North Island College continues to expand on options for Comox Valley students, and Wednesday it celebrated the success of an important one.
The college built a strong partnership with the University of Victoria over the past few years, creating Dual and Guaranteed Admission programs for local students to transfer to UVic with ease.
“These transfer pathways that we have developed here at North Island College, they’re extremely important to our students, to our communities, and to the parents of our students, to the college,” NIC president and CEO Dr. Jan Lindsay said to a room full of students and school officials at the Comox Valley campus. “These are things that are really building an infrastructure here in the North Island region.”
The Dual Admission program enables secondary students to apply to NIC and UVic at the same time, but take up to two years of their university courses at NIC. This program started in 2011, and allows students to stay home, save money, and adjust to post-secondary schooling before heading to the university.
The Guaranteed Admission program started this past September, and it guarantees NIC students admission to UVic as long as they obtain a C grade or higher in their courses in the program. It also allows secondary students who don’t have high enough grades to be accepted at UVic a second chance to get into the competitive university.
Lindsay pointed out the partnerships were developed with UVic after NIC heard from students and parents that UVic is their university of choice.
UVic President and Vice Chancellor Dr. David Turpin added the school is sought after by students from all over the world, and noted over 70 per cent of UVic students come from outside of the Greater Victoria area.
“In fact, of all the Canadian universities, there’s no university west of Quebec that has a higher percentage of out-of-province students than the University of Victoria,” he continued. “We’re an institution that people deliberately choose to come and get their education at and so we’re very, very happy to build on our longstanding relationship with North Island College and formalize it…”
Lisa Domae, NIC vice-president of student and educational services and planning, added staying home and attending NIC can save up to $10,000 on tuition and living expenses per year, and university transfer students are well prepared for heavy university workloads.
Comox Valley NIC student Nicole Fulton is taking general studies courses this year and plans to head to UVic in September. She noted her friends who live in residence at UVic found the course load heavier than she has at NIC, and she added she’s certainly saved money by staying at home for another year.
“I’m not paying for my own food or expenses, and I’m able to have my own job and work and save up money for next year,” said the 2012 Highland Secondary grad. The program’s are “really great because it gives you that chance to stay at home but still start your college studies, and it gives you sort of a stepping stone between the two (schools) so you’re not completely overwhelmed by the new university life and moving far away.”
According to Susan Auchterlonie, NIC’s director of college and community relations, over 100 students have taken advantage of the two programs so far, and the third cohort — which will start this September — is looking strong in terms of applications.
NIC also has partnerships with other universities such as Royal Roads University and Vancouver Island University.
Lindsay will retire from NIC this spring, and during what will be her four years at the college, she has had a strong focus on developing these partnerships with universities.
“I feel very proud of what the college is doing,” Lindsay said after her speech. “I think it’s an absolutely fantastic college and has tremendous potential, so the fact that we’ve been able to establish this quite quickly and it allows me to see the results of that is very thrilling for me.”
For more information on the programs, visit www.nic.bc.ca/programs/university_partnerships.