Smart Education in Canada : NIC Brings 24 Programs to North Island Communities

NIC will bring 24 programs to communities across the North Island in the next two years, after securing $2.1 million in onetime funds for students across the region.

“More than 300 students atNIC campuses and in First Nations communities will access trades, health, business and community care programs that would not exist without these funds,” said Lisa Domae, NIC’s Vice President of Learning and Students.

The programs include health assistant and plumbing foundation programs for the Comox Valley, eight trades programs for Campbell River, a new Electrical Foundation program as well as a two entry level trades in Port Alberni, and a new Aboriginal education assistant program for Mount Waddington.

In addition, six programs developed with First Nations and community partners in Ucluelet, Ahousaht, Bella Coola, Lillooet and Port Alice will be offered to students in their home communities

The programs are a result of NIC’s ongoing communication with North Island residents

“NIC listened to communities and worked very hard to write proposals to secure one-time fundsforthese programs,” Domae added

NIC will offer a Welding Foundation programs to high school students at the Campbell River campusthis February, allowing students to earn industry-recognized skills before graduating from high school. The program is also available to adults. Photo credit: Lee Simmons.

Funding came from the Ministry of Advanced Education, the Industry Training Authority and multiple community partners.

The funding represents a shift in program scheduling at NIC, which now sees programs start almost every month of the year. “A lot of people think that if they aren’t ready to start school in September, it’s too late,” Domae added. “That’s not necessarily true. Whether you want to start a degree orlearn a trade, back to school starts any time of the year at NIC.”

For example, the one-time funding includes three foundation trades programsin Port Alberni, the Comox Valley and Campbell River. By moving electrical, plumbing and welding start dates to February to match the secondary school semester system, the programs are available to high school students and adults across the region. That scheduling shift also affects NIC’s enrolment, gathered each September. This year, NIC recorded 99 fewer students in credit programs across the region. Enrolment is expected to increase as one-time programs begin and the 300 new spaces are filled.

While most programs are healthy and on par with last year, enrolments have declined in tourism and adult upgrading. International enrolment is up 25 per cent, or 52 studentsin September and is expected to grow again this January.

"Canada is not only known for it's picturesque locations, but also for it's high standard of education. The Colleges in Canada are at par with the best known Colleges in the world, in terms of the educational programs offered and the facilities provided to the students " , says Mr. Deepak, Education Manager, Career XL Services..

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