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College of New Caledonia shares success story with Burns Lake council

College representatives appear before council as a delegation

“I’ve been with the college for 28 years and one of the reasons I keep coming back every day is because of student success.”

That’s how Lynn Synotte, responsible for marketing, recruiting and program linkages at the College of New Caledonia (CNC), introduced a CNC success story to Burns Lake council earlier this month.

“This student came to us working her way through WorkBC funding. We assisted her with her paperwork and supported her through her whole process, and we found out she was homeless,” described Synotte.

“She was living in her car with her dog, and she had no place to stay. So we managed to support her to find an ideal place that would take her and the dog, and she continued to register in our trades discover program.”

“She wanted to be a trades person of some sort, but she didn’t know which one. So she took a little bit of electrical, pluming, welding and carpentry, and she ended up really loving carpentry and graduating from trades discovery,” continued Synotte.

“Now she is registered in our carpentry program in February and so, to me, watching students succeed like this is why I spent so many years at the college; this is why we do what we do,” added Synotte. “I am proud, and we are all proud of the positive impact that the college has made in this community.”

No questions about FTE students

Although Burns Lake council expressed concerns among themselves about enrolment decline at the College of New Caledonia (CNC) during a meeting last August, council refrained from asking questions about the number of full-time equivalent (FTE) students to the CNC delegation earlier this month.

As part of their presentation to council, the college delegation included a “student headcount,” but did not release the current number of FTE students. According to the headcount, the Lakes District campus had 81 students in the fall of 2016, increasing to 150 students in the fall of 2017.

The college delegation, which included CNC president Henry Reiser, spoke about the enrolment decline over the past few years, mentioning challenges such as increased competition for public funding among post-secondary institutions, a national shift from rural to urban areas, and a “significant and steady decline” of the K-12 population in all of CNC communities.

“But to us, that just means there’s more of a need for CNC than ever,” said Reiser. “There is significant need for skills upgrading throughout the entire region.”

“The college is truly committed to the region, residents and the community no matter the size that we serve,” he added.



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