Olds College is partnering with two additional school divisions to offer dual credit programs for Alberta high school students in the 2020-21 academic year.
Prairie Rose School Division and Holy Spirit Catholic School Division will join 19 other Alberta school divisions already partnered with Olds College in the decade-long dual credit program, for a total of 21 school divisions across Alberta.
“Expansion of the dual credit program offering follows increasing interest from students seeking career pathway planning,” said Jackie Taylor, director, community learning campus for Chinook’s Edge School Division and Olds College. “Given the current climate, many high school students have found themselves in a state of uncertainty — unsure of what direction they would like to take for their education and future employment.
The dual credit program offers students the opportunity to explore career pathways that they may want to pursue, while providing them with course credit in high school and post-secondary, added Taylor.
Along with the addition of the two new school divisions, Olds College is also excited to announce the expansion of their dual credit program offerings to include several new online courses. High school students enrolled in any of the 21 school divisions for the upcoming academic year will be part of the first student intake to be offered 11 dual credit courses for online delivery. Of the 11 courses being conducted online, four courses are available in hospitality and tourism, two courses in horticulture, two courses in agriculture techgronomy, two courses in animal sciences, and one course in land and water.
Enrollment for the 2019-20 academic year saw a total of 159 students registered in the Olds College dual credit programming. Projections for the 2020-21 academic year stand at 300 students to be registered.
In-person course offerings will continue to be offered for the veterinary technician assistant certificate, meat processing certificate, agriculture equipment technician courses, along with pre-employment certificates in heavy equipment technician and welding, for students enrolled at Chinook’s Edge School Division, Calgary Catholic School Division, Calgary Board of Education, Wolf Creek School Division and Red Deer Catholic School Division.
“It is great to see the continued success and expansion of Olds College’s dual credit program offering through the community learning campus,” said Stuart Cullum, president, Olds College. “Our coordination with the K-12 system continues to expand as we work to provide post-secondary learning pathways for young people and these two new agreements signify that Olds College will continue to be an active partner with Alberta’s School Divisions to support hands-on skills training, that lead to jobs and successful careers.”
In 2007, Olds College and Chinook’s Edge School Division partnered to establish the co-owned community learning campus, a unique initiative merging secondary and postsecondary institutions together to assist in post-secondary transitioning for rural students.
From 2010 to 2017, as part of a provincial pilot of dual credit programming, Olds College partnered with Chinook’s Edge and the Calgary Catholic School Board to provide high school students with dual credit opportunities in trades, hospitality and tourism, and the veterinary technician assistant certificate (VTA) program. Since then, Olds College has steadily grown it’s partnership base to comprise 21 school divisions, which include the expansion of the VTA certificate to the Calgary Board of Education, along with expanding the Animal Health Technician (AHT) courses to the Edmonton Catholic School Board.
Olds College is in partnerships with the following 21 school divisions: Chinook’s Edge, Calgary Catholic, Calgary Board of Education, Edmonton Catholic, Black Gold, Canadian Rockies, Golden Hills, Livingstone Range, Palliser, Westwind, Wetaskiwin, Red Deer Catholic, Buffalo Trail, Northern Lights, Sturgeon, Wild Rose, Evergreen Catholic, Prairie Rose, Holy Spirit Catholic, Battle River, and Wolf Creek.
“One of the most powerful spinoffs in this strong relationship has been their ability to share the expertise of their instructors and support students across our division with timely, relevant and life changing learning opportunities through dual credit programming,” said Kurt Sacher, Superintendent of Schools, Chinook’s Edge School Division.
“Students are deeply impacted by these career pathway experiences that lead them to more confidently choose their career direction after high school graduation.”