Speak Out – the Alberta Student Engagement Initiative was created in 2008 to support Alberta youth in sharing education ideas and experiences with each other and the Ministry. Alberta Education sees student engagement as a process of active collaboration with students in an effort to best support their needs, goals and learning preferences. Speak Out is dedicated to providing students with opportunities to be leaders of change in their schools and communities through several components including the Speak Out website; Forums; Annual Conference; Taking Action Projects; and the Minister’s Student Advisory Council.
The Minister’s Student Advisory Council consists of 24 youth, ages 14 to 19, with different backgrounds, opinions, experiences and perspectives from all regions of Alberta. The Council provides its perspectives to the Minister and Alberta Education on educational issues. Council member terms are for one year and members receive leadership, facilitation, media and public speaking training. They also meet with the Minister a few times per year (September, January and May). Each Council member also hosts their very own Speak Out forum using the DVD Tool Kit. Each year, the biographies and Terms of Reference for Council members are available online.