The biology lab at North Island College was quiet following a dissection demonstration on pig organs. The session was part of the Port Alberni campus’ open house for Grade 11 students from Port Alberni and Ucluelet. SUSAN QUINN PHOTO

North Island College opens its doors to Alberni, west coast students

More than 200 Grade 11 students check out programs offered at Alberni campus

North Island College’s Port Alberni campus was the scene of an explosion of curiosity on Valentine’s Day. Two hundred and twenty-five Grade 11 students from Port Alberni and Ucluelet were given tours of the programs featured at North Island College.

The open house was one of two at NIC campuses on the North Island. Campbell River students travelled to Courtenay for the second.

The day kicked off with an open house at the ADSS Theatre with Randall Heidt, vice-president of Strategic Initiatives and a panel of five recent ADSS graduates studying right now at North Island College.

Students walked to the college for a welcome and lunch before breaking into groups to attend sessions demonstrating different career paths and programs, such as sciences, nursing, outdoor adventure, office programs, culinary arts, business studies and trades like the popular joinery and automotive programs.

“I think it’s a great time in life for them to start thinking of the next stage,” Heidt said. “Obviously, we’d like it to be NIC, but post-secondary in general.” The open house included representatives from Vancouver Island University in Nanaimo and the University of Victoria, who both had tables set up in the cafeteria.

“They’ve come out of Planning 10, they’re looking at Grade 12 and it’s a great time to be looking at the future. We want to let them know what a great future you can have at NIC,” Heidt said.

“Students are going to get exposed to everything we have here, from trades…as well as university studies and other programs. We’re offering more and more through our Interactive TV or ITV programs, so it’s never been a better time to be an NIC student in Port Alberni.”

The Alberni campus has a solid relationship with Alberni District Secondary School just down the street, and Heidt said that is helping NIC to grow. “The more students we have, the more programs we can put on.”

Having the NDP government remove the cost the Liberals enforced for the Adult Basic Education classees has been a boon …

“The ABE is free now. That’s very good for students that need to do upgrading. It helps more and more people get qualified and prepared to go into other programs.”

While not on the Port Alberni campus, NIC is looking at a $17.6 million expansion in Campbell River, and they finished the film and TV crew training program—for which they received government funding for the pilot. There were 137 people who took that program, so the college is sourcing more steady funding so they can offer it again.

To learn more about North Island College programs, call Student Recruitment Officer Danielle Hoagland at 1-800-715-0914.

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