The real enrolment at CNC’s Lakes District campus


There has been significant reporting in the community about enrolment numbers in Burns Lake, most recently in a letter to the editor titled ‘What’s the real enrolment at CNC in Burns Lake?’ The College of New Caledonia’s (CNC) goal is to report accurate data as per our strategic plan, to be accountable and transparent with the numbers we collect and share to both government and the general public.

First, CNC has been, and will continue to, release student headcount to the general public on a regular basis and full-time equivalents (FTEs) to the B.C. Ministry of Advanced Education, Skills and Training through official reporting twice a year (November and May) – similar to every post-secondary institution in the province. This information is received by the government and then reviewed and vetted before being posted publicly on their website months later.

CNC has not “taken steps to hide this information.” In fact, this past September, we put out an official media release citing the September 2017 enrolment headcount numbers for the Burns Lake campus, which have increased to 150 students from 81 the previous September 2016. This is significant, and we are optimistic that we will continue to see these numbers rise as we continue to invest in the campus and its educational programming.

We have also been clear that FTE numbers can be misleading, as they don’t accurately account for the number of students on campus. For example, one full-time trades student may be counted as a 1.0 FTE, while a full-time business student may be considered a 0.60 FTE. To demonstrate further, CNC’s actual student population across all six campuses based on the fiscal year of April 2016 to March 2017 is approximately 8151 total students including continuing education courses. Our FTE count for this same number is about 3443 students—a number that could negatively skew public perception if FTEs were the only number communicated.

By only referring to FTEs, the public may have an inaccurate summary of our enrolment at Lakes District campus when, in fact, the actual student headcount enrolment numbers for this September at our Burns Lake campus have almost doubled from the previous year.

We have canvassed other media outlets in the north-central region who have provided feedback that FTE numbers are misleading and confusing to their public and they would prefer we release headcount only. That brought us to the decision to release headcount numbers quarterly, so that the comparisons could be made at the same time, year over year, resulting in a transparent, consistent release of data.

Employee numbers are also optimistic: throughout the past three years, staffing at Burns Lake has either stayed stable or increased from 22 to 40. Again, official numbers are submitted to the ministry for verification and approval in November and May. They are the true representation of what is happening at the Burns Lake campus.

CNC has a dedicated history in the region delivering quality education for almost 50 years. We continue to find innovative ways to deliver relevant programming within our four rural community campuses, despite declining populations and a changing educational landscape.

Of our six campuses, we dedicate the third largest budget allocation to our Lakes District campus. This past year alone, we have opened a new Aboriginal Resource Centre, refurbished a student study lounge and invested in the exterior of the building with new windows and siding. We believe in our employees and our students and we’re looking for more opportunities in the community.

On Wednesday, Nov. 22, CNC invites the community to our digital delivery instruction open house on campus at 4 p.m. Later that evening, we’ll present to village council and discuss some of the challenges and opportunities the college faces as we share our vision for the future of education in the Lakes District. We look forward to the discussion and collaboration.


Alyson Gourley-Cramer

Executive director of communications for the College of New Caledonia

Just Posted

Pro cyclist’s Burns Lake trail ride goes online

Nate Hills, a professional mountain biker and online influencer posted a video… Continue reading

Northern B.C.’s Ridley coal terminal sold, Canada divests, First Nations to own portion

Ten per cent of shares transferred to the Lax Kw’alaams Band and the Metlakatla First Nation

Skeena mainstem closed to recreational sockeye

Escapements expected to be below 800,000 threshold

B.C. to begin increasing coastal log export charges

New fees based on harvest cost, cedar no longer exempt

Giant mushroom haul

Cheyenne Murray holds a 23-pound puffball mushroom she picked on June 27.… Continue reading

‘Bad choices make good stories’: Margaret Trudeau brings her show to Just for Laughs

Trudeau says over the decades she has been suicidal, manic, depressed

Young man seen with gun at Nanaimo mall, suspect now in custody

People were evacuated from Woodgrove Centre

B.C. man dies from rabies after contact with Vancouver Island bat

Last known case of human rabies in B.C. was 16 years ago

Crown recommends up to two-year jail term for former Bountiful leader

Crown says sentence range should be 18 months to two years for Bountiful child removal case

B.C.-wide police efforts identify Vancouver Island robbery suspect

Warrant issued for arrest of North Vancouver man for TD Bank robbery

VIDEO: Wolf spotted swimming ashore on northern Vancouver Island

Island wolf population estimated at under 150 in 2008, says VI-Wilds

Diversity a Canadian strength, Trudeau says of Trump tweets at congresswomen

Trudeau avoided using Trump’s name when he was asked about the president’s Twitter comments

B.C. couple bring son home from Nigeria after long adoption delay

Kim and Clark Moran of Abbotsford spent almost a year waiting to finalize adoption of Ayo, 3

Garneau ‘disappointed’ in airlines’ move against new passenger bill of rights

New rules codified compensation for lost luggage, overbooked flights

Most Read