April 7, 2006
Government invests in
College of the North Atlantic;
Joan Burke, Minister of Education, announced today an investment of $3.85 million for College of the North Atlantic that will see the creation of a Program Development Unit, with 12 dedicated faculty and support staff. The unit will be located at the college headquarters in Stephenville. Funding will also be used to modernize equipment, expand programming and provide advanced faculty training.
"Education is playing a key role in government�s agenda of growth and prosperity for Newfoundland and Labrador," said Minister Burke. "The college, and each of its 17 campuses, is on the front-lines of developing the workforce that will help move our province forward. Our commitments outlined in Budget 2006 will provide a tremendous boost for the college and its ability to deliver programming that is second to none in the country."
The minister provided details on the following initiatives:
Colin Forward is dean of industrial trades for the college. "The interest and demand for skilled trades in recent years has placed a greater onus on the college to ensure we are delivering programs that are relevant for our students and industry. This funding will help the college acquire state-of-the-art equipment and ensure our faculty has the technical expertise that keeps pace with business and industry requirements."
"Today�s announcement is great news for both our province and our town. In addition to advancements in our post-secondary education system, I am also very pleased to see new related employment in Stephenville," said Jim Hodder, MHA for the district of Port au Port.
Improving the skills and qualifications of workers improves the productivity of businesses and helps them to compete in the global economy. Building our province�s skills base, therefore, has become a key economic challenge, especially in light of demographic changes and migration trends.
"As emphasized in our White Paper on Postsecondary Education and again in the newly announced Innovation Strategy, a skilled and educated workforce is essential to help our province compete and lead on a global scale. We fully recognize that our post-secondary institutions must keep pace in program offerings and technological prowess," said the Minister. "Today�s announcement is a tremendous boost that supports the college in its work to offer distinctive, high quality skills training programs that meet current and future labour market needs."
These initiatives will ensure the college is responsive to the province�s skills agenda. They also complement other Budget 2006 initiatives, such as the Skills Task Force and new skills and technology curriculum and equipment in the K-12 education system.
Media contact: Jacquelyn Howard, Communications (709) 729-0048, 689-2624
Program Development Unit
The college needs to grow and support its campuses, particularly in areas where the population and post-secondary education needs are expanding. Funding allocated in Budget 2006 will establish a Program Development Unit that will seek out new programming opportunities and undertake reviews of the college's current program mix to ensure that all curriculum is in step with industry requirements - now and into the future.
The unit will be comprised of 12 positions, including program developers, a researcher, quality coordinator and support staff. It is anticipated the unit will be fully staffed and operational summer 2006.
Apprenticeship Shop Modernization Program
High Technology Program Development, Oil
and Gas Sector
Comprehensive Arts and Science College
Transition Program (CAS)
In an increasingly competitive educational market, College of the North Atlantic is challenged to be more deliberate in their plans to provide faculty upgrading and professional development opportunities, especially in light of anticipated faculty retirements and the subsequent loss of institutional expertise and knowledge. Enhanced faculty training is required to keep up with the demands of program accreditation, curriculum revisions, and the depth of technical and advanced skills required to keep programs current. New equipment and related technologies require a level of technical expertise that would not even have existed when many faculty members participated in their own program of studies at the career entry level.
2006 04 07 11:10 a.m.
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