Low cost education at risk

Colleges such as Northwest Community College in northwestern B.C. need a boost

  • Oct. 13, 2015 2:00 p.m.

COMMUNITY COLLEGES such as Northwest Community College are at risk of not being able to do what they can do best, which is to provide lower cost post-secondary courses leading to degrees, says the president of a provincial association of college instructors.

George Davison of the Federation of Post-Secondary Educators of BC said the model of students from smaller B.C. towns being able to stay at home and take the first two years of courses and then transfer to degree-granting institutions is threatened by budget cuts.

“To put barriers in at the ground level doesn’t appear to make much sense,” he said. “It’s a system that worked and we need to look at that model.”

And unlike universities where the emphasis of professors is on research, community college instructors spend most of their time in classrooms, Davison added.

“Class sizes are smaller and there’s a better connection between instructors and students. The beauty of it is that students get a very good education and obtain higher grade point averages,” he said. “But what we’re seeing now is less access,” Davison added.

He was also critical of a provincial government shift in how it finances adult basic education programs, considered the first step toward post-secondary courses and trades programs, at community colleges. This year the province replaced a system in which colleges received money directly for adult basic education so that there was no tuition to one where students need to apply for grants themselves to cover newly-introduced tuition fees.

“But when students see costs, they’re going to say they can’t afford it so they they’re not going,” said Davison.

The Federation of Post-Secondary Educators of BC speaks for 22 faculty associations or unions at mostly college-level institutions across the province. Northwest Community College instructors and others are represented by the Academic Workers’ Union which is also a local of the Canadian Union of Public Employees.

 

 

 

 

 

Just Posted

College buys a yurt to boost student success

Round tent-like structure part of college instructional shift

Soup kitchen sees “groundswell of community support”

Donations toward looming tax bill push non-profit back in the black

Terrace husband and wife honoured for saving each other’s lives

BC Ambulance presented each a Vital Link Award for separate incidents of CPR

Council supports lobby for fair share of cannabis tax revenue

The City of Terrace is throwing its support behind a West Kelowna… Continue reading

Airport registers modest passenger increase

Manager anticipates further growth in 2018 as expansion project nears completion

REPLAY: B.C. this week in video

In case you missed it, here’s a look at replay-worthy highlights from across the province this week

Complaint against Prince George RCMP in death of Wet’suwet’en man

Thirty-five year old Dale Culver died while in Prince George RCMP custody last summer.

Philadelphia Eagles headed to Super Bowl

After routing the Minnesota Vikings 38-7, they will face Tom Brady and the New England Patriots

Heavy snowfall closes Mount Washington on Vancouver Island

Road to ski resort deemed unsafe, vehicles buried under more than three feet of snow

VIDEO: Dramatic video shows return of rescued B.C. snowboarders

Two snowboarders were rescued near Rossland, B.C. on Sunday after being lost overnight.

Tom Brady leads Patriots back to Super Bowl, top Jaguars 24-20

New England to face winner of Sunday night’s game between Minnesota and Philadelphia on Feb. 4

Liberals quietly tap experts to write new paternity leave rules

Ideas include creating an entirely new leave benefit similar to one that exists in Quebec

Insurers say Canadian weather getting hotter, wetter and weirder

Average number of days with heavy rain or snow across Canada has been outside norm since spring 2013

Final phase of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy trials to kick off in B.C.

Doctors hope to get psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy legalized in Canada and the U.S. by 2021

Most Read