The University of Northern British Columbia (UNBC) is one step closer to issuing university credits to qualifying School District 91 (Nechako Lakes) high-school students.
School District 91 and UNBC have recently signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to strengthen relations between the two organizations.
The MOU initiates the next steps in finalizing a dual credit agreement for students who participate in projects which span their high school and university studies.
The MOU also outlines the organizations’ interest in continuing to foster mutually beneficial activities, including workshops, scholarships, awards, broader access to collective grant funding for joint initiatives, as well as developing new learning opportunities and programming.
“The MOU is really just a recognition of a partnership that has been going on for quite a while,” said Dr. Dan Ryan, UNBC’s academic provost and vice-president. “This is a celebration of what we’ve been doing and it just strengthens those ties.”
A small group gathered in School District 91’s board office in Vanderhoof on Nov. 30 to witness Dr. Ryan and Eugene Marks, school district superintendent, sign the MOU.
“This is truly a partnership that we are very proud of, that we promote very highly,” said Marks. “I think it speaks highly of the nature of our two organizations.”
“We conduct some formal work where we make sure everything meets protocol, but the people on the ground are very nimble and flexible in looking for opportunities for students,” he continued.
“Wherever we go, we talk about our relationship with UNBC and the kind of things that we are exploring together,” he added. “We appreciate that the university has a broad vision for what is good for students, and has reached into our region for some outstanding opportunities for students.”
According to Marks, School District 91 wants their students to have post-secondary opportunities and vision from a very young age.
“As they have an opportunity to interact with the professors, graduate students and undergraduate students, it starts to open the world for them,” he explained. “One of the things that UNBC is known for is the number of hands-on opportunities that students are able to have, and that’s what we really want for our students.”
“For some of the more technical things that we can’t provide, the university has world-class expertise, so getting our students connected I think is exciting for all School District 91 students,” he added.