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Meet the president PG 1

forestry careers start at nic PG 7

Lessons from Bella Coola PG 11

Meet John Bowman, North Island College’s new President.

Discover how NIC partnerships are creating jobs in Port Alberni.

Learn why Kyoquot residents forfeited their internet access to help students.

2013 report to our Communities

Discover how North Island College is removing the barriers to education on the North Island.

n o rt h

working for student success


north island college 2011-2015 strategic plan: year three

l Vi an br an d c tc o om ll Re m eg sp I ec mp Gat uni e v ew ty is tfu ro io l s vin ay of l n te g e t o a : w c ar om ed rne u d of mu cat rs io ou ni n, r n ty at we wo r ll ur al -be k & lif se i e tti ng ng

Education matters

in your Community

top stories College wide


Changing faces of education Our student population has become stronger and more diverse. Find out how.

Campbell river


Research and opportunity Learn how NIC is finding new solutions for North Island aquaculture industries.

comox valley


Carving new paths Find out how we’re working to smooth the path to medical school for North Island students.

Port Alberni


Mount waddington 9 IN Community



hree years ago, North Island College began its Strategic Planning process by asking our communities one question: How can we serve you better? The college heard a need for better access to prepare students for degree pathways and career opportunities in the real world.

As the new President of North Island College, I know that delivering this result has required us to be more innovative and responsive. I am committed to continue developing partnerships with universities, industry, First Nations communities, volunteer groups, and health agencies to create the strongest possible solutions for each of our communities. North Island College has a reputation for being student-focused, communityoriented, and progressive. It is recognized as a provincial and national leader for developing partnerships with other organizations and for listening to our communities and responding to their needs. Our responsiveness is being noticed. You’ll see it in the words of high school counsellors such as Barbara Clement on page 2, Kevin Somerville of Western Forest Products on page 7, First Nations education leaders like Lawrence Northeast on page 11. We invite you to read a few of their stories. This Community Report demonstrates NIC’s strategic directions and key values in action. It shows that responsive education, student success, active community partnerships, and raising awareness are not just words but real commitments that prove our dedication to education. As North Island College continues to grow and evolve to meet the needs of each of our communities, I look forward to many new opportunities and achievements in the years to come.

John Bowman North Island College President

Front cover photo 1

Geography instructor Lauren Walker and students collect soil samples to analyze in NIC’s geography lab.

The new faces of education

College wide

New pathways, Big opportunities

Serving all our communities with strong, relevant curriculum

Strategic direction:

Responsive Education North Island College has worked hard to develop strong programs, pathways and courses as diverse as the communities we serve. By working with institutions, industry, agencies and business, we are delivering more programs that meet local demand. Veronical Plihal, Roderick Gravoueille, and Anthony Dean Boucher entered North Island College with 92 per cent averages or higher this year.


n the past three years the faces of students have changed across North Island College’s campuses.

Not anymore. In the last three years, NIC has become the post secondary institution of choice for high school graduates.

More students are attending college with top grades from a wider variety of countries and communities. They’re looking for a broad range of degree options and the security of knowing they can get the courses and training they need in their own communities.

“It’s been building slowly,” said Barbara Clement, a counsellor at Mark R. Isfeld Secondary in Courtenay for the past 10 years. “This year, in particular, you’ve got a lot of high achieving students who respect the quality of education at NIC and recognize the college will make their transition to university easier.”

Their stories demonstrate growing confidence in NIC’s degree pathways, supportive learning community, and curriculum developed with students in mind.

In 2010, NIC signed a dual admission agreement with UVic, which secures course transfers, smooths the admission process and allows students to access entrance awards at both institutions. To date, 200 students have signed up and received $90,000 in UVic entrance awards. “They know they can transition from secondary school to university in a small learning environment focused on teaching and they’ll be able to save tens of thousands of dollars doing it without having to sacrifice anything,” said Lisa Domae, who engineered the agreement in her role as NIC’s Vice President, Student and Educational Services and Planning.

Going global A.J. Chodankar left Mumbai for Campbell River to become a professional chef.

Choosing NIC first

start a degree

Ten years ago, going to university meant saying goodbye. High school students with the grades and means to attend university graduated and left, faster than you could say Orientation Day. Many who attended college chose NIC for financial and family commitments, or because their grades held them back.

In 2012/2013, North Island College was home to 150 international students, up from 23 students just six years ago. Students came from India, China, Nigeria and 25 other countries to learn a trade, earn a credential, or improve their English. Students like A.J. Chodankar are leaving their families and travelling around the world to learn professional chef skills, become accountants, and more. A rising interest in business programs has sparked a new post

The mother-daughter team of Trudy and Elise Andy learn early childhood education in Bella Coola.

degree diploma in Global Business Management and advanced credentials in Global Tourism and Hospitality Management. “We talk about business on a global perspective, now students actually get to live it,” said Bill Parkinson, who chairs NIC’s School of Business.

Learning where you live When NIC renewed its commitment to expanded community programs in 2009, it was based on a new model that brought instructors and programs to band halls, offices, and learning centres in Tsaxana, Bella Coola, Ahousaht, and more. Programs are delivered by a combination of in-person, online, and interactive TV to match student need. “Communities are now approaching us,” said Jan Carrie, NIC’s Vice President, Education. “Through the regional delivery model we’re seeing amazing results.” Since 2006/07, the number of students learning in-community has grown four-fold, with 443 students enrolled last year, up from 104 students six years ago. Programs combine upgrading with trades, university studies, early childhood education, or health to meet the needs of each community. Find out more visit

Have you always wanted to go to university? Start your degree at NIC. Call 1-800-715-0914.


campbell river

Real education for real jobs Where research, industry, and government meet Working together to create local and innovative solutions for local economies

Strategic direction:

Active Community Partnerships As many Island economies shift from traditional resource-based to knowledge or mixed economies, so are the education needs throughout the region. North Island College is investing in Campbell River and working closely with industry, agencies, and businesses to create innovative solutions for local families and employers.

NIC’s new Industrial Research Chair for Colleges in Sustainable Aquaculture, Dr. Stephen Cross.


hen North Island College created its Centre for Applied Research, Technology, and Innovation (CARTI), it didn’t anticipate receiving $1.2 million in federal research dollars in its first years. But it didn’t rule it out either.

The college wanted a place where industry, academic research, and government could come together to help local communities. “There are a lot of companies on Vancouver Island who don’t have their own research and development staff, but have an idea and they need support to find a solution,” said Naomi Tabata, the centre manager.

“It’s amazing for students to conduct high quality research at college.” Dr. Aisling Brady North Island College instructor

“CARTI creates a place where industry can bring their research ideas. We apply for funds and locate expertise to help them find solutions. The formula applies to a huge variety of industries not just aquaculture.” Already the centre is working with NIC’s Remote Web-based Science Lab, an online facility which allows students and researchers to operate scientific equipment remotely. It’s also active in finding ways to support local government and renewable energy industries.

Explore Sciences

Within two years of CARTI’s creation, NIC became a Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) approved institution, met the eligibility requirements for the Social Science and Humanities Research Council, and secured a $1 million grant to study the commercial feasibility of multi-

Dr. Aisling Brady studies the impact of fish farms on the ocean floor.

trophic aquaculture on the North Island. Local aquaculture contributes an additional $1 million in kind. With it comes Dr. Stephen Cross, NIC’s NSERC Industrial Research Chair for Colleges in Sustainable Aquaculture, who specializes in the design, testing, and engineering of aquaculture systems that grow fish, shellfish, and seaweed in layers. “We’re bringing one of the world’s most recognized specialists to Campbell River to test what is possible and practical on a commercial level,” said Tabata. “Stephen has invested 20 plus years in the field, conducting research at UVic, consulting with the private sector, creating aquaculture training and policy internationally, including for the United Nations. Not many people in the world have as much experience as Stephen.” Cross spends one day a week commuting to UVic during the school year, with the rest of his time spent conducting research in Campbell River, where many aquaculture firms are based.

In addition, NIC instructor Dr. Aisling Brady received a separate two-year $200,000 NSERCfunded Innovation Enhancement grant. She spent last summer with science student Levana Mestrangelo sending a remotely operated vehicle with a robotic arm to the hard seabed floor to collect bacteria and worms to better understand aquaculture’s environmental impacts. “It’s amazing for students to conduct high quality research at college,” said Brady. “People don’t realize you can do that here.” Once the samples are collected, Brady will analyze and sequence the worm’s DNA, comparing it to known species using NIC’s Remote Web-based Science Lab. It also allows her to show how science contributes to local knowledge. “I’m always discussing my work in class so students see how research actually works.” Find out more visit

Discover applied sciences and study your world. Browse your options at


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State-of-the-art technology Trades students are learning on state-of-theart industry technology thanks to a grant from the BC government. In January, NIC received $662,000 to purchase bulldozers and excavators with electro/hydraulic interfacing, hybrid vehicle technology, CNC plasma and router tables, and air brake training boards for the Heavy Duty and Commercial Transport, Metal Fabrication and Automotive programs. Four industrial robots were also added to Industrial Automation Technician and Electronics Core classrooms, allowing students to replicate industrial processes. Students enter their trade confident they have the skills employers need. For program information visit

The next generation of tradespeople Campbell River saw the best and brightest in the trades at the Skills Canada Regional Competition in March. The event brought together North Island high school students in an all-out skills competition. The same day, NIC’s first annual Try a Trade offered hands-on demonstrations and workshop tours to encourage students to consider trades and technology careers.

Role modelling success For Maxine Matilpi and Daryle Mills, being an Elder isn’t about age. It’s about experience, commitment, and the willingness to be a role model. That’s why both were honoured to join NIC’s newly expanded Elders in Residence program at the Campbell River campus in March. “Everyone has their gifts. Being an Elder is about how you share,” says Mills. “I see myself as a resource. Not a counsellor but a listener,” agrees Matilpi. Elders support Aboriginal students and act as liaisons with First Nations communities. They’re also available to staff and students interested in Aboriginal culture or in need of guidance. For more information visit


c o m o x va l l e y

vibrant learning community NIC student enters medical school directly from college Strategic direction:

Building on our students’ accomplishments, one partnership at a time

Student Success In today’s rapidly changing world, students need the latest skills and knowledge to excel in their field. With excellent facilities, curriculum, and educational pathways at North Island College, Comox Valley students are prepared for success. As educators, our hope is to also give students something more; to empower and encourage them to reach their potential, to make a difference in this world, and to leave the college truly inspired. Melissa Dekker and her son Cole in NIC’s science lab. Dekker starts UBC’s Island Medical Program this year.


elissa Dekker is used to forging her own path.

As a former national cross country mountain cyclist and single parent starting a nursing degree, Dekker has proven she’s more than capable of pursuing her dreams. This fall, she’s doing it again. The former North Island College student starts at the UBC School of Medicine in September, where she will be NIC’s first student to go directly from NIC into the Island Medical Program.

“As a college, we’re making it easier for students to achieve their goals.” Christine Hodgson NIC Math & Sciences Department Chair

“I’m unbelievably excited,” she said. Dekker is part of a growing group of students interested in professional science careers. In the past three years, NIC developed strong dual and guaranteed admission partnerships with UVic, VIU, the

University of Manitoba, and Royal Roads to ease college students’ transition to university. This year, NIC created a new dual admission partnership with the University of Northern BC (UNBC) in Prince George, specifically with science students in mind. “This agreement follows a number of students who have already made the transition from NIC to UNBC,” said Christine Hodgson, who chairs NIC’s math and sciences department. “As a college, we’re making it easier for students to achieve their goals.” In 2012, Christine Law was accepted into the Northern Medical Program after one year of classes at NIC and two years at UNBC, laying the groundwork for Camila Sanchez, Sylva Wiedeman, and others now at UNBC. The partnership provides better access into the Bachelor of Science degree. Students choose from majors in biochemistry and molecular biology, chemistry, environmental science, mathematics, or physics on their

way to careers in pharmacy, physiotherapy, and medicine. As for Melissa, she refocused her studies after her third year in NIC’s Bachelor of Science in Nursing program to complete UBC’s medical entry requirements. She met all the requirements at NIC, except one, which she took via distance from another university. She did this while caring for her family and nursing her best friend and sister-in-law through the end stages of cancer. Now, she’s ready for her next challenge. “I know that it’s going to be a lot of hard work but everything I do brings me one step closer to my ultimate dream.” To find out more about professional science options and degree opportunities at NIC, visit universitypartnerhips.

Paving the way for military students

Start Your Degree

Military members and their families wanting to complete a degree face big challenges. Regular cross country postings make it difficult to earn academic credit for completed courses. This March, NIC brought student advisors and senior leadership from colleges together with Canadian Forces representatives to find better ways to support military students in their communities.

Have you always wanted to go to university? Browse your degree options at


c o m o x va l l e y

High School Open House

Gourmet picnic supports Professional Cook students Is there a better way to bring a community together for Professional Cook program students than inviting 60 local chefs, farmers, and vintners to a giant food festival? Probably not. In 2012, the North Island College Foundation and the North Vancouver Island Chef’s Association collaborated to offer Flavour: The North Island Gourmet Picnic. The event raised $10,000, and created scholarships for top students in each level of NIC’s culinary programs in Campbell River and Port Alberni. Just weeks into their program, students developed connections with the North Island’s top chefs and industry suppliers.

Aijia Dycke was one of 1,000 students from Gold River to Parksville who explored college at NIC’s annual High School Open House.

Bringing the world to NIC In 2012, NIC created a new post degree diploma in Global Business Management, with one key element. As part of their studies, Canadian and international students participate in four-month internships. “My internship allows me to relate class work to actual business challenges,” said student Gamdoor Brar. “Plus, I gain real experience in a professional network, which is invaluable in today’s job market.”

Nursing program receives top honours NIC always knew it was possible to deliver quality nursing education at a small, rural college, and now the College of Registered Nurses of British Columbia has confirmed it.

Disha Salhan, Grant Purdy, and Gamdoor brar Take part in north island college’s Many co-op and INternship opportunities.

In May, NIC’s nursing program received a seven-year accreditation from the CRNBC board, the longest term awarded. The decision expresses the board’s full confidence in the quality of NIC’s nursing curriculum, training facilities, and graduates. Current students were noted for their excellence in learning, leadership, and skill development.

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port alberni

Building Bright futures Forestry careers start here Creating student-focussed partnerships in Port Alberni

Strategic direction:

Strategic Partnerships North Island College is well known as a place for learning and developing careers. But there’s more. As a community resource, we are also focused on celebrating culture, pursuing research, developing custom training projects, and expanding pathways in Port Alberni. By sharing ideas and working with community partners, from students and staff to local industry and business, we are expanding learning opportunities and enriching community life.

Tseshaht Nation students tour Western Forest Products site this summer.


hat do Tseshaht students and Catalyst Paper have in common?

Both partners came together this spring for the long-term success of their communities.

“This is truly a partnership of equals that has come together to improve the quality of life of our members through education.” Nene Kraneveldt Bridges for Success Coordinator

In the spring of 2013, Tom Weegar, North Island College’s Regional Director for Port Alberni and the Alberni-Clayoquot Region, and Nene Kraneveldt, a consultant with the Tseshaht Nation, saw a headline in the local papers. The story, “Lots of jobs at Catalyst Paper in Port Alberni due to retirements” spoke of the challenges Port Alberni’s major employer was having recruiting young skilled workers.

Weegar and Kraneveldt thought of employable Tseshaht students, who wanted to stay in the community but didn’t have access to well-paid jobs.

“It’s grassroots training, but it has a very strong foundation in safety,” said Kevin Somerville, Western Forest Products forest operations manager.

“We looked at the major industries and realized that traditionally, they didn’t employ a lot of First Nations,” said Weegar. “At the same time the Tseshaht community had a large number of adults on income assistance. We thought we could help.”

Thirty students have already completed safety certificates, toured work sites and led a networking event with future employers.

Together, they worked with Catalyst and Western Forest Products to determine employment qualifications, while applying to the Canada/ British Columbia Labour Market Agreement, the Ministry of Advanced Education, and Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada for training funds. The result combines upgrading, industrial first aid, specialized skills, and a six-week introduction to the pulp and paper industry.

Under the terms of the partnership, the Tseshaht First Nation coordinates the program, while NIC provides instructors, curriculum, and educational support. Classes are held at a former residential school, now a place of strength and survival in the community. The first of two groups of students in the program are expected to graduate in October. “The program is already helping people decide how they want to take their next step,” said Weegar. Find out more:

Supporting students with unique needs When North Island College and the Literacy Alberni Society created a specialized training program for students with fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD), it never intended to be one of BC’s first. It wanted to improve the lives of adults with little access to eduction, skills training, and support. The Employment Transition / Construction Labourer program combined life skills, employment readiness, and goal setting with hands-on practical, construction skills.

Explore trades

“We saw huge changes in our students’ lives,” said Port Alberni campus Regional Director Tom Weegar. “We see it and we hear it from aunts, uncles and siblings. They are so much more confident and aware of their capabilities.” In all, 12 students took classes throughout the program, six graduated and two are employed at local hardware and construction companies. Find out more about NIC’s services for students with disabilities

Interested in a hands-on career? Develop your skills in technology and trades:


po e irvnei r ca mrptb ealllb r

Bringing award-winning authors to Port Alberni Celebrated First Nations authors Eden Robinson and Wanda John-Kehewin drew crowds in communities from Port Alberni to Port Hardy this year, as part of NIC’s Write Here Readers’ Series. The series is organized by NIC’s English department in partnership with the Canada Council for the Arts, to celebrate the region’s rich storytelling history. In Port Alberni, Robinson was greeted by more than 60 members of the general public and First Nations community.

Health care training created for Aboriginal communities In 2013, North Island College and The Port Alberni Friendship Center discovered new ways to address a local health care staffing shortage. Working with $250,725 from BC’s Aboriginal Community-Based Development Partnership Program, the college and Friendship Center worked together to develop an Aboriginal Health Care Assistant program.

Eden Robinson, middle, with NIC instructors and staff in the Tseshaht Great Room.

NIC instructors teach all classes, except labs, in the community where students access traditional supports. The program started in April with 10 students who bring culturally relevant care to their elders. Find out more about health care programs at NIC visit

Learning Through the Eyes of our Children Early childhood education instructors Alanna Miller and Theresa Gereluk have been talking about how children think for years. This year, they took to the road to share their thoughts, sparking teaching projects across the North Island that document how children’s ideas inform preschool teaching.

Port Alberni STudents tour the Roger Street campus At events such as orientation day and the high school open house.


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Putting new skills to work

Health care in her future Responding to labour demand in Port Hardy

Strategic direction:

Responsive Curriculum Education opens new doors in life. This is especially true in the North Island, where residents are developing skills to become the communities’ next nurses, health care assistants, and childcare providers. By delivering programs that meet local demand, North Island College is supporting the economic and community well-being of the Mount Waddington region.

Chelsey Beckman is trained and ready to support her community as a health care assistant.


helsey Beckman didn’t grow up dreaming of a health care career. It wasn’t until access to it became important to her family that health care became her passion. Chelsey and her husband moved from Langley to Port Hardy seven years ago, when her parents purchased a fishing lodge and the young couple moved north to help out.

“None of us would have been able to take the program if it were in Campbell River or further away.” Chelsey Beckman Health care assistant program graduate

The pair fell in love with their new community and started a family. Beckman gave birth to a daughter, and a few years later, a son who experienced a stroke in the womb, and was left with left-side mobility issues. “We came up against all the challenges of accessing health care in a rural community,” Beckman said. “I was spending a

lot of time in the hospital with my son and started to see a role for myself there.” She started upgrading at North Island College’s Mount Waddington Regional campus, with her eye on practical nursing. “Then I saw the brochure for the Health Care Assistant program,” Beckman said. “I didn’t know anything about it, but I thought I’d see if I liked it.” She loved it. “This program has given me so much,” Beckman said. “There’s a self-confidence that comes from getting my certification and the knowledge that I can work at the hospital.” The program answers a skills gap on the North Island, left behind by health care staff who upgraded their skills or have transferred to other communities. “NIC understands the need for regional health care on the North Island,” said Jocelyne Van Neste-Kenny, NIC’s Dean of Health and Human Services. “We’re committed to working with the Vancouver Island Health

Authority, who identified a labour demand and secured clinical placements at Port Hardy’s Eagle Ridge Manor and Home and Community Care Services.” For Beckman, the ability to learn and contribute to her community can’t be understated. “Nine women started the program, seven will graduate, and four are Aboriginal, including me,” she said. “None of us would have been able to take the program if it were in Campbell River or further away. I have two children, it’s not possible to relocate for school.” Beckman and her classmates are now lobbying for the return of a Practical Nursing Access program, which is dependent on provincial approval and funding. She’s taking biology and chemistry upgrading this year to ensure she’s ready if it is approved. “If the Practical Nursing Access program comes back, we’re all going to take it,” she said. For more information, visit

More university options

discover health

In 2012, North Island College expanded its capacity for university-level classes in Mount Waddington, bringing two new high definition interactive televisions to Port Hardy. Students can now connect with students from across the region, participate in class discussions, and gain access to a wider variety of degree pathways without leaving their home communities.

Looking for a secure job caring for people? Discover a career in health care:


m o u n t wa d d i n g to n

More than a fisherwoman Joye Walkus never expected to become a teacher. She spent most of her life working with her father in the fishing industry, earning her first pay cheque at the age of eight. When an injury forced her to take time off 30 years later, she started thinking about upgrading as a first step to exploring new career options. “Walking through that door at the Port Hardy campus, I was fearful and fearless at the same time.” Those courses led to Kwak’wala language classes and registration in UVic’s Bachelor of Education in Indigenous Language Revitalization program in Port Hardy. After she completes her degree, she’s considering all her options, including a master’s degree in speech pathology or audiology.

“Walking through those doors at the Port Hardy campus I was fearful and fearless at the same time.” Joye Walkus Port Hardy Bachelor of education student Joye Walkus in front of her fishing boat, Devotion.

Connecting communities with English language education A new English language program is having a big impact in the Mount Waddington region. The English as a Second Language Settlement Assistance Program (ESLSAP) is a provincially funded language service for adult immigrants and refugees. In its first year in Port Hardy, Port Alice, and Port McNeill, the program paired learners with trained volunteers, helping newcomers break through language barriers, find employment, receive better medical care, and become more involved in their communities. “A lack of language skills is a tremendous isolator for newcomers,” said Colleen Hanley, NIC’s Associate Director of International Education. “This is an excellent start to meeting language needs in smaller communities.”

Meet NIC’s new Associate Regional Director Have a question or suggestion about education opportunities for the North Island? Gregory Batt, North Island College’s Associate Regional Director is waiting to hear from you. Batt joined NIC staff in Port Hardy in August 2013, arriving from Wenzhou, China where he was the principal of the Canadian Secondary School and, previously, of the Grand Canadian Academy in Nanjing, China. He has also led education and training programs in Port Alberni, Prince Rupert, and more. “I am really looking forward to engaging with the North Island community and I invite you to drop in, call, or email me with any comments, suggestions, or ideas for NIC,” Batt said. “In the meantime, check out the course offerings, programs and opportunities at NIC and give us a call.” NIC President John Bowman and Gregory Batt, NIC’s Associate REgional Director in Mount Waddington.

Find out more:


in community

Learning where you live Lessons from Bella Coola Honouring the value of Early Childhood Education in local communities

Strategic direction:

Raising Awareness No other college in British Columbia serves a region as vast and diverse as North Island College. And for many remote areas, the time and cost of travel present genuine barriers to education. That’s why we’re working with our communities to make education accessible where it wouldn’t otherwise exist. NIC instructor Laurie Fisher with her students in Bella Coola.


aurie Fisher will always remember her students’ faces the second time she returned to Bella Coola.

The North Island College instructor was flying into the remote community half way up the BC coast to teach a dozen students the skills needed to work as early childhood care assistants. When she returned, students were surprised to see her but the more she returned, the more trusting they became.

“Community colleges don’t let the remoteness of community be a barrier to education.” Laurie Fisher Faculty Co-chair, NIC Early Childhood Care & Education programs

“Students felt believed in because I came back. Week after week, NIC came back,” said Fisher. The classes, operated on a two-week-in, two-week-out schedule, and were one of five Introduction to Early Childhood Care & Education programs that offer a new way of learning.

Work with children

classes: Child Guidance (ECC114) and Health Safety and Nutrition in Childcare Settings (ECC-163), both of which allow students to work as assistants in licensed child care facilities. The two courses were also offered to high school students in Campbell River and Tofino, where Ahousaht students commuted to a class on the wharf via water taxi. In Zeballos and Kyoquot the students learned by interactive TV, and the entire community forfeited their internet access once a week to allow students to communicate with instructors in Port Alberni. “There was only exactly enough bandwidth to support the class,” said Fisher. “Everyone had to disconnect while students were learning.” In Bella Coola, Fisher felt responsible to her students and their dedication to learning, finding non-traditional ways to support them, despite their challenges. When classes conflicted with Food Bank line-ups her students negotiated for dedicated pick up times, allowing them to attend class uninterrupted.

Instead of students travelling to college campuses, NIC When local day care workers instructors delivered programs in failed to show initial support communities at the request of its for the program, Fisher partners, collaborating to improve had to find out why. the employment skills of residents. “I realized in that economy, with Gradually, Fisher adjusted to 85 to 90 per cent unemployment, snowed-in flights and long my students were seen as winding bus trips from nearby a challenge to jobs.” Anaheim Lake into flood-ravaged Fisher came back to Courtenay Bella Coola where owls haunted eager for Evelyn Voyageur’s her morning walk from her guidance. As one of NIC’s hotel to the classroom portable Elders in Residence, Voyageur at the other end of town. explained the importance of In Bella Coola, Fisher flew in at the request of the Nuxalk Nation for an Introduction to Early Childhood and Education program. She taught two

recognizing elders and their contribution to the community. On her next trip, Fisher took to the day cares, acknowledging and praising staff, and

A view from one of Laurie Fisher’s few sunny flights out of Bella Coola.

strengthening connections between students and workers. “In a community the size of Bella Coola, everybody more or less knows each other,” she said. “All of a sudden their relationships expanded. Already two or three new positions have been created and students are being asked to send in their résumés.” For student Trudy Andy and her mom, Elise, it also meant learning together. “Having the program in Bella Coola meant I could retrain for a career I love in my community,” said Andy. For Lawrence Northeast, the Adult Education Coordinator with Lip’alhayc Learning Centre, having programs in Bella Coola is about capacity building. “Students don’t have to leave their supports to attend classes where their traditional values and culture may not be respected,” he said. “It opens the door to so many possibilities.” To learn more about in community training, call 250-923-9723 or visit us online at

Interested in a rewarding career caring for children? Learn how at


in community

Early childhood education in Tofino

Local skills training In 2012/2013 North Island College delivered Marine Operator, FoodSafe, First Aid and CPR Training to 12 North Island communities, including Alert Bay, Kingcome Inlet, and Gold River. The programs operated in addition to customized First Aid, Traffic Control and Safety Training across the North Island.

Theresa Gereluk describes her students from last year’s Introduction to Early Childhood Education classes with one word: dedicated. Many of the students travelled by water taxi from Opitsaht and Ahousaht to Tofino in often extreme weather conditions, joining students from Esowista and the Tofino area. Classes moved from Darwin’s Café to a movie theatre, and finally an office space overlooking the water at the Tofino wharf to ensure students had the best possible learning environment within walking distance of the docks. “The students were determined to learn,” said Gereluk. “They saw how they could use it to better the lives of children they come in contact with.” Early Childhood Education students in Tofino celebrate the last day of class with instructor Theresa Gereluk.

For more information on NIC’s Early Childhood Education programs, visit:

a mi ds‘um mer



el Night s drea M ENGLISHCOURSES University Lev

To f i no


Explore Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream ’s with North Island College e English 121 class. Longtim ity Vancouver Island Univers brings Lane Steve or profess peare his passion for Shakes to Darwin’s Café on th June 11 .



Join NIC instructor Drew Burke for two first-year English courses in Tofino and Ucluelet this year.

Steve’s talk is entitled Shakespearean Cues: Textual A Aids to Understanding Midsummer Night’s Dream.

Two Courses, Two West Feb. 4 – Apr. 26, 7 – 9 pm


Coast Locations

| NIC Ucluelet Centre | $265 approx + books/su


: Delve into the art of the short discuss the authors and story and novel, as you ideas of the past 100 years focus on writers and their as you learn to research craft. You’ll course. Transfers to UVic, and write critical essays UBC, SFU, and more. in this first-year

pm | Darwin’s Cafe, Tofino | $265 approx + books/su

Tuesday, June 11th

ENGLISH 121: Immerse yourself

no Botanical Gardens Darwin’s Café | Tofi

critique and write about

| 7 pm

ity | Admission is FREE

Open to the commun

on courses and ntres For more information Coast, visit programs on the West




May 2 – June 20, 7 – 10


in the style and themes of a range of gifted poets poetry and drama in this and playwrights. Learn first-year course. Transfers to to UVic, UBC, SFU, and more.

Apply online at www.nic or contact the Ucluelet Centre directly at 250-7262697

For more information on courses and programs on the West Coast, visit

English, West Coast style In 2012, NIC offered two English literature courses at the Ucluelet Centre and in Darwin’s Café in Tofino. Taught by Drew Burke, the co-founder and editor of The Roundabout magazine and the Tofino Collective, the classes culminated in a public lecture on Shakespeare’s Midsummer Night’s Dream. Find out more about courses on the West Coast, visit

Employment skills training for communities, in communities Going back to school isn’t easy. But in 2012/2013 more than 400 North Island College students took their first step toward new careers. The students received free training in their communities as part of the governmentfunded Employment Skills Access program. “Some students have been out of school for years,” said Cheryl O’Connell, who leads NIC’s School of Continuing Education and Training. “Many of the students found employment and about 20 per cent said they planned to pursue further education.” The college worked with communities and First Nations bands to develop essential skills in underground mining, woodland harvesting, building services maintenance and more, blending upgrading with industry certifications and workplace readiness. Find out about NIC’s Employment Skills Access programs, visit

In 2013 Woodland Harvesting program students toured local mills.

12 13 12

Year three in numbers

conceptual design

9,143 students

Hosting students from 28 countries

$6.75 million hospital benefit

A total of 9,143 students were served in community, on NIC campuses, and online. This is the second highest enrolment year since 2004/2005.

150 international students from countries like Burundi, Cameroon, and Switzerland studied at North Island College, increasing diversity and economic activity in North Island communities.

In February, North Island College received $4 million for 11.2 acres of land sold to the Vancouver Island Health Authority for the creation of a new hospital in the Comox Valley. An additional $2.75 million from VIHA will develop health technology programs on the North Island.

11 new international partnerships

$14 million for health education online

$90,000 in UVic scholarships

NIC signed 11 international partnership agreements in 2012/13, promoting international exchange opportunities for students and staff, joint research activities, and new curriculum. Partners include universities and colleges in Korea, Japan, Chile and more.

NIC’s Distributed Learning Technologies team has always been known for its innovation. In 2013, the team was at it again, partnering with the North American Network of Science Labs Online to participate in a four-year, $14 million US grant to improve online health education.

NIC’s UVic Dual Admission Agreement lets students start their degree at NIC, and qualify for a wide range of UVic scholarships and awards. Since 2010, NIC students have earned more than $90,000 in UVic scholarship money.

Three Teaching and leadership Awards

$2,000 Ch’Nook Scholar

24 students explore greece & Turkey

Instructors Kerri Lowey and Derek Hanebury, and Student Services’ Lori Boray each received a prestigious National Institute for Staff and Organization Development’s Excellence Award in Austin, Texas.

In December, 2012 Bachelor of Business Administration student Bobbi Tatoosh was one of 30 First Nations students across BC accepted into the Ch’nook Scholar program at UBC’s Sauder School of Business. She received scholarship money, mentoring, and networking opportunities.

Is there any better way to learn about an ancient culture than to visit? Two dozen NIC students didn’t think so, and participated in the Trojan War Field School to Greece and Turkey in May/June of 2013. Students visited ancient sites, and earned credit for three second-year courses.

Investing in our future Last year, the NIC Foundation presented more than $220,000 to 300 students to celebrate excellence and ease financial need. As an example, the Campbell River based organization Women For Women (W4W) has raised $20,000 to support single mothers enrolling or continuing their education at North Island College. “We wanted to raise awareness through education,” explains W4W founder, Shelagh Germyn. “We want to help Campbell River single mothers know they have an opportunity to continue their post-secondary education with the help of a bursary. These moms are also setting the example for their own children. It’s amazing!” Student Corbie Walters receiving the Women For Women Bursary from Ms. Shelagh Germyn (2012)


Special thanks go to all of our sponsors, donors, and community members for their generosity and commitment to student success. To learn more about giving opportunities, visit

Stronger enrollments, greater efficiency When North Island College’s Board of Governors reviewed the college’s fiscal performance in the last year, one number stood out.

College and Community Relations. “We’ve worked hard to reduce barriers to education in all our communities.”

Its utilization rate, the number that shows how close the college comes to filling its Ministry of Advanced Education-funded seats, was 89.3 per cent, the highest it’s been in more than a decade. More importantly, it was one of the highest of all BC Colleges, a substantial feat for a regional college focused on smaller class sizes across multiple campuses and communities. “We’re achieving a stronger, more relevant mix of programs, courses and delivery methods in all our communities and we’re seeing substantial results,” said Susan Auchterlonie, NIC’s Director of

utilization rates since 2008/09

In 2012/2013, NIC established education agreements with First Nations and community partners, opened doors to tuition-free trades training with Essential Skills Access programs, and established more secure pathways to top universities with Dual and Guaranteed Admission.









“Essentially we have made education more accessible and become more efficient doing it,” said Auchterlonie. Record increases were seen in Continuing Education and Training, all levels of trades training, and health and human services, where the Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree and Practical Nursing diploma operate with lengthy waiting lists.



“We’ve worked hard to reduce barriers to education in all our communities.” Susan Auchterlonie Director of College and Community Relations

Financial statements, March 31, 2013

FAST FACTS 2012|2013 Revenues


Student Fees Other


0 , 780 , 27

Contract Services


0,7 2 2,3 5






 College facilities include four campuses and one centre serving a population of 159,000 and a geographic region of 80,000 km2 that includes northern Vancouver Island and the BC mainland coast from Desolation Sound to Klemtu  1,162 students (self-disclosed) of Aboriginal ancestry  Student tuition is $1,317 per semester for full-time university transfer and career technical programs; $2,633 per year for full-time vocational programs; the Adult Basic Education program is tuition free



revenues Expenditures


Province of BC

 North Island College opened its doors in 1975

 NIC offers over 100 programs and 1000 individual courses

Expenditures Salaries & Benefits Other Expenses Amortization

 Co-op Education is available in the following programs: Business Administration and Tourism & Hospitality Management  The Ministry of Advanced Education provides $21.9 million for approximately 2,208 student Full Time Equivalents  The Industry Training Authority provides $2.6 million for approximately 678 student seats  North Island College employs approximately 470 people

nic board of governors Bruce Calder, Chair / retired Telus executive, Comox Valley Bruce Bell, Vice-Chair / retired lawyer, Comox Valley John Bowman, President / North Island College Roy Grant / Realtor, Coast Realty Group, Campbell River (incoming)

contact us We’re your community college

David Kruyt / Corporate Controller, Vancouver Island Insurance Centres, Campbell River (outgoing) Allyson Hamilton / Accountant, Pateman & Company, Comox Valley Christine Hodgson / Faculty Representative, Comox Valley Heather Howie / Chair, Education Council Scott Kenny / Director of Recreation, Port Alberni Parks & Recreation, Port Alberni Jacelyn Lobay / Student Representative

Whether you need training for your business or community, or a great location for your next event, we are your community resource. Contact us: 250-334-5271

Savannah Mckenzie / Student Representative Vi Mundy / Chief Councillor, Ucluelet Nation, Ucluelet Kathleen Nelson / Co-Owner, Norkan Construction, Port McNeill Rachel Reid / Executive Assistant, Board of Governors Cathy Reyno / Support Staff Representative, Comox Valley Judith Round / Marriage Commissioner, Comox Valley


“Our strengths are measured in the success of our students and finding innovative ways to help them achieve their goals.” John Bowman, NIC President

Sustainable Futures To minimize environmental impact, this publication is 100% carbon neutral, printed in Vancouver on Canadian paper made from 100% post-consumer recycled content. 100%

Guidelines for Using the “Zero” Brandmark

It’s time for carbon neutral you printing Thank for your photos

Jennifer Armstrong, western lee simmons, Dean Azim, Eric Peterson, At Hemlock,forest we want products, you to feel good about your business decisions, both now and innora the future. neville black, Michael Albert, morrison, viha, boomer jerritt, It’s about balancing quality and cost with a set of jesse savage & NIC staff. strong environmental and social values that resonate with employees, customers and stakeholders. When you print carbon neutral with Hemlock, you can use the exclusive “Zero” brandmark on the materials you offset. It shows the positive steps your organization is taking toward climate action. When you purchase offsets through “Zero”, you are investing in renewable energy and clean tech projects that would not be developed without your investment.

Thank you

Suggested sustainability statement: Greenhouse gas emissions from the paper lifecycle, the transport, and the printing of this item have been offset through investments in energy efficiency and nonfossil fuel energy technologies.

to the generous sponsors, 70+ exhibitors and 800 guests who supported the North Island College Foundation scholarship and bursary program by attending Flavour 2013.

The funds raised at this year’s sold-out event will benefit the NIC Culinary Arts and Tourism & Hospitality programs.

PRESENTED BY FlavourAdvert_Community Report.indd 1

9/10/2013 10:02:12 AM

Pacific Coastal Airlines • The Waverly Hotel • Cumberland Village Works • Fox & Bee Studio Dean Azim Photography • Green Thumb Garden Centre • Trumpeter Landscaping • River Meadow Farms

North Island College 2013 Community Report  

Learn how you can get involved with your community college! This booklet explores regional highlights and celebrates some of the college's a...

North Island College 2013 Community Report  

Learn how you can get involved with your community college! This booklet explores regional highlights and celebrates some of the college's a...