North Island College hosts summit to discuss military personnel education

North Island College is working to ensure military personnel and their families have seamless educational pathways.

North Island College is leading the way in its approach to ensuring military personnel and their families have seamless educational pathways, and last week, NIC shared its successes with others from across the country.

From March 19 to 21, NIC hosted representatives from Canadian post-secondary institutions and Canadian Forces bases at a Transfer Credit Summit.

As NIC president Dr. Jan Lindsay explained, the intent of the Summit was to explore the possibility of developing post-secondary education program pathways and transfer agreements that would assist military personnel and/or their family members, enrolled in college programs, to transfer their educational credits between Canadian colleges.

Canadian Forces representatives from 17 Wing Winnipeg, 8 Wing Trenton and 19 Wing Comox attended as well as Maj. Daniel Jobin, staff officer with Rationalized Military Training Delivery in Kingston, Ont. Representatives from Nova Scotia Community College, Algonquin College, Portage College, Red River College, Loyalist College, Winnipeg Technical College and Assiniboine College also participated.

Lindsay spearheaded the summit, in conjunction with her role as chair of the transfer, articulation and pathways committee, a national committee under the auspices of the Association of Canadian Community Colleges, and in followup to the signing of the NIC’s Student Mobility Agreement with the University of Manitoba last year.

“Because Canadian Forces (CF) personnel and their families are highly mobile due to frequent postings, we feel it is important for colleges across Canada to find ways to work together to assist our military members and/or their family members to pursue post-secondary education while in service to our country,” Lindsay said.

“North Island College has been very active in developing transfer and dual admission agreements that support student mobility and barrier-free transfer,” she added. “I am very interested in sharing our experiences to support barrier-free educational transfer opportunities across Canada.”

The Summit focused on four key objectives:

• Identifying programs that the educational institutions have in common;

• Gathering information regarding the educational needs of military personnel and determining the programs and courses that best fit their needs;

• Developing transfer agreements that support barrier-free transfer of CF personnel and their family members who are enrolled in post-secondary education;

• Building an ongoing educational network, inclusive of the CF, to promote education and training opportunities to CF members and their families.

Participants also visited 19 Wing Comox for an afternoon reception at the officers’ mess, where they were welcomed by Wing Commander Col. Jim Benninger.

At the conclusion of the summit, attendees unanimously committed, across both the post-secondary education and military sectors, to continuing to work together to better serve those who serve.

For further information about North Island College programs, services and events, visit www.nic.bc.ca.

— North Island College

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