students currently residing in the Capital Regional District.
The HighTechU Community Hub is an online resource centre for all things related to HighTechU. The Hub not only serves as the gateway to programs like the academy, but also as a way to discover new programs and resources in the community and online to continue developing your skills on your own time!
All Participants in the HighTechU program are expected to abide by the following Standards and Expectations:
The HighTechU team has established this set of standards which outline expectations for participants taking part in the program. HighTechU administration reserves the right to dismiss any participant who, in their opinion, is a hazard to the safety and/or rights of others, or who appears to have rejected the reasonable guidelines and expectations for all participants. In addition to the HighTechU Participant Standards and Expectations, participants in the Internship program must also follow appropriate internal policies and procedures of their employer.
Prior to the official acceptance into the HighTechU program, applicants will be required to complete a consent waiver and indemnity form. This form will be provided to successful applicants, and will need to be submitted prior to admission to the programs.