College Holds Open House

Fall has arrived and with fall comes thoughts of education. The Tumbler Ridge campus of Northern Lights College (NLC) held an Open House Wednesday, September 22 to raise awareness of all of the post?secondary education opportunities available to the residents of Tumbler Ridge. NLC staff was available to answer questions and talk to attendees about education programs that will be offered at the college.

The Open House began with a presentation by the manager of the Trades and Apprenticeship program, Jeff Lekstrom who gave two presentations, one to students involved in the ?Transition to Work? program (a joint program between Tumbler Ridge Senior Secondary school and Northern Lights College) and the other to parents and college students. Lekstrom said, ?The presentations were to explain the Trades and Apprenticeship programs available through Northern Lights College. I had a great group of students at the presentations, they asked good questions that were very relevant to their future.?

Another important facet of NLC is the Adult Basic Education department (ABE) headed by Marissa Thola, ?The Adult Basic Education department of the Tumbler Ridge campus has just increased its range of course offerings through our participation in Campus BC ABE online,? says NLC principal, Pam Willis. ?This means that in addition to the face-to-face, classroom?focused courses we have traditionally offered, Tumbler Ridge residents now have access to about 30 different courses that are delivered via a distributed learning format. ABE is designed to meet the upgrading and high school completion needs of adult learners.?

Education facilities in the north must be innovative in their approach to education as the population base is small and that population is spread out over 1/3 of the area in the province. Programs such as the ABE online are great examples of this innovative thinking. Tumbler Ridge is a test community for the ABE online program. ?While ABE is tuition free, students must pay for their books although some financial help may be available. Please call or visit the campus to learn how you can participate in this exciting learning opportunity,? says Willis.

Northern Lights College is also conducting an educational need assessment during October and November. ?We want to know what the community of Tumbler Ridge hopes for from their community college,? says Willis. ?Your participation in this survey is very important to us. We are not meaning to sound alarmist but our funding depends on the number of people participating in our programs, and the numbers in Tumbler Ridge are relatively low. We want to find out what you are thinking, what courses and programs you would like, why the programs we offer are so often under subscribed, and what we can do to change this. Any and all feedback will be welcomed.?

?We had hoped to see a lot more local faces and students at the Open House, ?says Carolyn Golightly, the Continuing Education Coordinator for Northern Lights College. ?This is unfortunate because there were great presentations and new information for the public.?