Earlier last month, the College of New Caledonia (CNC) Lakes District campus laid-off four faculty members from its Burns Lake campus.
The one-year long program, called Academic Upgrading, in which the faculty was involved, has been scrapped due to no takers for the program. This program was mainly targeted towards those who needed help in meeting the prerequisites for other college courses and programs, and often to obtain a B.C. Adult Graduation Diploma.
CNC’s Vice President Academic, Dr. Chad Thompson confirmed the faculty lay-offs and told Lakes District News that of the four people who were laid off, CNC was able to successfully re-assign one of the faculty in to a different role within the college.
“We did have lay-offs of the adult Academic Upgrading faculty in Burns Lake; under the provision of our agreement, layoff notices have to be served by March 31 and then the college and the faculty association tries to mitigate these layoffs,” said Thompson.
Thompson also said that the adult Academic Upgrading program at the Lakes District campus had been on a decline over the past few years.
“We have been working on it for several years to find different ways of delivering, different ways of reaching the community; unfortunately, the continued lack of enrollment in the program has required us to proceed with the layoffs,” he said, adding that since currently they have not seen any interest in the program for Fall, the program will stand scrapped from the campus. “We are going to continue to work with the community advisors who work with the local communities and try to find what the best way to serve the upgrading needs of the adults in the community are.”
In the meantime, CNC has been working with the Community Adult Literacy Program in the Lakes District and has been supporting the literacy program through that. Thompson also observed a change in program demand at the Lakes District campus.
“We are looking at offering new programs this Fall to try to provide what the community has been asking for,” he said.
One of the programs scheduled to be offered this Fall is the Indigenous Professional Cook Program which is an ITA recognized program.
“This would be the first level of their professional cook program but we are extremely excited that it is being done with an indigenous focus and made possible through a partnership with local First Nations communities, local non-profit organizations and the Nicola Valley Institute of Technology (NVIT),” he said.
Another program that CNC would be running is the Early Childhood Care and Learning program for the students in Burns Lake and all other regional campuses.
“Lakes District Campus remains very active; the community advisory committee and the aboriginal advisory committee are both still very active and making recommendations for what kind of educational programs are needed for the area,” concluded Thompson.