NLC, SD 59 collaborate on dual credit programs

DAWSON CREEK ? School District 59 and Northern Lights College have reached an agreement that will allow for the continuation of two dual credit programs for area high school students.

According to the agreement, the College will take over operation of the dual credit programs in Heavy Duty/ Commercial Transport Technician and Automotive Service Technician. Both programs have previously been offered in Dawson Creek by the B.C. Institute of Technology.

Talks between officials from NLC and SD 59 began shortly after last fall?s announcement by BCIT that it would no longer offer these dual credit courses in Dawson Creek, effective January 2008.

?We want to be respectful of the local institutions, and our decision to discontinue these programs will hopefully ensure strong enrollment for School District 59 and Northern Lights College,? said Dr. Verna Magee-Shepherd, BCIT?s acting president. ?This new partnership ensures that students in the north continue to have access to this training.?

Under the agreement, NLC will utilize the existing training facility ? which is located adjacent to South Peace Secondary School ? to deliver the programs. As well, NLC signs will go on the building, NLC curriculum will apply, and the programs will be taught by NLC instructors.

?We?re more than happy that we?re going to be doing business with Northern Lights College on these two programs. We?ve had an outstanding history with the College in many other programs that have been offered,? said Rob Dennis, director of instruction for School District 59.

Dennis said it was important to the keep the programs operating because more students are completing graduation requirements, and industry in the region benefits from being able to hire local graduates.

The intention is that the programs will serve primarily secondary school students in the district. In each program, SD 59 students will have the first opportunity to apply. If space remains available, adult learners may also have an opportunity to apply.

Feb. 4, 2008 ? the beginning of the second semester for SD 59 ? is the expected start date. The only anticipated changes that students will notice is a move towards NLC full dual credit programming.


Key aspects of the agreement include:

– As of the end of January 2008, the existing training facility adjacent to South Peace Secondary School will be taken over by NLC to offer the programs.

– Programs will last 40 weeks, and will be matched to the SD 59 calendar.

– Instruction will be provided by NLC instructors.

– Secondary school students will be given first opportunity to apply. If seats remain in either program after SD 59?s registration deadline, the College may open those seats to adult students. The programs will have a February start date each year.

– Students will be responsible for covering the cost of personal protective safety equipment, textbooks and other supplies.

– Programs will be tuition-free to SD 59 students and schools. SD 59 has committed to an annual lump-sum funding fee to be paid to NLC.

– Programs will use Industry Training Authority curriculum. Students can earn their ?Level 1?, as well as a minimum of 32 high school credits toward graduation.