What?s Shakin? Sherry – Say yes 2 it!

On Tuesday evening, February 26th, parents of Grade 9 & 10 students went to school to learn about dual credits. Over 70 parents gathered in Unchaga Hall to listen to a panel of students who had successfully completed a dual credit program while attending high school.

The principal of SPSS, Keith Maurer, explained that a dual credit program is a one that enables high school students to earn high school and post secondary credits at the same time. A partnership with Northern Lights College makes it possible for students to choose from a variety of dual credit program offerings in this region.

In addition to receiving dual credits, students who choose to take a trades program, earn Level 1 or 2 apprenticeship credits with the Industry Training Authority (ITA). ?This really gives students a head start on their career when they graduate,? explained Frances Armstrong, Career Programs Manager for School District No. 59.

Skyler Dayus, a graduate of the NLC welding program, told the audience, ?It?s a lot better than sitting in a classroom. There is lots of hands on practice.? Dayus graduated from SPSS in June 2007 and went on to complete a welding apprenticeship with United Spring & Brake. He is now a journeyman welder at the age of 18..

At the end of January, Justin McNalley completed the Heavy Duty program and received credit for Level 1 of the ITA Heavy Duty Mechanics Apprenticeship program. Justin is back at the high school this semester taking English 12. He is also earning high school credits working as an apprentice Heavy Duty mechanic for Douglas Lake Equipment. ?The heavy duty program was really different from a regular high school shop class. The instructors treated you like an adult. You couldn?t miss more than three days of class or you were asked to leave.? At the same time, McNalley said the program was a lot of fun, ?We had barbeques and things like that.?

Tanille Clease graduated from the Northern Lights College Esthetics program in January 2007. In addition to receiving a college certificate, Tanille is licensed with the Cosmetology Association of BC. She is currently working out of Finishing Figures Salon and has already established a client base there. Tanille also commented on how much she enjoyed the opportunity to take a program that involved lots of hands on experience.

Following the panel presentation, Jeff Lekstrom, Dean of Trades and Apprenticeship, outlined the college safety and attendance policy. Jeff also introduced the college instructors who were available to answer specific questions about programs.

This event was a follow up to the Grade 9 Youth Exploring Skills to Industry Training (YES 2 IT) event that was held on February 22nd of this year. Nearly 200 students (including those from Dawson Creek, Chetwynd and Tumbler Ridge) attended this event. T

YES 2 IT is a joint initiative of the Industry Training Authority (ITA) and the Ministry of Education. It is designed to increase awareness of trades among students in grades 6 to 9, as well as their parents and mentors. For further information about dual credit programs in the district, contact Frances Armstrong, Career Programs Manager, at 250-782-8571