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Refocusing Sprott-Shaw remaining open in Courtenay

Although it hasn't been accepting new students, the Courtenay campus of Sprott-Shaw Community College will remain open as the college restructures and changes its focus.

While Sprott-Shaw is closing its campuses in Vernon and Duncan this fall, Courtenay will stay open, according to John Predyk, the vice-president of operations.

"We haven't made a decision to close the campus," he said. "We have stopped taking students into the vocational programs, but existing students are continuing. We're currently looking at other programming opportunities in Courtenay that might be more in demand."

About 20 students are studying at Sprott-Shaw in Courtenay. The college has offered a variety of programs in the city over the years, and right now, students can take several programs such as administration assistant and community support worker.

"We've run a variety of programs there, and the programs we're going to run in any community, we're going to run in decent numbers that make financial sense, which is whey we're considering other types of programs, as some of the programs we've traditionally run in Courtenay have been seeing declining enrolment," said Predyk. "As an organization, we're looking at a number of our communities and a number of different programs, and we're looking at determining which new programs might work best. We're kind of looking at refocusing."

Sprott-Shaw has operated in Courtenay for about eight years.

"There's some excellent staff up there," said Predyk. "The campus manager and staff are doing an excellent job, and things are doing well."

With newly-appointed president Patrick Dang in command at Sprott-Shaw Community College, several new initiatives have been implemented to streamline operations and improve the learning experience for students, according to a news release from the college.

Canada’s oldest private community college is now making use of a range of new educational technologies to expand globally, while closing two campuses in B.C. to restructure its Canadian operations, it noted.

“During our operational reviews each quarter, we identify opportunities to enhance the learning experience at Sprott-Shaw for each coming semester,” Dang said in a press release. “This fall, we are rolling out several initiatives that we believe will increase enrollment at our principal campuses throughout B.C. and leverage our well-known international brand and educational expertise in countries around the world.”

Sprott-Shaw is introducing a new Global Learning Centre (GLC) to its international studies program this fall that will enable students around the world to utilize English-speaking teachers. The school has already set up real-time, video-connected classrooms in China, South Korea, India, Vietnam, the Middle East and the Philippines.

Dang notes that the international learning program has been operating on a pilot basis for nearly two years, with excellent survey results from both Sprott-Shaw’s 300 Chinese students and its Canadian and U.S. teachers.

Sprott-Shaw operates campuses across British Columbia, China, India, Philippines, South Korea  and the Middle East, offering more than 140 courses in more than 35 different programs across six faculties — Bachelor of Business Administration Degree, nursing, health care, hospitality, business, trades and administrative — as well as a wide variety of language programs.

writer@comoxvalleyrecord.com

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