Celebrating our partnership the WHL
It’s now been more than a decade since Athabasca University (AU) and the Western Hockey League (WHL) started a partnership — a partnership which has transformed the academic lives of learner-athletes playing major junior hockey in western Canada and northwestern United States.
Starting with just two WHL teams in British Columbia, this partnership was built to improve access for WHL players to university level courses both during and after their time actively playing in the league. As part of the comprehensive WHL Education and Scholarship program offered to all players, the costs for university courses are covered by WHL clubs. With the flexibility Athabasca University courses provide, players can more easily combine their university studies with a demanding hockey schedule. Another key benefit to AU’s online format is that if a player has a long playoffs, his education goes along with him, undisrupted.
Through the partnership, the WHL also offers each player a full one-year post-secondary education scholarship for each year he spends playing in the league.
Who is eligible?
WHL players who study at AU are in a variety of situations when it comes to their hockey career. Many are current WHL players, but there are also WHL alumni who are either no longer playing hockey or have moved onto a pro league. In fact, this partnership now serves alumni in Canada, the United States, and Europe.
Why? The flexibility of our online delivery allows learning to meet learners where they are — either during their major junior career or after; wherever they are.
“We are very proud of the ten plus years that the Western Hockey League has been partnered with Athabasca University. It is a relationship that has benefitted over 900 of our players, both while playing in the league, or as alumni after they have finished playing in the WHL. Athabasca University courses provide WHL players with a supportive and flexible academic platform that allows them to pursue post-secondary studies while still balancing a very demanding hockey schedule. Since 2009, our partnership with Athabasca University has allowed us to ensure that our players have the very best academic and athletic experience in North America, and we look forward to many more years of partnership ahead!”– Stacey Meyer, Manager, Education Services, WHL
We’re incredibly proud of this partnership and the doorways it opens up for WHL players. AU provides learner-athletes the flexibility to work around a hectic life and the hours they commit to excelling in their sport.