Campus partnership growing strongly

A partnership bringing post-secondary education to smaller communities, allowing people to learn and stay in their homes, is going strong and looking for two new board members, preferably from the smaller communities it serves.

A partnership bringing post-secondary education to smaller communities, allowing people to learn and stay in their homes, is going strong and looking for two new board members, preferably from the smaller communities it serves.

The Campus Alberta Central, a partnership signed three and a half years ago by Red Deer and Olds Colleges, serves as a way to reduce or eliminate barriers to learning for people throughout the area.

They have set up some of their programs in more than 20 communities in the region.

Executive director Jean Madill said the most popular they find are practical nursing, business or trades.

“In most cases in those communities, everything from Rocky Mountain House to Stettler to Drumheller to Elnora, we try to embed into those learning sites that are there already,” said Madill.

“We’re leveraging off of what exists already.”

Madill pointed to one student in the Stettler area who has found success in the program.

A former Hutterite colony member, he left the colony only having his Grade 9 education, but wanting to get a job.

He was told that he needed his General Educational Development to earn his high school equivalency diploma. He got it and now he is registered for the heavy equipment operator program being offered in the fall.

Last year almost 15,000 people sought the assistance of the partnership in various capacities, looking for learning opportunities.

In terms of post-secondary programming, they offer 11 programs in their communities including health care aide, hairstylist pre-employment, welding and several health care related programs.

Right now the partnership is looking for two new public members for its governance team.

Madill said they hope to get representatives from the smaller communities it serves, as they could provide an important perspective on the role of the partnership in their community.

“We really focus on adult learners so they can stay in their community with their families and their jobs and keep the vibrancy of the community going,” said Madill.

“We know that when people leave to learn, they often don’t come back.

“We have representation from Red Deer and Olds already so we’re really focusing on getting applications from smaller communities in our region that way you get a good mix on the board.”

Other current board members are from Stettler, Drumheller, Three Hills and Innisfail.

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