Page 1

PG 13 & 14




Three hundred students received more than $220,000 in awards to celebrate excellence and ease financial need.

Support education and students and find new ways to participate in the many activities going on at NIC.

Review community achievements, including NIC’s Natural Resource Education & Applied Research Centre.




ib r


Re sp

Join us in celebrating some of the college’s unique achievements in 2011/12. Explore regional highlights. And discover ways you can get involved with your community college.





ei n el l-b

an E t c VI om SIO ec m N tfu C : l s en Ga uni tr te t te a w yo w ay ar l fo fl e d r of ce to e arn ou in d e r n im uca rs p ti at ur rov on , in al g wo se tti co rk & ng m li m un fe ity w







Guaranteed admission & skills training Explore a diverse list of new learning opportunities resulting from NIC’s newest partnerships and programs.



Discovering new careers & possibilities Meet the North Island’s first Professional Cook Red Seal graduates.




University-bound students on their way Learn how two students found unique paths to university through NIC.





MOVING FORWARD WITH YOU “Now, more than ever, we are unified under a common goal to expand partnerships, programs, and pathways that serve the unique education and training needs of our communities.” Through these pages, we are proud to share key highlights from the year.

Dr. Jan Lindsay, NIC President

Q & A: How was the strategic plan developed? In its development stage, North Island College’s 2011-2015 Strategic Plan, titled Participation, Partnership and Pathways, brought together hundreds of elected officials, agencies, service providers, and industry partners as well as school districts, students, and parents from across the region. The goal was always to capture our communities’ dreams and aspirations, and develop them into six strategic directions that shape our future. Now in the second year of our plan, we are seeing tangible results as we continue to work with our communities to bring our vision to life.

What are the strategic directions? As a publicly funded college, we are dedicated to providing relevant education, from upgrading, health care and trades to business, university studies, and industry training. Within these core areas, North Island College concentrates its efforts on six directions: 1. 2. 3. 4.

Developing responsive curriculum and services, Supporting student success, Increasing participation through active community partnership, Expanding opportunities through regional and international partnership, 5. Promoting awareness of the value of education, and 6. Enhancing employee engagement.

STAY INFORMED President’s blog online

What difference will it make? We hope communities feel the biggest impact through our efforts in developing relevant and responsive curriculum. With access to education and training, local residents can pursue education, stay in their home communities, and earn sufficient income to support themselves and their families. Furthermore, we hope our strategic plan inspires new ideas and partnerships as we move into its final years.

How can I find out more? To review milestones of the past year, see page 13. For a copy of the 2011-2015 Strategic Plan, visit




NEW PROGRAMS & PATHWAYS Working with community, industry, and educational partners, we were able to enhance and/or deliver a spectacular range of new programs and degree pathways in 2011/12. Highlights include: Activity Assistant Certificate Aircraft Sheet Metal Manufacturing Certificate Human Resource Management Post Degree Diploma Global Business Management Post Degree Diploma

UVic Guaranteed Admission, a new and exclusive NIC partnership, gives students VIP access from NIC to select UVic degrees.

Portland State University, Guaranteed Admission Exercise & Wellness Certificate, with pathways to Camosun College Carpentry Access Certificate

Working together, expanding opportunities

Professional Cook Level 3

NIC establishes new partnerships to serve unique student and community needs

Professional Potter Advanced Diploma

If you’ve visited North Island College campuses and communities over the past year, chances are, you can see tangible growth. There are new First Nations Gathering Places, a culinary kitchen, and a trades training centre, all physical signs of new programs or better facilities for NIC students. When you visit, you can also feel the difference. It lies in students and their abilities to achieve their educational dreams with less debt. It lies in communities, where students access new programs and get their certification to meet local industry needs. And, it lies in NIC’s ability to adapt to changing social and economic patterns, form partnerships, and meet the unique needs of students and communities.

“We are working with partners in so many different ways to serve students and communities.” Jan Lindsay, NIC President

“We are working with partners in so many new and different ways,” said NIC President Jan Lindsay. “We’re building efficiencies and developing processes that allow us to respond much more quickly when communities reach out and ask what we can do.” Here are just a few of the key partnerships and programs established in the past year.

Guaranteed UVic Admission

Tuition-free Skills Training

This year, North Island College added guaranteed admission to the University of Victoria (UVic) to its growing list of degree pathways.

Degree completion, of course, is not everyone’s goal. Many North Island residents are looking for shorter-duration skills training and certification to increase their employability and job security.

Like dual admission, guaranteed admission gives UVic-bound students exclusive ways to meet their career goals faster, at a lower cost, and with more security in their choices. Students with a C average in eight or more eligible courses are guaranteed their dream of attending UVic. “It’s great because it’s based on my marks in college,” said NIC student Andrew Green. “Some of my high school grades could have been better. Now I know I can still work toward my goal.” Military-focused Degree Paths In March, North Island College finalized its discussions with the University of Manitoba, one of Canada’s largest research universities.

With the arrival of new Employment Skills Access (ESA) funding last year, NIC collaborated quickly with local employers and industry to identify key training needs in the community and deliver tuition-free programs for eligible unemployed or low-skilled residents. Students earned recognized credentials in Underground Mining, Wildfire Occupational Skills, Woodland Harvesting, or Integrated Core Resources programs.

Leadership & Capacity Building for First Nations Communities Practical Nursing Diploma, new curriculum Woodland Harvesting Program Underground Mining Program Integrated Core Resources Skills Training Metal Jewellery Design Certificate University Of Manitoba Military Student Mobility UVic Guaranteed Admission Tourism & Hospitality Management Certificate and Diploma, with degree pathways Adventure Guiding Certificate, with degree pathways

“All of our students will be fabulous employees, and now they have the training they need to get hired,” said Sharon Korol, ESA coordinator. Find out more at

The new agreement, which is specifically tailored to serve our Canadian Forces community, offers not only seamless degree pathways, but also academic credit for rank and militaryfocused advising services, which make earning a degree faster and more attainable. “It’s incredible to have someone who understands what a military person is going through help them with their education,” said 2nd Lt. Kris Kaehler.

New Woodland Harvesting graduates now qualify for local employment in the forestry industry.

Have you always wanted to go to university? Are you looking to learn in a creative way? Interested in exploring design and art? Discover our transfer plans and degree pathways in arts, sciences, fine arts, social work, criminology, and more. Call 1-800-715-0914.



INDUSTRY-RECOGNIZED TRAINING FOR REAL JOBS Strategic direction: Strategic Partnerships We will strengthen and expand partnership opportunities with business, aboriginal communities, and educational organizations regionally and internationally to deliver outstanding results.

Military-accredited programs offer guaranteed careers for students Canadian Forces paid education options now available through NIC Leigh Walls knows hard work and perseverance pay off. In the last three years, the 35-year-old single mother of two has faced personal challenges and financial hurdles, but has refocused her life, thanks in part to NIC’s military-accredited programs at NIC’s Campbell River campus. In 2010, Walls was out of work and needing stable employment to support her young family. A standard aptitude test at a Campbell River employment centre suggested she might be good at electrical trades or engineering, and she soon discovered the military was willing to pay students in accredited Industrial Automation programs to work as naval technicians. NIC’s Industrial Automation Technician program in Campbell River was a perfect fit. It is one of three accredited trades at NIC, including Aircraft Structures Technician (AME-S) and Professional Cook, which open new career pathways for students interested in military careers. Successful applicants earn free tuition and books, full-time salaries, medical and dental benefits, and paid vacations, in return for military service. To

qualify, however, Walls needed to register for classes and pay tuition before being eligible for military subsidized education. “I took the chance,” she said. “I waited, did odd jobs on weekends to put myself through school, and received several scholarships and bursaries.”

Industrial Automation Technician program graduate Leigh Walls is working as a naval technician with the Canadian Forces, after two years in NIC’s Electronics Core and Industrial Automation programs.

By the time she was accepted, she gained new respect for her own abilities. “I didn’t know I had it in me,” she said. “Now that I’m on a military payroll, what I’ve gained more than anything is a challenging career path I love that supports my family into the future.” The Canadian Forces Paid Education program hires students from qualified trades programs annually, based on their recruitment needs.

“What I’ve gained more than anything is a challenging career path I love that supports my family into the future.” Leigh Walls, Industrial Automation Graduate

“Accreditation really is a building block for the military and the community,” said Capt. DJ Trask, a military career counsellor with the Canadian Forces Recruiting Centre in Victoria. For more information, visit

North Island’s first Red Seal chefs graduate In 2012, NIC’s first Professional Cook 3 students completed the final level of technical training needed to meet the Industry Training Authority’s qualifications to work across Canada. Together, eight students became the first chefs to complete their culinary training on the North Island. “This course gave me more respect, better wages and a promotion to sous chef, or second in charge at Chances Casino,” said Kristy Appleyard. “Having the program on the North Island definitely made it affordable and possible for me to advance my career.” For more information, visit

START AN APPRENTICESHIP Browse all of your options at

Red Seal certified: Graduate Kristy Appleyard shows off her Certificate of Qualification.


Do you want to expand your skills or start a trade? Want to enter a program with one of BC’s highest success rates? Train now to become a carpenter, construction electrician, professional chef, heavy duty mechanic, plumber or welder. Call 1-800-715-0914.


A sense of place on campus In May, NIC’s Campbell River campus echoed with songs, dance, and prayers for the opening of NIC’s Campbell River Gathering Place. Carved from centuries-old cedars, the Gathering Place acknowledges and honours First Nations students and culture on campus. “It’s a stunning example of our commitment to support and to welcome our First Nations students and their families to our campus,” said NIC President Jan Lindsay. It will become a new home for campus ceremonies and celebrations for years to come.

Master Carver Bill Henderson celebrates the Gathering Place official opening at Campbell River campus with NIC President Jan Lindsay.

Committed to Excellence: NIC’s first Applied Research Centre Opens In 2011, the College completed the development work for a new Natural Resource Education and Applied Research Centre in Campbell River.


With the hiring of manager Derek Marcoux in September 2012, the centre is ready to support economic development across the North Island.

Connecting community partners with students in Campbell River As many of our Island economies are shifting from traditional resource-based economies to knowledge-based or mixed economies, so are the education needs throughout the region. To strengthen our communities in changing times, we are working closely with local industry, agencies, and businesses to create training opportunities that will help residents support themselves and their families through local jobs.

The opportunity to work with community members, local industry and business on ideas of relevance to them, also enhances learning opportunities for students and staff and builds on local expertise and knowledge in our communities. Whether it be investigating innovative products and their applications, developing accessible natural resource programs, or finding new ways to attract and retain a well-educated and skilled workforce in rural communities, the centre is a significant part of our investment in North Island people, industries, and communities. “Working directly with industry, we will develop specific training programs to serve the educational needs of both industry and our population,” said NIC President Jan Lindsay. “One example is the potential development of an Aquaculture Technician program in conjunction with industry professionals.” With continued support of provincial and federal partners, North Island College encourages unique learning and research. For more information on the Natural Resource Education and Applied Research Centre and how to get involved, visit

Dr. Evelyn Voyageur, NIC’s Elder in Residence (fourth from right), celebrates with graduates of the Health Care Assistant program offered in partnership with the Homalco First Nation.

Adapting health training models to meet student needs In 2011/12, NIC collaborated with First Nations Employment Society to create a successful new education model that blends upgrading with core health courses for extraordinary results. The model, which allows students to start relevant training earlier, was so well received it is now being used in health and trades programs across the college region.

UVic Guaranteed Admission: For the first time, students like Campbell River’s Jesse Spooner, a Storm junior hockey player and future ophthalmologist, can guarantee their admission to UVic while staying connected to friends and activities at home.

“We started with nine students and we graduated nine,” said Jocelyne Van Neste-Kenny, NIC’s Dean of the School of Health and Human Services. “One student, Amanda Vincent, even earned the Dean’s pin last year for academic excellence. It’s success is based on our partnership with the Homalco First Nation who identified the need for home and community care training and our ability to adapt programming and work with interested students to meet their education needs.” For more information, visit



VIBRANT LEARNING COMMUNITY Strategic direction: Student success We will improve our ability to support the diverse needs of our students and their engagement in learning.

Emma Twidale (left) and Emma Dubé (right, holding entrance scholarships from UVic and NIC) both found that starting at NIC provided support, direction, and seamless degree pathways.

A tale of two Emmas Two students with different passions find the same NIC path leads to unexpected success From the outside, Emma Dubé and Emma Twidale couldn’t be more different. Twidale, discovered her passion for social justice in her mid 30’s and followed a less-traditional route to post-secondary success. Dubé, on the other hand, started college after high school, and had the grades to attend any university in Canada. But over the past two years, both spent time and hours finding their strengths at North Island College. Twidale moved to the Comox Valley from Greater Vancouver in the build-up to the 2010 Olympics, looking for a better quality of life. After three years of doing physical jobs – she found work as a skateboard instructor at Courtenay’s LINC Youth Centre, and discovered a new calling. “At 35, I’ve done everything in my life but work in the circus,” she said. “At the LINC, I found connecting and engaging with youth really rewarding and I discovered I’m good at it.” A co-worker suggested Twidale take NIC’s Social Service diploma, where she took on practicums in her field and got involved with the Vancouver Island Community Research Alliance’s Local Food Project, a research project with five Island colleges and universities. Twidale worked with fellow NIC student Julia Davis and the K’ómoks First Nation to research past, present, and future Indigenous food systems on the Island. “The Social Services diploma got me started,” she said. “By the beginning of my second year I was working in the exact career I wanted.”

At NIC, Twidale won the Lt. Governor’s Silver Medal for academic excellence and community contribution. She’s now studying race, gender, sexuality, and social justice at UBC, and is well on her way to a Bachelor of Social Work, and potentially a master’s degree. “At NIC, you

“By completing my degree, I broaden the choice of where and how I want to work in the future,” Twidale said. “I can continue my work with women and youth and I can really get into how the mind works.”

get the opportunity to get to know your instructors and subject matter well. They make it really easy to learn and to want to learn here.” Emma Dubé, NIC-UVic Dual Admission Student

For Dubé, a Royal Canadian Army Cadet and winner of the Governor General’s Bronze Academic Medal, NIC’s new Dual Admission agreement with UVic meant learning at home, without compromising her education. “NIC was a great opportunity to stay within the community, cut costs, and enjoy school,” said Dubé, who received more than $23,000 in entrance awards and scholarships from both institutions, thanks to NIC ’s exclusive partnership with UVic. She joins second year anthropology students in Victoria this fall, more secure in her choices and ready to follow up on her most interesting courses at NIC. “It was totally worth it,” Dubé said. “At NIC you get the opportunity to get to know instructors and your subject material well,” she said. “They make it really easy to learn and to want to learn here.” For more information, visit

College welcomes over 100 international students In 2011/12, the college hosted 116 students from 25 countries to its campuses, a 10 per cent increase over the year before. International students contribute global perspectives to NIC classrooms and $2.95 million to the local economy, according to the 2012 study on the current and potential economic impacts of international education. Increased international interest also allows NIC to develop new programs and partnerships for all students including NIC’s Post-degree diploma in Global Business Management and Portland State University degree pathways.


SUPPORT YOUR COMMUNITY Browse all of your options at communitycare

Interested in a new career in your community? Looking for a secure job with a future? Do you enjoy working with people? Maybe a career in health care, human services, or early childhood education is right for you. Call 1-800-715-0914.

In February, the college hosted its second annual High School Open House for Grade 11 and 12 students from Tahsis to Port Alberni. The Comox Valley event was proud to host Sean Aiken, who explored 52 careers in 52 weeks across North America in his One Week Job Project. Documented on Facebook and YouTube, Aiken’s journey inspires students to explore their own passions. His journey perfectly suited NIC’s annual open house, where students meet instructors, delve into hands-on exhibits and labs designed to encourage students’ passions, introduce new careers, and demonstrate what it’s like to learn ceramics, graphic design, carpentry, business, English, math, or biology at the postsecondary level all in one exhilarating day.


High school students explore their passions at college

900 high school students get a feel for college and over 50 future career paths Writers, painters, activists, and a Nobel-Prize winning scientist connect and engage communities In 2011/12, NIC brought authors, scientists, and artists to NIC campuses for inspiring discussions on everything from Global Warming to international aid. From Nobel Prize-winning scientist, Dr. Andrew Weaver, First Nations poet Garry Thomas Morse, plastics activist Taina Uitto, women’s health specialist Patricia Janssen, packed career fairs, and green-tech forums, the community filled the Stan Hagen Theatre and poured into venues eager to join the conversation, find new employment leads, or connect with artists and writers in their community. For more information on upcoming events, visit

GATEWAY TO EDUCATION Preparing Comox Valley students for real-world success

NIC’s innovative web-based science labs earn international funding

In today’s rapidly changing world, students need the latest skills and knowledge to excel in their chosen field. With expanding facilities, curriculum, and educational pathways in study areas from upgrading and trades to university studies, marine training, and business, North Island College students are well positioned 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.

Four years ago, NIC’s Albert Balbon (above) and Ron Evans built prototypes for a Remote Web-Based Science Lab. Their goal? To make university-level science labs more accessible to hundreds of students throughout the college region. This year, they shared their passion with international science educators at a conference at the Comox Valley campus. Their work received a $750,000 grant from Next Generation Learning Challenges, allowing NIC to expand with BC Campus, the Colorado Community College System, and the Western Interstate College for Higher Education to develop an international learning network.

Exclusive degree pathways for Canada’s military In March, NIC announced the creation of a long-awaited Military Student Mobility agreement with the University of Manitoba, giving hundreds of Canadian Forces members educational support and degree pathways close to home. Students can finish their degree faster with academic credit for rank, knowing they have local learning support in the form of specially created military advising positions. “It means I have more options,” said Cpl. Russell Green, a 19 Wing Aviation Technician taking business administration courses at NIC. “More options are always better.” The University of Manitoba is popular with Canadian Forces for their extensive support for military members through online and distance education. It also offers Canadian Forces members a reduced residency requirement, which means only 12 course credits toward their degree need to be from the University of Manitoba. By guaranteeing eligible NIC courses transfer directly into the University of Manitoba’s Bachelor of Arts and Integrated Studies degrees, NIC is supporting the needs of one of the Comox Valley’s largest employers, ensuring members and their families have easier access to the educational pathways the Canadian Forces values so highly. “The Canadian Forces fully endorses the concept of life-long learning,” said 19 Wing Chief Warrant Officer David Bolster. “By taking courses that Partners in success: Lisa Domae, NIC’s VP Student & Educational Services & Planning, lead to a diploma or degree, 19 Wing personnel are not only improving with Lori Wallace, the University of Manitoba’s Dean of Extended Education, themselves but making the Canadian Forces a more effective organization.” Jan Lindsay, NIC President, and Col. Jim Benninger, 19 Wing Base Commander.

For more information, visit

6 7


BUILDING BRIGHT FUTURES Strategic direction: Active community partnerships We will work with our communities as an active partner to increase opportunities for involvement and participation, and for proactively sharing resources for mutual benefit.

Automotive students Thomas Pollard (left) and Jean-Luc David (right) learn a certified trade and qualify for employment before graduating from high school.

The fast-growing secret to high school success Dual credit programs/courses let students earn Grade 12 and college credit at the same time Thomas Pollard is a student with a plan. With one eye firmly set on engineering and a keen interest in anything mechanical, the high school student registered for NIC’s Automotive Service Technician program while he was still in high school, determined to learn the ins and outs of engine repair. “Learning how to swing a wrench is part of plan A but it’s also part of my plan B,” he said. “Just the fact that I’m already in college, and that I have one year of college behind me before I graduate from high school, really builds my confidence and gives me a sense of fulfillment I didn’t have before. I have a new perspective on my future and what I want to do.” The Dual Credit program is the result of five active partnerships with Vancouver Island school districts. Each partnership opens new education pathways to high school students who access college courses that meet their high school graduation requirements and earn college credit. In 2011, 219 NIC students participated in Dual Credit across the region, 42 of them acquiring foundational

trades skills and the others studying applied business technology, tourism, or university studies. Trades graduates also receive credit for the first level of apprenticeship technical training and a time-credit towards their required workplace hours “Just the fact in their trades certification. The programs are adjusted to meet high school semester systems and more importantly, classes are tuition free, with school districts and the Industry Training Authority providing support through its ACE-IT programs.

that I’m already in college, and that I have one year of college behind me before I graduate from high school, really builds my confidence and gives me a sense of fulfillment I didn’t have before.” Thomas Pollard, High School Dual Credit Student Automotive Service Technician Foundation

“I never thought someone would pay me to go to school,” said Pollard. “ACE-IT covered everything, it was really supportive.”

For more information, visit

Community science celebration attracts and inspires thousands Who wouldn’t love science, Port Alberni style? In February, NIC joined forces with Science World and MISTIC, the Mid-Island Science Technology Innovation Council, to sponsor Port Alberni’s Second Annual Community Science Celebration at the Port Alberni Athletic Hall and NIC’s Port Alberni campus. More than 2,700 residents, students, and science enthusiasts showed up to see science in action and meet people from their home communities who work with science every day.


EXPLORE TRADES Browse all of your options at

Do you need to get back into the workforce quickly? Curious about how things work? Want to turn your passion into a career? Develop your skills in technology and trades. For example, you could learn to create fine furniture or become a chef. Call 1-800-715-0914.


Top educators join the team NIC’s Stephen McIntosh and Guy Langlois bring top joinery and green technology skills to NIC classrooms in Port Alberni. McIntosh was Canada’s joinery chief expert at the Worldskills Competition and Langlois specializes in green building techniques.

Inspiring young imaginations: In February, Carpentry Foundation students designed, built, and delivered a garden shed and playhouse to Maquinna Elementary School.

COLLABORATIVE THINKING Working with community partners to create new opportunities in Port Alberni 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 encouraging education, enhancing facilities, developing custom training projects, and expanding pathways throughout the education system. By sharing ideas and working with community members, from students and staff to local industry and business, we are expanding learning opportunities and enriching community life.

$1.35-million culinary learning centre takes shape In 2011, NIC received funding to build a $1.35 million culinary kitchen, featuring state-of-the-art equipment at the Port Alberni campus. Designed with students in mind, the kitchen enables NIC to build on its existing Professional Cook programs and develop a strong demand for culinary arts training with a renewed focus on Aboriginal and West Coast cooking. “We want this to be very inspiring for our young chefs,” said instructor David Lang. “Everything will be incredibly current and up to date.” Intended to resemble a classic French kitchen, the facilities include banks of learning stations for students and instructors, room for a production line, a pastry area, and more. The first intake of Professional Cook 1 program students to enjoy the facilities started in September. For more information, visit

New comprehensive training for the next generation of nurses At NIC, we know the importance of staying current with changing health care practices. That’s why when the College of Licensed Practical Nurses of BC updated its licensing requirements, North Island College adapted the scope of its Practical Nursing diploma program to match. Now, practical nursing students spend time throughout the program on mental health, gerontology, pediatrics, and key areas of practice, creating a more thorough understanding of common health experiences before they enter the workplace. “The reality of the workplace is we were adding more curriculum all the time,” said Laurie Bird, the Practical Nursing Department Chair. “This model just adds context and allows them to absorb their knowledge.” Students also have more clinical and lab hours, and four community-based practice experiences before they graduate and write a national licensing exam. “I’m learning so much more than I was before,” said student Kaitlyn Rathbone. “By the time I got to my patient care experience, I felt confident and prepared for the work ahead.” For more information, visit



PUTTING NEW SKILLS TO WORK Strategic direction: Responsive curriculum We will develop dynamic and responsive curriculum and educational services to attract, engage, and retain a diverse range of students to be successful in a rapidly changing world.

Moses Kaberuka (left) and Patsy Cook (front row, left) with their instructors and fellow Practical Nurse Access graduates are trained and ready to work in hospitals and health facilities in the Mount Waddington region.

Local, licensed, and employment ready BC’s first Practical Nurse Access graduates credit staff and location for their success When the Vancouver Island Health Authority saw a need for more licensed practical nurses on the North Island in 2010, it came to NIC. It wanted to know if the college could work with existing health care assistants, already in the area, and upgrade their skills in BC’s first Practical Nurse Access program.

a class fixture. When housing concerns made him question his ability to stay in the program, college staff worked with the community to secure his success. Moses now works as a licensed practical nurse in Campbell River.

NIC responded with a new program allowing health care assistants to meet the prerequisites and train for a new career within record time, and drew interested candidates from across Canada.

Personal support and location were key to graduates’ success. Whether it be instructors who worked around ferries and transportation needs to provide accessible math classes or staff who helped students find preceptorships as close as possible to home, the program boasts a 100 per cent graduation rate.

Moses Kaberuka travelled from Manitoba to Port Hardy with his younger siblings after reading about the program online. His infectious smile soon became

All six health care assistants who started the program in 2011, graduated in June 2012 ready to write the national Licensed Practical Nurse exam.

“Having the program in Port Hardy, really made it possible for me to earn a living while going to school and finally fulfill my goal of becoming a nurse,” said Patsy Cook, “Having the program who now works at the Cormorant in Port Hardy made it Island Community possible for me to earn Health Centre. “For my community, having fully trained nurses work and live here means consistent staffing that doesn’t rely on a ferry schedule.”

a living while going to school and finally fulfill my goal of becoming a nurse.”

Patsy Cook, 2012 Practical Nurse Access Graduate

For more information, visit

NEW PROGRAMS It’s back: NIC’s Health Care Assistant program returns to Port Hardy Get ready to become a health care assistant, with NIC’s 27-week program in Port Hardy this year. Developed in partnership with the Vancouver Island Health Authority, the program demonstrates how NIC works with partners to address community needs. The program starts this fall with a pre-health block of upgrading and health courses. For more information or to register, call 250-949-7912 or visit



Browse all of your options at

Do you love helping others? Looking for a secure job that can take you anywhere? Come talk to us. NIC offers a full range of health programs from Health Care Assistant, to Practical Nursing, and a Bachelor of Science in Nursing. Call 1-800-715-0914.


Instructor Mark O’Hara with the graduating class of Carpentry Access students in Fort Rupert. The program was extended to give students additional finishing skills.

Building communities of skilled carpenters in Fort Rupert Just over a year ago, Kelsy Holt got an unexpected phone call.

RELEVANT EDUCATION Supporting economic and community well-being in the Mount Waddington Region Education opens new doors for people and gives them options in life. This is especially true in the North Island, where residents are developing new skills locally to become the communities’ next nurses, carpenters, health care assistants, and childcare providers. By working to deliver programs that meet local demand, we are creating opportunities that allow people to qualify for new careers in their home communities.

A’lumas Watłdama: Aboriginal Authors Series in Port Hardy In 2011/12, NIC worked with School District 85’s First Nations program to bring Aboriginal authors from Vancouver Island and beyond to free public readings in Port Hardy. High school teachers introduced samples of each authors’ work to students several weeks before the author’s reading, allowing students time to study the work and prepare their own introductions. Authors also read at a local café where community members were able to attend the free public readings. Speakers included Philip Kevin Paul (right), a poet of the WSÁNEĆ Nation on the Saanich peninsula, Cree/Métis storyteller Duncan Mercredi, author Diane Jacobsen of the nearby ‘Namgis First Nation, and Kwakwaka’wakw author Garry Thomas Morse. Presentations were made possible with the support of the First Nations Education Council, NIC Aboriginal Education programs, the NIC President’s Fund, and the Canada Council for the Arts.

The mother and ferry worker had inquired about carpentry training and been told the programs were down Island, hundreds of kilometers away from family and commitments. Now months later, the college was calling back, asking if she’d be interested in a new Carpentry program in Fort Rupert, a Kwakiutl village just outside of Port Hardy. She jumped at the chance. “I was always interested in refinishing wood projects,” Holt said. “But now I’ve really refined my skills to the point where I’m very confident in everything I’m learning and I’m looking forward to getting a job in my field.” The Carpentry Access program started in January, bringing Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal students together for skills training. Offered with support from the provincial Labour Market Agreement, the program combines tuition-free math and English with preapprentice trades training. Students learn applied skills earlier in the program than more linear upgrading and trades training models.

“It’s a great opportunity for First Nations communities and Aboriginal agencies to partner with NIC, to share resources, and to strengthen students’ skills.” Jan Lindsay, NIC President

“It’s a great opportunity for First Nations communities and Aboriginal agencies to partner with NIC, to share resources, and to strengthen students’ skills for work on the North Island,” said NIC President Jan Lindsay. Already, the program has been extended by six weeks to allow students to acquire additional finishing skills, while they look for apprentice positions at major North Island construction projects, including wind farms, aquaculture containment facilities, and hydro-electric projects. Along the way the students have built garden sheds, smoke houses and more for elementary schools and area residents. Many of the students had no construction experience before the program began and are finishing the program with employable skills. “This is such a transformative experience for so many of the students,” said instructor Mark O’Hara. “They’re confident in their skills and that to me, is pretty important. It’s why I do what I do.” As for Kelsy, she’s already planning her next steps and is working toward her Interprovincial (Red Seal) in carpentry, and possibly becoming an instructor herself. To learn more about local programs and courses, visit

Working in the woods: Relevant training for resource-rich communities North Island College continued its commitment to occupational skills programing in the Mount Waddington region, bringing government-funded Employment Skills Access programs to the region. The Woodland Harvesting certificate program prepared 13 long-term unemployed students with in-demand workplace skills and practical training needed to work in today’s forestry industry. The 26-week program is designed to give students an edge as they learn a variety of hands-on skills, including road building and harvesting fundamentals. Based on the program’s success, the tuition-free program was expanded into Port Alberni in May. For more information, visit



LEARNING WHERE YOU LIVE Strategic direction: Raising awareness Working with our communities, we will explore new and innovative ways to effectively promote post-secondary education throughout the region.

Bringing education closer to home Developing educational partnerships and new learning pathways in Alert Bay Returning to school to complete your high school education is hard enough. But when you have to wait for a ferry and drive more than 80 kilometres to get to a class and back, it requires more than the usual amount of determination. NIC’s partnerships with First Nations communities, however, put instructors and resources within reach for hundreds of students in communities like Alert Bay. NIC’s agreement with the ‘Namgis First Nation allows students to take Applied Business courses, Marine Training and Small Vessel Operation, and Adult Basic Education in Alert Bay. Classes are offered in the Community Learning Centre, jointly operated by the ‘Namgis and the Village of Alert Bay. “Without having teaching support and education from NIC, upgrading simply wouldn’t happen for a lot of students,” said Liz Robins, NIC’s adult basic education instructor on Cormorant Island. “The cost and timing make it really difficult,” said Robins. “With the ferry and bus, it takes two hours to get to Port Hardy. If they needed to work part time, or had children in day care, it just wouldn’t happen. But here, anyone can make it to class five minutes up the road.” Courses are offered on a drop-in

Adult Basic Education students have access to computer labs and full instructor support locally as they prepare to enter new careers.

basis, allowing students to work at their own pace and access instructional support at any time. Motivated students such as Vance Conway, get comfortable with postsecondary education and can move through multiple math levels in as little as six months. Conway, now a Communications Design program student at NIC’s Comox Valley campus, took three years of high school level math in Alert Bay in six months last year.

Photo: Infilm

The ‘Namgis program is part of a growing recognition of First Nations culture and learning methods at NIC, that has led to rewarding education agreements with the Huu-ay-aht First Nation near

Port Alberni, the Mowachaht / Muchalaht Nation near Gold River and the ‘Namgis on Cormorant Island. “More and more First Nations groups are working with us to coordinate and deliver community-based education,” said NIC President Jan Lindsay. “We’re following their lead and finding new ways to tailor programs to meet cultural and training needs.”

“If they needed to work part time, or had children in day care, it just wouldn’t happen. But here, anyone can make it to class five minutes up the road.” Liz Robins, Adult Basic Education Instructor, Cormorant Island Learning Centre

For more information on NIC’s upgrading programs, visit

Transport Canada certified Industry-recognized marine training for coastal communities

In 2011/12, NIC increased the number of Marine Training courses in remote regions, recruiting more experts to join the instructional team and allowing fishing, tug, guiding and resort operations in Ucluelet and Alert Bay, to meet federal standards. “It will open up a lot of doors for me with the tug boat company I work for,” said Kevin Dean, who took NIC’s 60-Tonne Master Limited and Small Vessel Operator Proficiency courses through NIC’s contract training programs. He now earns higher day rates at work, and his employer, Alert Bay Towing, has more certainty in their operations on the water. For more information, visit


START UPGRADING Browse all of your options at

Are you longing for a career change? Or looking to expand your employment options? Take the first step with us. With upgrading and financial aid options, our student advisors can help you get started on a new path today. Call 1-800-715-0914.

In 2011, Bachelor of Science in Nursing students returned to Rivers Inlet as part of a student-driven project that works with community organizations to build awareness of local and global issues. Students learn about remote and rural communities by working with nurses and aid organizations first hand.


Learning from Rivers Inlet, nursing students share their knowledge

Students on the field school experienced dramatic flooding and vulnerability, built relationships with the Wuikinuxv First Nation over an extended period, and challenged their own perceptions of remote coastal communities. They developed new understandings of Aboriginal health and ways of knowing before returning to the Comox Valley and sharing their experiences in community discussions. Coordinated by Health and Human Services faculty and NIC’s own Elder in Residence, Dr. Evelyn Voyageur, the program allows NIC to create curriculum that better supports all learners. For more information, visit

ACCESSIBLE EDUCATION Working with partners and industry to bring relevant courses and programs to all of our communities 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 First Nation and community partners to find new ways to deliver training that is tailored to their specific needs, making education accessible where it wouldn’t otherwise exist.

Starting University by Distance West-Coast Style in Ucluelet After 11 years working in the hotel and restaurant industry in Ucluelet, a town best known for its laid back surf and fishing community, Eric Summers had enough. Tired of watching young university students come to town in the summer and leave for school in the fall, the 33 year old walked into North Island College’s centre to figure out what was next. Summers completed a year and a half of highschool upgrading and university transfer classes to prepare himself for a Bachelor of Education program at UVic. And while he’s now moved south for more university classes, he considers his time at NIC an enormous accomplishment. “In a town like Ucluelet, distance education takes a certain amount of discipline,” Summers said. “If you don’t really have a clear goal, you can easily lose your path.” In Ucluelet he met NIC instructor Bill Morrison, who encouraged him to do more. “He helped me make the most of my upgrading and, when I was finished, he told me that I didn’t have to move to take first-year courses,” Summers said. “I could do it here and work full time. That was huge for me because I could work at my own pace while I avoided going into debt. If they had more secondyear courses in my specialty, I’d still be there.” NIC students access university-level classes in different ways. Whether it be distance classes, through interactive television, or in person, students can start university in remote communities. Many of them credit instructors like Morrison, for their ongoing support. For more information, visit

Always encouraging, instructor Bill Morrison teaches math, English, and biology in Ucluelet.

“If it hadn’t been for NIC and the immediate support he received in Ucluelet, his path wouldn’t have worked for him.” Jan Lindsay, NIC President

12 13 12

YEAR TWO With special thanks to all of our partners—in community, education, and industry, we have been able to achieve tremendous results. Your willingness to reach out and collaborate has allowed us to expand programs and pathways in just two short years. TOP 10 MILESTONES NEW PROGRAMS



Welcomed over 10 per cent more international students, increasing diversity and bringing more than $2.95 million in economic spending and jobs to North Island communities.

Province of BC



Signed the NIC-UVic Guaranteed Admission for NIC Transfer Students Agreement which guarantees students with at least 24 university transfer credits and a 2.0 GPA (C average) admission to select UVic programs.



9 , 212 , 13


8,9 6 8,2 8




Signed a Health Education Partnership and Program Funding Agreement with the Vancouver Island Health Authority (VIHA) in which VIHA committed $2.75 million in funding to support healthcare education in rural areas.

Salaries & Benefits




7 8 9 10



12% 5%


Developed a Natural Resource Education and Applied Research Centre based in Campbell River to work with industry, First Nations and educational partners including Marine Harvest, Creative Salmon, Mainstream Canada, and Grieg BC Seafood.

Student Fees



Worked with industry and community to develop and launch five new programs, including Exercise and Wellness, Metal Jewellery Design, Activity Assistant, Professional Potter, and Aircraft Sheet Metal Manufacturing for implementation in Fall 2012.





Contract Services




Other Expenses

Celebrated the opening of NIC’s new dedicated Gathering Place to honour First Nations culture, learning, and friendships in Campbell River.

Bruce Calder, Chair / Retired, Comox Valley


Jan Lindsay, President / North Island College

Announced a student mobility agreement between NIC and the University of Manitoba providing Canadian Forces students with academic credit for their military rank as well as guaranteed course transfer to one of Canada’s largest research universities. EDUCATIONAL EXCELLENCE

Recognized five instructors who received prestigious Excellence Awards at the National Institute for Staff and Organization Development’s international conference on teaching and leadership in Texas.

David Kruyt, Vice-Chair / Vancouver Island Insurance Centres, Campbell River

Allyson Hamilton / Pateman & Company, Comox Valley Scott Kenny / City of Port Alberni, Port Alberni Judith Round / Marriage Commissioner, Comox Valley Vi Mundy / Chief Councillor, Ucluelet First Nation, Ucluelet Don Sharpe / Mount Washington Alpine Resort, Comox Valley Bruce Bell / Retired, Comox Valley Kathleen Nelson / Business Owner, Port McNeill


Opened tuition-free career training to Vancouver Island students across all campuses in Woodland Harvesting, Underground Mining, and Integrated Core Resources.

Betty Tate / Department Chair, North Island College Cathy Reyno / Finance Clerk, North Island College Janessa Greenhill / Student, North Island College, Comox Valley


Graduated eight students in the Professional Cook 3 (Culinary Arts) program training top level chefs to support Vancouver Island restaurants and food professionals.

Savannah McKenzie / Student, North Island College, Comox Valley Heather Howie / Chair, Education Council, North Island College Rachel Reid / Executive Assistant, Board of Governors

NIC FOUNDATION Investing in student success In 2011/12, the NIC Foundation presented scholarships and bursaries totalling more than $220,000 to 300 students from every region within the college community to celebrate excellence and ease financial need. Of special significance was Jack Farley’s donation of 19 Peter Robinson original oil paintings chronicling the history of the Royal Navy in BC, which now proudly hang at NIC’s new Trades Training Centre in the Comox Valley. Farley also donated an additional 49 paintings and prints which will be auctioned off in support of North Island College Fine Arts students. Special thanks go to our many sponsors, donors, and community members for their generosity and investment. Foundation board member Don Jones presents the Alberni Valley Medical Society bursary to Kelly Johnson, a Practical Nursing student in Port Alberni.


For more about giving opportunities, visit

LOOKING AHEAD We have much to celebrate, but much more is on the horizon. With plans to further expand and diversify programs, encourage participation, and enrich communities, we are setting the stage for big opportunities and significant growth to come.

NIC President Jan Lindsay was one of few BC college presidents to join the Premier’s Trade Mission to Asia in 2011. Lindsay and Wangrong Li, President of the Foundation College of China Scholarship Council, agreed to support joint educational and intercultural development.

GET INVOLVED We’re your community college

Whether you need a training program for your business or a great location for your community event, we’re your community resource. Come talk to us.

Become a student


Suggest a community partnership


Request training services


Donate to the NIC Foundation


Join the Alumni Association

250-334-5000 ext. 4267

Hire a Co-op student or graduate


Get involved with applied research


Host an international student


Join our Board of Governors


Request a course in your community


Host an event on campus


Ask any question











2012 –


2015 ED




Review the 2012-2015 Education Plan:


gratefully acknowledges the generous support of our partners, sponsors, exhibitors and volunteers in making our first annual

The North Island’s Gourmet Picnic.

such a spectacular success.


Discover Comox Valley Old House Village Hotel & Spa Pacific Coastal Airlines BC Shellfish Festival Water Pure & Simple Ron Pogue Photography

ABC Printing and Signs Comox Valley Chamber of Commerce Royston Roasting Company Hospitality Inn – Port Alberni Art Knapp’s Plantland Fox & Bee Studio Long & McQuade Musical Instruments

Tofino Food and Wine Festival Comox Valley Farmers Market Association RiverCorp Found Solutions BC Coastal Grilling Planks Trumpeter Landscaping


Tickets for Flavour 2013 available in June Sustainable Futures 100%

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

It’s time for carbon neutral printing

Education Matters: 2012 Community Report  

Join us in celebrating some of the college's unique achievements in 2011/2012

Read more
Read more
Similar to
Popular now
Just for you