NIC 40th Anniversary Publication

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Congratulations North Island College on 40 years of providing high-quality education

Congratulations No rth Island College on your Anniversary!

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Celebrating 155,000 students 2 across 80,000 km over 40 years As North Island College celebrates our 40th graduating class this year, more than 155,000 students will have taken a course or improved their lives through education at NIC. Throughout this publication, you’ll see how a small college which started without “buildings, classrooms or teachers,” has grown into an internationally recognized college with four campuses, a learning centre and a network of community partnerships and programs. You’ll read about student successes and how their competencies have strengthened communities and learn how NIC is renewing its programs, partnerships and facilities to serve future generations. Through the years, the North Island College region has changed significantly. In 1975, the largest town in our region had just over 20,000 people, with 71,000 people living in resource communities from Bamfield to Bella Coola. Radio and television reception was limited, and in some communities, unavailable. The Internet and email did not exist and even personal computers were quite rare. Reaching students meant hiring tutors to travel into logging camps and fishing communities on buses, which were outfitted as mobile learning centres with open learning courses, books, computers and video terminals. As the economies changed and rural populations declined, NIC built three campuses, amalgamated learning centres and worked with community partners to develop programs with face-to-face instructors, interactive television and online courses. Things were taken a step further with the development of international award-winning technology, allowing students to conduct science and robotics labs, live over the Internet from anywhere in the world. Through it all, the technology and course delivery methods may have changed, but North Island College’s reason for being has been constant. We continue to provide locally accessible, affordable post-secondary education opportunities for students on Vancouver Island, the central BC Coast and around the world. A 2013 BC Colleges’ study on the economic impact of education shows college graduates and communities benefit greatly from education. For every $1 students invest in NIC, they receive $3.20 in higher future earnings over the course of their working careers. Students also tell us NIC provides them with an opportunity to stay in their communities, start new careers, gain solid foundations for university degrees and earn new perspectives while studying internationally and contributing to their community’s social and economic well-being. In the future, economies and technologies will change again; some students will graduate into careers that don’t exist yet. But North Island College will be here, consulting with communities and providing access to education for students who are preparing for today’s careers and tomorrow’s possibilities. In creating this document, we know that summarizing a history as diverse as ours is challenging. We are sure to have missed milestones and contributions. That’s why we invite you to join us online where you can contribute your memories, photos and stories. We would love to hear how NIC has affected you and your family. Please celebrate with us at and share your NIC story. I look forward to reading them,

John Bowman, NIC President

Dr. Dennis Wing, President, 1976 - 1990

Dr. Neil Murphy, President, 1990 - 1997

Dr. Lou Dryden, President, 1997 - 2009

Dr. Jan Lindsay, President, 2009 - 2013


31 Years

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association was formed, faculty and staff organized unions and full-time enrolment, always a pressure across NIC’s vast region, grew exponentially.


Buses & benchmarks: NIC shapes history through education

By the millennium, Dr. Lou Dryden was tasked with strengthening NIC’s financial stability and forging new partnerships. Under his leadership, NIC was one of the first colleges in BC to offer an applied business degree, which has since graduated more than 100 students. A Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree was established with Vancouver Island University as well as a Bachelor of Arts in Liberal Studies. NIC students were also able to complete their Emily Carr Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in the Comox Valley and continue to be able to complete the first two years of study toward degrees at UVIC, VIU, UNBC, Emily Carr and Royal Roads.


orth Island College and its students have achieved transformational change and growth over the past 40 years. The College that started in 1975 out of a portable trailer in Campbell River and a few converted school buses now has an international reputation for online science labs and for integrating Aboriginal perspectives into the curriculum of nursing schools across Canada. Over the past 40 years, more than 155,000 people have taken a course or completed a program at NIC. From the beginning, NIC’s mandate was to provide postsecondary education to 71,000 people spread across 80,000 km2, an area larger than New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island combined.

Nigel and Adele Bailey drove one of NIC’s mobile learning centres in the mid 1980s. They are pictured here with their son Chris, now a network system analyst at NIC’s Comox Valley campus, and his grandfather Earl.

That geography, and NIC’s drive to provide costefficient education throughout the region, has fueled its accomplishments, sparked innovation and provided industry access to a locally trained workforce.

Without Internet, satellite or large-scale computer networks, students had opportunities to learn new skills and complete university degrees. NIC instructors, Dr. Michael Catchpole, Roger Albert and others took to the airwaves delivering psychology and sociology courses to all of BC on the Knowledge Network while tutors such as Nigel and Adele Bailey (above photo) drove the bumpy road to Woss Lake to tutor loggers and their families.

In the 1970s, Dr. Dennis Wing and a handful of college administrators created “BC’s first open college,“ hiring tutors to guide students through open learning courses in converted school buses, an ex-whaling boat and 24 learning centres across the region.

In the 1990s, Dr. Neil Murphy and a small team of administrators developed infrastructure as NIC’s larger communities demanded local campuses and trades workshops. Fine arts, health and trades programs were established to meet local demand, the first student

BC’s Department of Education approves the establishment of NIC, serving School Districts 71, 72, 84 and 85.


While the creation of new campuses increased options at NIC’s larger centres, enrolment dropped in more remote communities. As centres closed, specialized contract programs emerged. Dryden established NIC’s first regional Aboriginal advisory councils in consultation with 35 First Nations, allowing communities to identify their own program priorities, from bookkeeping to aquaculture to early childhood education. “The ability and willingness to work together was one of the most important characteristics of our ongoing successful relationships with First Nations,” said NIC’s former Dean of Development Programs Maggie O’Sullivan. In 2009, Dr. Jan Lindsay arrived with a vision of NIC as a premier community and destination college. NIC’s international enrolment grew rapidly, creating new programs and degree pathways for students world-wide and opening doors for domestic students to travel abroad while earning NIC credentials. Under her leadership, the

Port Alberni (School District 70) joins NIC, opening in a leased Catholic school facility on 8th street.

Fall term classes commence in NIC’s first full year of operation. Dr. Dennis Wing is appointed as principal of North Island College.



The first NIC mobile learning unit begins service to west coast communities.

Congratulations on Your Anniversary! Congratulations North Island College on celebrating your 40th Anniversary in 2016. 016.


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College created new university partnerships, developed research facilities and sold land at NIC’s Comox Valley campus to facilitate a new community hospital and expand health programs. John Bowman became president in 2013 with a determination to build on the foundation of the past, renewing partnerships, relationships and infrastructure across the region. Under his leadership, the College is exploring facility upgrades in Campbell River and Port Hardy and moving NIC’s interactive television facilities to Port McNeill to provide stronger, more vibrant facilities and resources for students.

“Our delivery methods may have changed but the commitment to student success is still there, stronger than ever.”

Knowledge to Share | NIC’s Roger Albert and Dr. Michael Catchpole taught sociology and psychology via the Knowledge Network, to students across Western Canada. Dr. Catchpole still teaches via interactive television at NIC’s Port Alberni campus today.

John Bowman, NIC President

In the past year, extensive consultation with communities resulted in Plan 2020, the college’s strategic plan. In 2015, NIC was recognized in Maclean’s Magazine, for its leadership in signing a national Aboriginal Education protocol alongside representatives from 35 First Nations. “We really are in a time of renewal,” said Bowman. “From programs and facilities to technology and key partnerships in all our regions, we have always had to be innovative to create opportunities for students and communities. Our delivery methods may have changed but the commitment to student success is still there, stronger than ever.” For more information, visit

Central Coast School District 49 joins NIC and the Bella Coola Centre is born.


Haunted History | Ian, a ghost in NIC’s main administration offices in the Comox Valley, known as the “The Fort” got his name after staff at a Halloween party consulted a Ouija Board. The building, on Manor Road in Comox, still holds a special room in Ian’s name.

Students at NIC’s Alert Bay centre take part in NIC’s first aquaculture program.

Remote Web-Based Science Laboratories | International student Paulo Junqueira controls live science and robotics equipment from his tablet. The RWSL technology, developed by Albert Balbon, has earned international recognition.


NIC develops Forest Resource Skills courses in cooperation with three major forest companies.


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Share your NIC stories, photos and memories. See the inside back cover for details.


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Happy Anniversary North Island College!

Celebrating 10 Years in the Valley!

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NIC fuels a growing economy


Hagen told local newspapers.

orth Island College has prepared local students for careers in the Comox Valley’s growing economy for the past 40 years.

From its early 5th Street location in downtown Courtenay to its home atop Ryan Road, NIC has prepared students with the skills and knowledge to build new hospitals and subdivisions, provide health care, manage businesses and contribute to a vibrant arts community. When Judy Hagen enrolled in NIC’s first university transfer courses in 1975, it enabled her to finish her Simon Fraser University degree while raising five children in the Comox Valley. One of her classes at NIC consisted of a number of mature students who were upgrading their education or completing degrees while working in the Comox Valley. “Many teachers who had been taking summer courses in Vancouver or Victoria to finish their degree were able to stay with their families and do it here,” said Hagen. “Those first classes included hippies, military employees and mature students — it was a real slice of life in the Comox Valley.”

“Students would say they were going traveling or going to UVic, SFU, UBC, Camosun or maybe Malaspina College,”

1981 1981

When NIC’s Ryan Road campus opened its doors in 1992, Comox Valley residents stood in line to tour the site. Local enrolment grew as did demand for new buildings to house university transfer, fine arts, business, nursing and trades and technology programs. In 1996, the Shadbolt Studios provided modern facilities for fine arts students and Tyee Hall was built in 2003 to provide room for a bookstore, cafeteria and additional classrooms. When the province created applied degree opportunities, Sharon Card, NIC’s business department chair, jumped at the opportunity.

As the Comox Valley grew, her husband, the late Stan Hagen, who served as the minister of 10 different ministries with the BC government, was frustrated by the number of high school graduates leaving the Comox Valley.

Samarinda II, a 160 foot ex-whaling ship brings NIC to remote coastal communities.

He went on to create programs to improve postsecondary completion rates across BC and enable more high school graduates to study at home. As BC’s Minister of Advanced Education, he helped secure funding for new Comox Valley facilities to meet demand for face-toface instruction and increase access to post-secondary diplomas and degrees.

“[Former NIC President Dr.] Lou Dryden always said we were the first small college in BC to have an applied degree approved,” said Card. “Even though our program was small, NIC students consistently out-performed students at larger institutions. Our size was an advantage, not a disadvantage.”

The first NIC welding programs in modular form are offered at the Comox Valley campus. Additional programs run in smaller communities.

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Nigerian business student Simon Mbah and Cascadia Liquor Store manager Jeff Lucas worked together under NIC’s Global Leaders of Tomorrow program.

NIC’s Business Office Training program offers secretarial training with specialized business machines available in NIC learning centres.

Thank you and Congratulations to North Island College for providing high level education to our communities on the Island.


NIC’s School of Business has since grown to include three degree pathways, an online certificate, post-degree diplomas and international partnerships. “Our students expand their views with peers from around the world while preparing for local and global careers,” said Bill Parkinson, NIC’s current business department chair. University partnerships, trades training facilities and four-year apprenticeship programs followed, increasing students’ abilities to stay local and prepare for new careers in construction, health, human services and business.

“The breadth and range of course offerings allows the local community

Fine Art Facilities | In 1996, NIC named the Shadbolt

to prosper in a cost-effective and truly

Studio, a 7,510 square foot gallery space for painting, ceramics and sculpture students.

meaningful way.” Paul Ives, Mayor, Town of Comox

“It’s easy to see the impact NIC has in improving the lives of our community members,” said Comox Mayor Paul Ives, whose wife, two sons and daughter-in-law graduated from NIC’s nursing, fine arts, trades training and business programs. “Personally and professionally, we are big advocates of NIC and the NIC Foundation; the breadth and range of course offerings allows the local community to prosper in a cost effective and truly meaningful way.” For more information, visit

Trades Opportunity | Ben Labbe (right) was one of the first Comox Valley employers to sponsor an apprentice at the Trades Training Centre. His apprentice Ryan Hughes is now a Red Seal carpenter who owns Hughes Timber Craft, a local timber frame company.


NIC wins federal support to teach critical skills needed in the workplace – including the use and programming of computers.

NIC courses are offered via television and on videotape at learning centres as well as via satellite and cable on the Knowledge Network.


Room to Grow | In 2003, former Comox Valley MLA Stan Hagen (centre) broke ground at Tyee Hall, now home to NIC business, human services and university transfer students.

Linda Ruehlen signs an agreement with BCIT allowing NIC students to complete year one of the registered nursing program at NIC.


NIC Fine Arts Diploma Begin your fine arts degree at NIC and explore printmaking, sculpture, painting, digital visual arts, ceramics, photography, and so much more. Your courses will transfer to degrees at UVic, Emily Carr University of Art + Design, and universities across Canada. Tuition: $2,850 approx per year | Starts: Sept 2016


Share your NIC stories, photos and memories. See the inside back cover for details.



Passion for physics connects instructor and student


n NIC instructor is changing the world’s understanding of the universe and inspiring students to follow in her footsteps.

“I was astonished my first-year physics class was taught by a female professor who is also an

Jennifer Fallis Starhunter is one of a handful of scientists in the world with expertise to experimentally measure the rates of different nuclear reactions and processes in stellar explosions.

astrophysicist. I want to be her when I grow up.” Victoria Jancowski, NIC Dual Admission student

Most summers, she can be found at UBC’s TRIUMF lab, working with particle accelerators to conduct experiments that mimic what happens when stars explode. In the fall and winter, she’s back at NIC sharing her expertise with first-year physics and engineering students, such as Victoria Jancowski.

inviting her to a group tour of TRIUMF this summer and encouraging her to take on research work in university.

“I was astonished my first-year physics class was taught by a female professor who is also an astrophysicist,” said Jancowski, who will study physics at UVic this fall. “I want to be her when I grow up.”

NIC physics student Victoria Jancowski will transfer seamlessly to UVic this September, as part of NIC’s partnership with UVic. Jancowski was inspired by her instructor Jennifer Fallis Starhunter (right).

Through most of high school, Jancowski’s passion for physics set her apart. She bonded with a few students and teachers who understood her dream of studying high energy particle physics at the CERN laboratory in Switzerland but not many of them were women.

hundreds of other students. We never would have talked.”

When she realized Fallis Starhunter, an international expert in her chosen field, would teach her first-year physics class, she was beyond excited.

Fallis Starhunter’s specialty is relatively new, developed with technology and experiments made possible by high powered particle accelerators in Switzerland, New York, Illinois and BC. In 2015, she was one of five speakers invited to Cyprus to present her research on one of the least understood and therefore most mysterious of processes that takes place when stars explode.

“I’m so lucky to have met her,” Victoria said. “If I had started at UVic I would have been in a lecture hall with

The two have developed quite a bond — with Fallis Starhunter lending Jancowski nuclear physics textbooks,

“I have a complex specialty but if students have an understanding of the basics it’s not that hard to explain how it works,” she said. “If I taught at a larger institution, I might not have the opportunity to make such a strong one-on-one connection with students like Victoria.” Under NIC’s Dual Admission Agreement with UVic, first signed in 2011, Jancowski is able to transition to university-level courses, develop new friendships and qualify for $4,000 in scholarships from both institutions. “NIC’s university partnerships and degree pathways provide North Island students a solid foundation for success,” said Lisa Domae, NIC’s Vice President of Learning and Students. “Students can stay at home, save money and access personalized instruction and services for up to two years while they guarantee their seat at university.” Find out more, visit

Between 1986 and 1989, more than 30 courses were offered via personal microcomputers. NIC became renowned for its computer instruction methods and a model for institutions in Canada and abroad. Courses were delivered on floppy disks or delivered by mobile training facilities.



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NIC’s Port Alberni campus increases its support staff to four at the Smith Memorial campus. Space is so tight support staff still remember the bruises from bumping into desks, typewriters and computer equipment.

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Exclusive Degree Partnerships | In 2012, NIC partnered with the University of Manitoba to give hundreds of Canadian Forces members educational support and academic credit for rank close to home.

Engineered to Succeed | NIC’s dual and guaranteed partnership agreements provide engineering students new opportunities to study locally, before seamlessly transferring into their second year at UVic, UBC and more.

Scholarship Opportunities | In 2011, Emma Dubé wins $23,000 in scholarships from NIC and UVic by starting her university career at home with UVic Dual Admission.

Faculty and staff raise $800 to $1,000 annually through community donations to support upgrading, university studies, business administration and business office training students in Port Alberni.


Dr. Dennis Wing’s contribution to distance education is awarded by the Commonwealth of Learning.


BCCAT is established. The BC transfer system makes it easier for NIC students to complete their credentials at institutions throughout BC.

NIC Criminology Diploma Criminology provides an excellent knowledge base for work in nearly every aspect of the justice system. Start your degree at NIC and receive two years toward many university programs, including a Bachelor of Arts degree in Criminology at either VIU or SFU. Tuition: $2,850 approx | Starts: Sept 2016


Share your NIC stories, photos and memories. See the inside back cover for details.


Congratulations North Island College

for helping students to embark on their lives’ journey for 40 Years At Sunwest RV we've been bringing local families together for 30 Years!

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NIC students thrive in Campbell River orth Island College has been supporting Campbell River’s economy, helping local residents thrive and attracting students to the community since it opened is doors in 1975.


“This community is so important in our lives,� he said. “It wasn’t an option for us to leave.�

The college began from a small oďŹƒce behind the Campbell River School Board oďŹƒces. It then grew to Elm Street and eventually, in 1997 local demand created need for a dedicated trades facility and a 16,440 square foot campus built in partnership with Timberline High School.

“I didn’t even know what door to go in,� he said. “I just knew I didn’t want to be chasing work around the country for the rest of my life.�

“Providing support for local industry was one of the biggest things we did in the 1990s,â€? said Bruce Meldrum, who spent a decade leading NIC’s Applied Health, Technical and Trades division in Campbell River. “The opportunity for students to update or learn new skills and get apprenticeships with local companies was signiďŹ cant.â€?

“It is a privilege to be able to connect local, qualiďŹ ed individuals with jobs in Campbell River.â€?

The day he heard about the pending closure he drove straight to NIC on his way home from work.

After reviewing options with an educational advisor, he decided practical nursing held the best career prospects. “A lot of people told me, ‘I can’t aord to go back to school’ but the way I look at it, I can’t aord not to,â€? he said. His hard work paid o. Nearly 10 years later, he is still working full time on the medical oor of the Campbell River hospital. In 2013, Mike McLean arrived in Campbell River from BC’s interior to study industrial automation. Like many of his classmates, he graduated with job oers in Campbell River, Nanaimo and Alberta, but chose to stay in Campbell River. “This program gave me the opportunity to develop my interests and ďŹ nd a career in my ďŹ eld,â€? he said before graduating in 2015. “I already have two job oers to choose from in Campbell River.â€?

John Bowman, NIC President

In 2008, Tom Hill (photo page 9) was one of 230 TimberWest workers laid o from the Campbell River mill. At 45, the single dad was faced with looking for work out of province, or trying to ďŹ nd another job in Campbell River.

NIC’s second president, Dr. Neil Murphy, joins NIC.


As a lifetime North Island resident, Kelsey Anglin (photo, page 9) took part in two international exchange trips as part of her Bachelor of Business Administration degree and came back to support her community.

A 45-foot Mobile Gas Training Trailer provides training throughout BC – in partnership with federal and provincial governments and the BC gas industry.

NIC Foundation is incorporated as a non-proďŹ t society.


Mike McLean moved to Campbell River in 2013 with his family for NIC’s Industrial Automation program and received two local job oers.

NIC students vote 92 per cent in favour of creating a united, democratic students’ union; the North Island Student Association (NISA).

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NIC signs its ďŹ rst collective agreement with CUPE Local 3479, providing comparable wage increases, beneďŹ ts and provisions found at other BC colleges.


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After graduation, Anglin went to work at CIBC, where she is now a commercial banking manager with a territory that extends from Qualicum to Port Hardy. Anglin’s international experience gives her a new way of looking at herself and the world, broadening her understanding of the global marketplace. She now brings this perspective to local businesses to help foster a thriving community. “My job is not a job everyone gets at a young age. It really is a destination position,” she said. “NIC is so great because if you want to apply yourself in any way possible you have a lot at your fingertips.” This fall and winter, NIC is working with the provincial government to provide local training opportunities for workers affected by the Myra Falls Mine suspension and Quinsam Mine closure near Campbell River. “We are always working with government and industry to ensure programs align with regional needs so those who call Campbell River home can continue contributing to the economic success of the region,” said NIC President John Bowman. “It is a privilege to be able to connect local, qualified individuals with jobs in Campbell River.”

Mid-life Career Change | In 2008, 45-year old lumber grader and single dad Tom Hill turned to NIC for practical nurse training after being laid off when TimberWest closed the mill.

For more information, visit

Industry Partnerships | NIC instructor Doug Cross and a representative from Westmin Resources with equipment donated for NIC trades students.


Comox Valley campus opens for classes. At 60,000 square feet, it is one of the largest wood frame construction projects in BC.

Education Abroad & Local Success | Business alumni Kelsey Anglin says the personalized attention and international opportunities she received at NIC helped launch her career as a commercial banker.

NIC president, Dr. Neil Murphy signs an official twinning agreement with Mrs. Chiyoko Koike, Principal of Koike Gakuen College, Ishikari, Japan.


New Port Alberni campus opens on Roger Street, amalgamating programs held at Smith Memorial School and high school workshops.


NIC Electronics Technician Core Certificate Learn to troubleshoot, maintain and build electronic circuits including microprocessors and robotic equipment. Qualify for entry into a wide range of second year specialty options offered throughout BC, Canada and the US including NIC’s Industrial Automation Technician diploma. Tuition: $2,850 approx | Starts: Sept 2016


Share your NIC stories, photos and memories. See the inside back cover for details.


Congratulations to NIC for a great 40 years!

Thank you to all the faculty and staff who created and supported the Aircraft Structures Program, and the many graduates who work with us at Sealand Aviation! | 1-800-331-4244 | Campbell River Airport and Campbell River Floatplane Base


100 students have gained the skills, knowledge and certification required to enter the workplace.

Aircraft Structures graduates take flight

On graduation, students can continue into a three-year Aircraft Maintenance Engineer (Structures) certification, with the time and tests taken at NIC credited towards their Transport Canada licence.

Demand for NIC’s Aircraft Structures Technician students is sky high, locally and around the world.

“Since the program started 12 years

Many former NIC students now work across Canada and around the world manufacturing, repairing and servicing planes and helicopters.

ago, I’ve seen many students develop local and international careers.” Ruedi Pletscher,

“The aviation industry is one of Vancouver Island’s bestkept secrets,” said program instructor Ruedi Pletscher. “Many people have no idea how significant it is. Companies are always looking to recruit new people. Our students are always in demand. One year, Viking Air in Victoria hired the whole class!”

Instructor, NIC Aircraft Structures program

The program has built a strong reputation locally. Campbell River based Sealand Aviation recruits NIC students annually to overhaul and repair light aircraft and manufacturing components. Company president Bill Alder said he was “incredibly satisfied” with the quality and motivation of students emerging from the NIC program.

The list of personal success stories is a source of pride for Pletscher. Among them is Mike Alix, based in the Northwest Territories with Canadian Helicopters, whose work takes him from the Arctic to the Amazon. He began his training at NIC’s Campbell River campus and now repairs and maintains helicopters around the world.

Aircraft structures instructor Ruedi Pletscher sees students such as Ali Hunt graduate into local and international careers.

Dylan Wheaton was living in Yellowknife but signed up for the NIC program that was a 2,500 kilometers drive from home because of its great reputation with people in the industry. His skills have recently been called on for projects in Indonesia as well as in BC.

includes electronics, heavy duty mechanics, automotive repair, forestry, professional cook programs, marine services and welding.

The program is one of several trades training opportunities at NIC’s Campbell River campus, which

The specialist 10-month Aircraft Structures Technician program is one of only two Transport Canada licensed programs in BC. Since it began in 2004, more than

NIC Nerds Ski Team takes part in Mount Washington Coca-Cola Classic

Contribute to our timeline! Visit our NICStories group on Facebook.

1995 1995

One of those students, Ali Hunt (photo left), a First Nations student originally from Fort Rupert, was the program’s top student. She was so keen to get in she raffled off a traditional cedar hat and other donated items to help pay for tuition. “It’s amazing to see students’ spark for the aeronautics industry,” said Pletscher, “Since the program started 12 years ago, I’ve seen many students develop local and international careers.” Find out more, visit

Jack Shadbolt officially opens NIC’s 7,200 square foot Fine Arts studio in his name.

11996 996

NIC Aircraft Structures Technician Develop precision skills working with everything from sheet metal and wood to fabric and thermoplastics. Qualify for high-demand jobs locally and around the world. Receive recognition from Transport Canada toward your AME-S licence. Tuition: $2,850 approx | Starts: Sept 2016


Share your NIC stories, photos and memories. See the inside back cover for details.


Congratulation North Island College for 40 Years of Quality Education ISLAND HONDA GRADUATE PROGRAM



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Forged in Steel | Welding is one of NIC’s longest-running trades programs, with graduates working in manufacturing, construction, forestry and oil and gas industries around the world.

Heavy Duty | NIC Heavy Duty Apprenticeship students in Campbell River provide crucial support for the forestry industry on the North Island.

NIC opens a joint high school/college facility in Campbell River in collaboration with School District 72.


Teaching with passion | Mickey Bliss’ students are working as journeymen, contractors, supervisors and instructors locally and around the world.

NIC’s third President, Dr. Lou Dryden, joins NIC.

NIC partners with the Haahuupayuk First Nation to offer the Nuu-chah-nulth language in two dialects to 36 Port Alberni students.


What's Your Forte?




Happy Anniversary North Island College! Serving Courtenay for over 33 Years


COURTENAY Mon - Fri 8am - 9pm, Sat -Sun 8am - 8pm

“I really haven’t had a single relapse in the last six years,” she said. “There is no way that I would have been able to achieve my goals without the community backing and supporting me. My dream now is to give back to my community what they have given me.”


Circle of giving: scholarship recipient gives back


era Cooper is turning the support she received from her community into a lifetime of helping people in need on Vancouver Island.

Tera has already started finding ways to nurture and support future generations.

Tera Cooper (far right) and NIC social services students give back by creating youth awards with the LINC Youth Centre. Cooper is one of many scholarship winners thankful for the community support the NIC Foundation provides.

The graduate of NIC’s Social Services diploma has risen above many life challenges on her way to earning a Bachelor of Social Work degree from UVic.

post-secondary education possible for students who couldn’t afford to start NIC without it.”

Cooper is managing multiple sclerosis and is a single mother of two young adults. She also received top marks throughout her studies, graduating at the top of her class and serving as Comox Valley valedictorian in 2015.

The Foundation creates awards that celebrate excellence and alleviate students’ financial hardship. It also ensures students have access to up-to-date equipment and resources.

How does Cooper manage going back to school while raising two teenage sons?

“In turn, those students contribute to our communities, creating a circle of giving to support the growth of our communities,” said Auchterlonie.

“I reached out to the NIC Foundation,” she said. “And that’s where I received the help to get me where I am today.”

For Cooper, the award was all the motivation she needed to manage her health and find the resilience to have a positive outlook on her personal and academic goals.

Since the Foundation was created in 1991, it has helped 3,500 NIC students pursue their educational goals and distributed $1.95 million to students in the community.

“There is no way I would have been able to achieve my goals without the community backing and supporting me.” Tera Cooper, NIC Social Service diploma graduate

students in 2014 and further developed in 2015, with the hopes of creating a living legacy that honours youth who make a difference in the community.

Find out more, visit

Dr. Jim Anderson takes his anthropology class to Jordan. They contribute to an archaeological dig which excavates two major sites along the Dead Sea.

ElderCollege launches in the Comox Valley, inspired and run by volunteers Elizabeth Smith and Betty Emery.

22000 000

Learn something new at Courtenay Recreation • Leadership & Skill Development Courses • Arts & Movement • Culinary Pursuits • Health & Wellness • Volunteering Opportunities Lewis Centre 250-338-5371 The LINC 250-334-8138 Filberg Centre 250-338-1000

In addition to volunteering with the Comox Valley Community Justice Centre, she and a group of Social Service diploma students in NIC’s Community Development course organized an awards program honouring Comox Valley youth at Courtenay’s LINC Youth Centre. The awards were originally created by NIC

The experience and connections made through NIC’s workplace practicums provide Cooper with an opportunity to continue advocating for local youth and families when she graduates next year.

“Last year alone we awarded $260,000 to 250 students across the region,” said Foundation Executive Director Susan Auchterlonie. “Our 2,000 generous donors make

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NIC is 25 years old. Its Board of Governors implements Strategic Plan 2000-2003 to enhance the quality of life of the residents and communities of the North Island and Central Coast.


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Aboriginal relationships key to success


his spring, NIC students on Flores Island will be able to become early childhood educators in their community.

Early Childhood Care and Education Instructor Theresa Gereluk and Elder in Residence Betty Keitlah will be in Ahousaht this spring and summer to meet the community’s education needs and support each student’s success. “Our relationship with First Nations across the region is key to providing communities the opportunities they’re looking for,” said Kelly Shopland, NIC’s Director of Aboriginal Education. “Our successes belong to the council members, Elders, advisors and all the community members who inform our decisions and support Aboriginal Education across the region.” The Ahousaht Education Authority knew students wanted to advance their skills but couldn’t leave their families to do it. They worked with NIC’s Aboriginal Education Advisory Council, which prioritizes funding for First Nations in NIC’s service area. The 13 students registered in the program are grateful. “Ahousaht is home to me — it is a big part of who I am,” said NIC student Janey Thomas, a mother of five. “I’m thankful I won’t need to leave my family for hours or days at a time.” This is not the first time NIC has used this model. In its early days, NIC offered small engine repair and maintenance to fishing-dependent communities in Kyuquot as well as a carpentry program in Ahousaht, where a learning centre was built complete with living quarters for faculty

NIC obtains a T-33 Silver Star jet from the Department of National Defence for use in its aircraft structures program.


members. A Cultural Heritage Resource Management program (photo right) ran in Tsaxana, north of Gold River, as well as Residential Building Maintenance programs in Port Alberni and the Mount Waddington region. In 2014, eight Ahousaht students made history by completing their Education Assistant certificate in their community.

“Our successes belong to the council members, elders, advisors and all the community members who inform our decisions.” Kelly Shopland, NIC Director of Aboriginal Education

NIC’s commitment to Aboriginal Education has been evident throughout its 40-year history. It was the first post-secondary institution in BC to appoint an Aboriginal director to its senior educational table, to hire a First Nations’ coordinator, to adapt curriculum to include First Nations perspectives in nursing and to sign a national Indigenous Education protocol alongside 35 First Nations. NIC now has four Aboriginal education advisors and five Elders in Residence, as well as a host of Aboriginal services and programs, each prioritized by regional advisory councils. Find out more, visit:

Aboriginal Education | In 2011, the Mowachaht / Muchalaht people worked with NIC instructor Margarita James (2nd from left) to create a Cultural Heritage Resource Management program, which built capacity and enriched cultural opportunities in Tsaxana, a community of more than 230 people just north of Gold River.

NIC Tourism & Hospitality students welcome 350 guests to NIC’s first Wine Fest, showcasing local industry representatives. The festival is a sell out nearly every year since.


Albert Balbon and Ron Evans (left) pioneer a remote telescope system for distance astronomy students to explore the universe from home.

Students can now complete a four-year nursing degreein collaboration with VIU in the Comox Valley.


NIC Professional Cook (Culinary Arts) Master the essentials of cooking, menu planning and nutrition. Gain hands-on experience in NIC’s Third Course Bistro. Apprentice with local employers and learn while you earn apprenticeship technical training credit toward your Interprovincial (Red Seal) certification. Tuition: $2,220 approx for Level 1 | Starts: Sept 2016


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Community engagement provides opportunity


orth Island College has created transformational education opportunities for students in Port Alberni and the West Coast.

In 1976, classes were held at Smith Memorial School, a former Catholic school site, while welding and culinary classes were held in a nearby high school. A wide range of upgrading, business and university transfer courses were also offered in small learning centres or via traveling tutors that met students in Bamfield, Ucluelet, Tofino, Ahousaht and more.

“It’s not just the value of having a college in the community; it’s having one that is really engaged with community.” Bill Brown, Community Partnership Coordinator, Alberni Valley Employment Centre

NIC almost didn’t exist in any of those locations. When the Alberni School District debated between joining NIC or Malaspina College in 1976, a single vote made all the difference. The debate centred on NIC’s guarantee to

provide dedicated student services and resources in the area. That faceto-face presence has had a huge impact on people’s lives in Port Alberni ever since. As one of NIC’s first students in 1978 and a 35-year employee of NIC in Port Alberni, Lorna Crowshaw has Community partners Terry Deakin, Nancy Twynam, Bill Brown, Greg Freethy and Tony Bellavia work together to support Port Alberni students. helped hundreds of students flow through the College’s doors. first step toward obtaining her bachelor degree at Royal Over the years, Crowshaw has seen wrestling students Roads University. She is now completing her masters and coaches travel to the Beijing Olympics, Alberni Valley degree in Community Development at UVic. Bulldogs players move from NIC to ivy league universities, “NIC was hugely influential in building my confidence, high school students create a symbolic “Pathway to my self-esteem and my skills,” Deakin said. “I really feel an Success” from Alberni District Secondary School to NIC attachment to the College. Everyone was family there — and countless alumni attain fulfilling careers. it was a great experience. I believe in the importance of Terry Deakin is one of those alumni. The current owner having local colleges in communities; from my personal and operator of INEO Employment Services was one and my professional experience, they do great work that of the first graduates of NIC’s Human Service Worker really matters.” program when the new campus opened in 1994. INEO now employs 14 people and works with individuals She faced significant challenges before enrolling at NIC, who face barriers to employment. Deakin’s studies and including a successful battle against drug addiction in connection to NIC inspired her to serve on NIC’s Human the 1990s. The College was an integral part of Deakin’s Services and Construction Labourer program advisory determination to pursue positive life choices; it was the committees and donate annually to the NIC Foundation.

NIC’s Aircraft Structures program gets Transport Canada approval. Classes begin.

NIC’s internationally recognized Remote Web-based Science Labs are developed by Albert Balbon.

2004 2004

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Congratulations to North Island College! Here’s to another 40 years of providing outstanding post-secondary education.

Gord Johns

Mem mber of Parliament nt Courtenay—Alberni


NIC appoints its first Director of Aboriginal Education. Vivian Hermansen is a member of the Snuneymuxw First Nation.

Congratulations to North Island College on their 40th Anniversary! 407 E 5th Street, Courtenay • 250-334-4722 •



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The same commitment holds true for Greg Freethy, the district lead for School District 70’s Career Education programs. Under the ACE-IT and Dual Credit programs, students receive credit toward their Grade 12 graduation and earn provincially recognized trades, health and early childhood education certificates while university-bound students graduate with first-year courses while still in high school. The results have been phenomenal. “Over the past three years we have graduated 100 per cent of students, well above the provincial average,” he said. “There is tremendous commitment from staff at both organizations to make this work so effectively.” He praised the way NIC and School District 70 work together to provide opportunities for students to learn additional skills close to home. Bill Brown, the community partnership coordinator at the Alberni Valley Employment Centre, says NIC’s value is more than its location.

Student Success | NIC’s Construction Labourer program was developed with community leaders to provide postsecondary support, skills and career readiness to students in Port Alberni.

“It’s not just the value of having a college in the community; it’s having one that’s really engaged with the community,” he said. “NIC initiated a process for a community forum, where we come together every quarter to review the community needs and make sure we’re all on the same page. That’s positive engagement.” For more information, visit

English in Tofino | In 2013, NIC hosted one night of a first-year Joint Credit | Sahara Gibson graduated with her joinery credential English course at the Tofino Botanical Gardens. The course was open to adults and high school students in Ucluelet.

NIC launches BC’s first Applied Business degree. The BBA is the first degree established completely by NIC.


Art show features the work of first 12 graduates of NIC and Emily Carr’s initial partnership.

while still in high school, through ACE-IT, in partnership with NIC and Alberni District Secondary School.


NIC launches ITAapproved Professional Cook program in response to industry demand.

NIC Welder Foundation Learn the core welding skills, processes, and techniques needed to enter the welding trade. Earn technical training credit toward Year 1 and 2 of welder apprenticeship training. Industry Training Authority (ITA) approved. Tuition: $2,220 approx | Starts: Sept 2016


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Students succeed in Mount Waddington


Nigel and Adele Bailey drove one of NIC’s converted school buses down logging roads into Zeballos, Woss Lake and Nimpkish Camp in the mid 1980s. Nigel remembers a Woss Lake lifeguard who learned French, travelled to France and, ultimately opened a bilingual daycare.

“NIC’s presence on the North Island is signiďŹ cant,â€? said Caitlin Hartnett, NIC’s Mount Waddington campus community coordinator. “We are very interested in working with communities to provide educational success across the region — one student, one program and one community at a time.â€?

“It didn’t matter what the road was like on the way home,“ he said. “When one person found success, you left motivated.�

orth Island College has been changing lives in the Mount Waddington region since 1975.

Whether residents dreamed of becoming oďŹƒce assistants, educators, provincial lawyers or practical nurses, NIC has helped students achieve success on the North Island for 40 years.

In 1975, NIC serviced the North Island out of converted buses and two dozen locally staed learning centres, from Alert Bay to San Josef Bay, providing a means for communities to diversify from the forest industry.

“We are very interested in working with communities to provide educational success across the region — one student, one program and one community at a time.� Caitlin Hartnett, NIC Mount Waddington campus community coordinator

Port McNeill Mayor Shirley Ackland, a long-time NIC instructor, sees her students employed in oďŹƒces across the region. For other students, such as Anita Blieck, NIC was a crucial stepping stone into a law degree and a career as the chief executive oďŹƒcer for BC’s PostSecondary Employers’ Association. “When I ran into her in Victoria, she introduced me to her young daughter as the woman who helped change her life,â€? Ackland said. “Needless to say I was very moved.â€? David Hudson also saw huge impact on a community level. “At one point, thousands of people took courses at NIC,â€? said Hudson, who led NIC’s Gold River centre and later moved into lead positions in the Comox Valley and Port Hardy. “Many were women enrolled in oďŹƒce administration courses or men, 40 and older, who found it diďŹƒcult to work in the industry any more.â€?

NIC President, Dr. Lou Dryden, oďŹƒcially appointed Honorary Colonel of 19 Wing Comox.

2008 2008

Graduation ceremonies at NIC’s Mount Waddington regional campus in Port Hardy include historic regalia and community pride.

Hudson recalls several NIC ďŹ rsts, including hiring one of BC’s ďŹ rst coordinators of native education in 1991, providing ESL to new immigrants in Tahsis and oering virtual study skills courses to unemployed workers across Canada.

NIC’s fourth president, Dr. Jan Lindsay, joins NIC NIC students approve a $15,000 NISU endowment fund.


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“I’m very, very proud of NIC’s work in the region,” said Hudson. “We gave people who wanted an education an opportunity they didn’t have before and, on a community level, NIC provided necessary social and economic development support. Some people who took office administration or aquaculture with NIC in Alert Bay are still here working in those industries.” When budget constraints led to the consolidation of learning centres, several communities tried unsuccessfully to keep centres open. NIC responded with specialized programs and community partnerships to support student learning in community. In 2013, Alert Bay student Emmalina Stadnyk, an upgrading student at the Cormorant Island Community Learning Centre received NIC’s top award for academic excellence. This summer, NIC is running training programs for unemployed mill workers in Port Alice and Campbell River, as well as upgrading in Bella Coola and Kingcome Inlet.

Coastal Forestry Retraining | In 2015, NIC offered a tuition-free Coastal Forestry Resource program for people affected by the economic downturn on the North Island.

This year, NIC is exploring a new Port Hardy location and is refocusing its efforts in Port McNeill, where interactive TV courses will provide new opportunities for the community at North Island Senior Secondary. For more information, visit

Aquaculture First | In 1977, NIC operated one of BC’s first salmon aquaculture programs from its learning centre in Alert Bay. Many of the students are still employed in the industry today.


Excavators begin preparing the site for the trades training facility at NIC’s Comox Valley campus.

Degree Pathways | Joye Walkus upgraded her education at NIC and graduated with a Bachelor of Education degree in Indigenous Language Revitalization from UVic.

NIC celebrates the opening of Gathering Places at its Campbell River and Port Alberni campuses.


In the 2010/11 academic year, NIC welcomes 100 students from 15 countries.

NIC and VIHA sign Health Education partnership agreement, positioning NIC to be a key provider of specialty health programs.


NIC Tourism & Hospitality Management Diploma Learn from industry leaders as you organize tourism events, travel to top resorts and take part in academic exchange and paid work experience opportunities locally and around the world. Tuition: $3,515 approx per year | Starts: Sept 2016


Share your NIC stories, photos and memories. See the inside back cover for details.


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else. NIC instructors were fantastically supportive.” In 2015, NIC student Dawn Tisdale, spent her graduating year as the president of the Canadian Nursing Students’ Association, the voice of nearly 30,000 student nurses across Canada. In talking to student nurses across the country, Tisdale, and a group of determined NIC students, realized very few learned about Indigenous perspectives in nursing. The group proposed a resolution to encourage Canadian nursing programs to integrate Indigenous teachings and ways of knowing into their curriculum.

NIC nurses active locally, nationally and internationally


orth Island College’s registered nursing program is known across Canada for its professionalism, leadership, innovation and inclusive culture.

This year, NIC will graduate its 410th nurse from diploma and degree programs, positively impacting health and social care in health facilities from Tofino to Nova Scotia. “I can’t go into a health agency without bumping into a graduate,” said long-time NIC instructor Catherine Clark. “It’s inspiring to see NIC graduates move into leadership positions across the Island.” NIC’s registered nursing programs began as a five-month refresher course, designed to meet the needs of nurses returning to work. By 1985, NIC and BCIT joined forces to provide students an opportunity to start the first year of a two-year diploma at NIC. By 1993, students could choose: complete their degree at a partner university or complete a diploma locally and write the national nursing exam. As the minimum entry to practice as a registered nurse became a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree across Canada, NIC worked with the Collaborative Nursing Program of BC, and later the Collaboration for Academic Education in Nursing and VIU to deliver a four-year degree at NIC. The degree was a huge breakthrough for the community college and a major opportunity for students. “Students finally had the opportunity to stay at home,

“I’m honoured our curriculum is being talked about as something all Canadian nurses should have.” Dawn Tisdale, Bachelor of Science in Nursing student NIC Bachelor of Science in Nursing graduate Tom Thomas travelled to Nepal as part of NIC’s Global Learning Initiative and is now a street nurse in the Comox Valley.

save money and acquire the professional skills and understandings of modern nursing,” said former Health and Human Services Dean Dr. Jocelyne Van Neste-Kenny. After graduating in 2010, Tom Thomas took a position as a rehabilitation nurse in Nova Scotia before becoming a street nurse in Port Alberni and the Comox Valley. He was one of the founding members of NIC’s Global Learning Initiative, which enables nursing and human service students to provide care in remote communities. “When I tell other nurses about my experience, their jaws drop,” he said. “I got to work in First Nations’ communities, help nurses in Nepal and address social justice issues. I cannot imagine being able to do those things anywhere

Third-year nursing students can also travel to remote First Nations communities, under the guidance of NIC faculty and Dr. Evelyn Voyageur, a former president of the Aboriginal Nurses Association of Canada and an NIC Elder in Residence. “NIC’s inclusive approach to building relationships and learning from other cultures encourages students to be comfortable working with people of all nationalities,” Voyageur said. “I’m really proud to be part of it.” For more information, visit

NIC offers Health Care Assistant program on Hornby Island in collaboration with the Hornby and Denman Community Healthcare Society.

Dr. Stephen Cross, joins NIC thanks to NSERC research funding to study sustainable aquaculture.

2013 2013

“At NIC, listening to, learning from and respecting other cultures is built in from the beginning, “ Tisdale said. “I’m honoured our curriculum is being talked about as something all Canadian nurses should have.”

NIC’s fifth president, Mr. John Bowman, joins the College.

22014 014




Communities partner to improve access to education


IC is taking education out of the classroom and into the community to improve literacy and prepare students for further education.

In Port Hardy, Port Alberni, Ucluelet, Ahousaht, Gold River, Bella Coola and across the region, community organizers and college educators are providing educational opportunities to students of all abilities. “NIC’s goal has always been to provide students with greater access to post-secondary education,” said Tony Bellavia, NIC’s Assistant Vice President, Access and Regions. “We know students are most successful when we work with community organizations across the region to identify and deliver the resources students need.”

”We know students are most

Sandra’s enthusiasm, award-winning instruction and 15 years of teaching experience supports students progression to more advanced levels or college programs. Her work is one of several examples of off-campus access initiatives across the North Island. In Port Hardy, NIC upgrading faculty and advising staff began a partnership with the Sacred Wolf Friendship Centre in fall 2015. “People here already have an established relationship with the centre,” said Mount Waddington’s Campus Community Coordinator, Caitlin Hartnett. “By offering classes there we make it possible for them to just bring themselves and not worry about building a relationship with a new place.” Students and faculty spent the first few months talking over weekly dinners and cultural activities, often led by prospective or former NIC students. This allowed everyone to “learn from each other,” while establishing connections between faculty and students, said Hartnett.

successful when we work with community organizations... to identify and deliver the resources students need.” Tony Bellavia In Port Alberni, for example, Adult Basic Education instructor Sandra Faust works with adults and committed volunteers at Literacy Alberni. The society and NIC work together to welcome immigrants to the region, providing a safe and nurturing environment for vulnerable learners who may not be comfortable in a classroom setting.

By January 2016, NIC began offering English and math upgrading as well as an introductory Kwak’wala course, co-taught by Sara Child and local Elders. The course packed the centre with 30 students — representing families, Elders, nurses and young professionals — enrolled. It is scheduled to run again next fall, with a second-level Kwak’wala course on the way.

In 2014, NIC offered upgrading and carpentry on Hornby Island to support students in the community.

Find out more, visit

NIC’s FEED project launches with funding from the JW McConnell Family Foundation and the CVRD to increase local food supplied to public institutions


NIC Plan 2020, with a central focus on supporting student experiences and success, is approved by NIC’s Board of Governors.

Thirty-five First Nations join NIC in signing a historic Indigenous Education protocol.


NIC has served more than 155,000 students since opening in 1975.

NIC Social Service Diploma Gain insight into social justice to support and empower individuals, families and communities and take part in workplace practicums to build a professional network. Earn transfer credit toward social work or child and youth care degree programs throughout BC and Canada. Tuition: $3,325 approx per year | Starts: Sept 2016


Share your NIC stories, photos and memories. See the inside back cover for details.


Celebrate With Us Share your NIC stories, photos and memories NIC has served more than 155,000 students across 80,000 km2 over 40 years. Help us share your NIC story and bring post-secondary education to life. Email us: ¨ My NIC story

When I was a teenager in W i the 1980s, I used to work for a local building maintena m mainte ing ja janitoria an ni o all work. nitori nance nce contracto contraac r dowor w k. I cleaned an th the C Campbel ampbelll River campus at their previous location. I still remembe first ni n night ight o ig on n the job do rem e emb r my d doing ing ng tr training raining a ain for the new position. After hours After ou tthe he campus seemed so empt empty, mp y, and yyet sseeing eeing the remnant nts of the day’s activity le us to clean clean, had wondering what left for h t it w was llike k to be here during the day. ay. y Th Thee idea of a learning enviro seemed appealing. What were people environment studying? Why were they studying dying,, and nd d what opened for them? I remembered what doors were being bei what it was like to learn in high school, hool, and the idea of going back school appealed to me on some level. bacc to

“I can’t properly express what a joy it is to do something I love, and to

The boss took me into a college faculty office. She told me that I had to bbe my cleaning in this office. She said particula ti l rly l careful with the instructor that now worked here, used to be a janitor, so they were very particular about the cleanline ss of their office space. The idea that a janitor would become an instructor at the college really stuck with me… inspired me. But somethin g held me back. Years later I saw the new Comox Valley campus shortly after it had opened. I remember thinking “Someday, I want to work at a nice place like this.”

work in such a fertile learning environment with so many great people.

North Island College (...) holds out the hope of individual betterment,

In time, working nights took its toll on my health. With my doctor’s help I qualified for assistance in re-training for a different line of work. I knew that I was primarily a thinking person, and I remembe the janitor who had become an NIC red instructor. I also knew that I was very interested in computers and seemed to have some natural technical ability. My plans were made.

and personal fulfillment. Believe in yourself. Take the opportunity.”

In 2001, after taking a few math classes as a refresher, I was accepted into the NIC Computer Science Program. I studied Compute r Science and set my sights on the Information Systems Administration Diploma with Cooperative Educatio n Designation. The work experien ce I gained through the Coopera tive Education program was extremel y valuable. After working in two interesting and exciting short term positons with local companies, in the spring of 2004 I applied for a summer coop student position at North Island College itself. the

Leif Gellein,

That coop experience led to NIC Computer Science graduate several temporary part time opportun ities at the college that lasted a couple of years. In 2005 I graduate d from the Computer Science Program . In 2006 I applied for and received a permanent full time position in the NIC IT department as a Computer Support Senior Computer Support NIC Port Alberni Technician, Technician at the campus. It’s now my privilege to work Support Technician.

at the Comox Valley campus as the

Senior Computer

I can’t properly express what a jjoy y it is to do someth som somethin ing ngg I lov love, and to work in such a fertile environment with so many great learning peopl people. p e. I truly feel that North Island College stretches beyond the gestalt of individual contributions. North Island College g provides p v a unquant an qu ifiable a enrichm minds and hearts of those in the n meent,, planted p in the community. y It holds out the hope of ind individu dividual fulfillment. Believe in yourself. Take al betterment, and personal the opportunity.

Leif Gellein, Senior Computer Support Technici an, North

Island College

§ Post your story: NICstories



WORKING TOGETHER | NIC’s leadership team collaborates with CUPE Local 3479, North Island College Faculty Association, and North Island Students’ Union. Photo includes: NIC President John Bowman (centre); with (left to right) Tony Bellavia, Assistant Vice President, Access and Regions; Thevi Pather, Executive Director, Office of Global Engagement; Michelle Waite, President, Canadian Union of Public Employees Local 3479; Ken Crewe, Director Human Recourses; Anne Cumming, Vice President NIC Faculty Association; Sheldon Falk, Comox Valley Community Representative, North Island Students Union; Randall Heidt, Vice President Strategic Initiatives; Carol Baert, Vice President Finance and Facilities; Susan Auchterlonie, Director of College and Community Relations and Executive Director NIC Foundation; and (missing): Lisa Domae, Vice President Learning and Students.

Leading the Way Forward This publication shares our stories, celebrates our 40-year history and details a few of our accomplishments over the past 40 years. It allows our history to inform our future, so we are grounded in the passion and resourcefulness of our past while we continue to meet the needs of students across the region. While our delivery methods may have changed, the commitment to student success is still there, stronger than ever. We’ve learned it takes all of our leadership, from senior administrators, to staff, faculty and students working together, with long-term sustainability and students’ success in mind.

These priorities are evident throughout this document and in everything we do at NIC. As a college, we plan to further expand partnerships and provide more opportunities for programs that serve local need.

Read NIC’s College Plan 2020 online at:

In NIC’s five-year strategic plan, we work with communities to create a comprehensive and ambitious agenda for NIC’s future. Plan 2020 identifies nine priorities that help us renew our commitment to students, communities and staff. The plan ensures we provide high-quality, relevant and responsive curriculum and programs and locally accessible learning and services across the region. It calls on us to enhance Aboriginal Education and Indigenization, develop and support International Education and Internationalization and increase our resources, investment and sustainability while fostering the people, organizations and culture at work, strengthening our active connections to the community and celebrating our own identity and brand. NORTH ISL AND COLLEGE

PLAN 2020 2016 – 2020


About this publication This publication was fueled by the passion and hard work of several key individuals. Thank you to Christiana Wiens, Philip Round, and Jennifer Cox for your countless hours writing, researching and interviewing the people who helped make NIC what it is today. Thank you to Michael Johnson for your creative design, logo and layout of the document. Thank you Marketing Manager Alex Khan for your leadership, collaborative approach and attention to detail on this project. Thank you to current and past employees who submitted stories and photos and spent hours going over old photos, reminiscing and filling in important details. We would also like to thank our advertisers and the Comox Valley Echo for their support of this historical document. Randall Heidt, NIC Vice President Strategic Initiatives

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