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2014-08-08 at 16:47

Northern education

From left: Confederation College president Jim Madder, MPP Michael Gravelle and Thunder Bay Mayor Keith Hobbs take in a welding demonstration at Confederation College on Friday.
Matt Vis, tbnewswatch.com
From left: Confederation College president Jim Madder, MPP Michael Gravelle and Thunder Bay Mayor Keith Hobbs take in a welding demonstration at Confederation College on Friday.
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By Matt Vis, tbnewswatch.com

THUNDER BAY – Northern Ontario colleges are getting a boost to be more attractive to prospective students in southern parts of the province.

Six community colleges will receive $3-million from the Northern Ontario Heritage Fund to create Study North, a three-year program that will look to enhance the profile of the schools. MPP Michael Gravelle (Lib., Thunder Bay-Superior North) made the announcement on Friday at Confederation College.

The initiative is a collaborative effort between Thunder Bay’s Confederation College, Sault College in Sault Ste. Marie, Collège Boréal and Cambrian College in Sudbury, Canadore College in North Bay and Northern College in Timmins.

Confederation College president Jim Madder said that area of the province is a virtually untapped recruiting market for northern schools.

“If you look at the number of people applying for programs in the downtown Toronto area there are not enough seats to support them,” he said.

“We have a lot of empty seats I would love to see filled with people.”

Madder stressed the initiative will highlight unique program offerings at the various schools.

He identified flight and aviation as a primary sector that is often overlooked by prospective students and listed the rotary flight program at Canadore, aviation manufacturing at Confederation and flight programs at Sault College.

Awareness of the programs seems to be high, just not in that particular area.

“We have people actually coming internationally to take that program but we have very few coming from Southern Ontario,” Madder said.

An emphasis will also be placed on resource-based sectors, such as mining and forestry.

The colleges will identify labour shortages, skill needs and job opportunities through work with industry and community partners to make the schools desirable destinations.

Part of the program will see the colleges hire three recruiters, who are from and will be based in Southern Ontario but attended one of the northern schools, to help sell the merits of getting education in the northern region.

There will also be advertisements through various media platforms to generate awareness.

Gravelle is optimistic the marketing and recruiting venture will lead to higher enrollment on all of the campuses.

“We know the graduation rates are high, we know the course choices are tremendous up here so we want to be as supportive as we can,” Gravelle said.


 


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Comments

We've improved our comment system.
Ranma says:
How about spending the money to make better programs and or hire better professors? Our schools are not exactly ranked high by the students, according to Macleans.
8/8/2014 9:54:17 PM
TBAY Opinion says:
Actually Lakehead ranks very well in its category.
8/9/2014 8:05:41 PM
brandon says:
1) Its only 10th in its category, only 9 other institutions are worse in Canada.

2) Its category is for small second-rate institutions that would look awful if compared to all other Canadian universities, so they give them their own special 'primarily undergraduate' category so that the schools don't look so bad and still consider advertising in the magazine when the university rankings edition comes out. The reality is, we are 44th out of 53 in the country. Thats really poor.
8/10/2014 8:59:00 AM
humnchuck says:
Actually:

"Maclean’s places universities in one of three categories, recognizing the differences in types of institutions, levels of research funding, the diversity of offerings, and the breadth and depth of graduate and professional programs. Primarily Undergraduate universities tend to be smaller in size, and have fewer graduate programs and graduate students. Those in the Comprehensive category have a significant degree of research activity and a wide range of programs at the undergraduate and graduate levels, including professional degrees. Medical Doctoral universities offer a broad range of Ph.D. programs and research; all universities in this category have medical schools." (Source: http://www.macleans.ca/education/unirankings/measuring-excellence-2-2/)

8/10/2014 12:09:33 PM
Royalflush says:
If all the students are in southern Ontario, why is the province putting money into northern Ontario schools. Would it not make sense to create the educational system where the students exist? Doesn't that create a hardship for students who have to leave home and pay rent, when they could be living at home while attending school in their own home town?
8/8/2014 10:35:17 PM
pylon says:
It's gone downhill according to the staff there as well. Part Time instructors in Engineering Technology programs are a staple now, which is definetly affecting the students coming out.
8/9/2014 1:11:09 AM
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