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B.C. NDP leader John Horgan, waves with Melanie Mark, MLA elect for Vancouver-Mt Pleasant, as she becomes the first First Nations woman to serve in the legislature as she looks up at family and friends during a swearing in ceremony at legislature in 2016.

CHAD HIPOLITO/THE CANADIAN PRESS

British Columbia’s minister of advanced education has announced new supports for post-secondary students, including expanded online resources and funding to help students with disabilities.

Melanie Mark says $1.5 million will be distributed equally between 20 public post-secondary schools to strengthen supports for students with cognitive, mental health or physical disabilities.

She says the province is investing $275,000 in the new BCcampus website to further develop online resources and tools focused on well-being for students, staff and faculty.

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The resources include videos and webinars on topics such as adapting to online learning, stress management and navigating financial supports.

Mark says the province is also providing another $400,000 to support the development of more resources covering a wide range of courses and subjects in B.C.‘s growing open textbook collection.

The minister says students may also now apply to StudentAid BC to be automatically considered for a free access grant announced in this year’s provincial budget.

She says the grant means more than 40,000 eligible low- and middle-income students could receive up to $4,000 per year to help with costs associated with degree, diploma and certificate programs.

“This is double the funding and the number of students who were supported through grants under the former government,” Mark said at Camosun College on Wednesday.

The B.C. access grant is open to part-time students, she added.

The amount students receive would depend on their family income, the length of their program and whether it’s full or part time.

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