College expands in new location

After many years of growth and development in its previous location at 1995 Cliffe Ave., Excel Career College has made a move to a bigger and brighter environment in downtown Courtenay.

On Jan. 7, the college opened its doors at a new location on the second floor at 841 Cliffe Ave., across from City Hall. While not a big move in terms of distance, it signals big changes for the college, which had outgrown its former site and anticipates continued expansion in the future.

Excel president Pauline Stevenson is excited about the move and what it means for the college.

"The new space will accommodate all of our full time diploma programs as well as corporate training and government contracts," Stevenson said. "We are bringing new programs on line at an increasing rate, and this facility provides us with the capacity to deliver them. We are also thrilled to be in the heart of Courtenay, and the location is perfect for our students, both local and international, to access the downtown core and public transportation."

Students are already enjoying the new college space.

"Everything looks fresh and new," one commented. "The lounge is nice; love the couch! The classrooms are better, and it's brighter with more sunlight. It's professional but still comfortable and casual."

"We have been able to design every square inch to meet our needs, including classroom and office placement, fresh bright colours, and a coffee-break area where students can really take a breather from their studies on the couch by the fireplace," Stevenson said.

A great deal has gone into the planning, and Stevenson is keen for everyone to come and see the results.

In one of several events to celebrate the new location, Excel is hosting a workshop with personal branding expert Beth Campbell Duke: Three Simple Secrets of Smart Professionals Who Love Their Work. The workshop will be held Wednesday, Jan. 23 from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. and is open to anyone wishing to attend. Cost is a donation to the food bank. Space is limited, so eager participants are encouraged to come early.

An official grand re-opening for the college is planned for early spring, but college alumni, corporate affiliates and new neighbours are welcome and encouraged to drop by on weekdays between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. for coffee and a tour of the facility.

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