A new school year often means change and exciting new opportunities for post-secondary students studying in the district, and this year is no different.
The Confederation College campus here in Fort Frances saw almost 80 post-secondary students register, up 20 students from last year, campus manager Sandra Turner reported.
She noted 18 practical nursing students are starting their program, including 11 in Fort Frances and seven in Atikokan.
The Early Childhood Education program has 11 students starting this year, as well.
The local campus also is in the first year of a new program geared towards students who normally would not be comfortable in a classroom setting.
“We are also excited to launch the Community Integration Through Co-operative Education program for the first time in Fort Frances,” said Turner.
Three students have started the co-op program this fall, which has been run successfully at the Dryden and Thunder Bay campuses previously.
“In addition to their core CICE courses, they will have the opportunity to explore different post-secondary courses, as well as work placement in the community,” Turner explained.
As well, the local campus will be offering 178 dual credits to high school students in Fort Frances, Atikokan, and Rainy River.
The dual credit program, done in partnership with the Rainy River District School Board, gives students the opportunity to take a course that counts towards both their Ontario Secondary School Diploma and a post-secondary certificate, diploma, or degree.
“College credits being offered this year include courses from Travel, Tourism and Eco-Adventure, Construction and Renovation Techniques, and general arts and sciences programs,” noted Turner.
The college also will continue celebrating its 50th anniversary this year, with an event slated for Thursday, Nov. 2 from 4-7 p.m.
Turner said the college is inviting all alumni, current and retired staff, and communities in the district to join the festivities.
At the Seven Generations Education Institute, meanwhile, CEO Brent Tookenay said it is expecting an enrolment of more than 300 in the various post-secondary programs.
“This is an increase in enrolment and speaks to our organization working with communities in order to meet their education and training needs,” Tookenay remarked.
He added there are a few new programs at some of their campuses, like the esthetician and hairstyling programs, as well as the practical nursing and culinary management programs.
“Another program that has drawn tremendous interest is the adult immersion program that will support the First Nations' communities in building fluent Ojibwe-speaking community members,” said Tookenay.
Ongoing for SGEI is the construction of its new building near the Nanicost grounds, which Tookenay noted is “coming along nicely.”
“It will be a state-of-the-art facility that will build upon the rich language, culture, and traditions of our First Nations' communities while also incorporating the latest in technology, trades, health programs, and training,” he enthused.
Tookenay said the facility also will help create opportunities such as experiential learning, multi-trades training, and pathways for students as they plan for their future.
He added he's grateful for the excellent leadership the SGEI board of directors has provided as they work towards this new facility.
“The chiefs and their councils, along with our elders, have also provided tremendous support and guidance for the institute, as well,” he lauded.
“Without the leadership from both our board and the communities, this new facility would have not become a reality.”
Tookenay also noted SGEI is open to everyone, and strives to provide the best possible educational programming for each student.