ALBERTON – The first year for Holland College’s new West Prince campus “far exceeded our expectation’s,” Jake Baird, the college’s vice-president of programs said Thursday following a meeting with the West Prince Campus Advisory Committee.
© Eric McCarthy/Journal Pioneer
Jake Baird, second left, Holland College vice-president of programs, chats with members of the West Prince Campus advisory committee, from left, Bev Boulter, Sharon Horne, Robert Morrissey and Garth Wilkie. The committee discussed adding short courses, including evening and weekend courses, to help meet the training needs of West Prince residents.
“We set some pretty ambitious targets and we’re there,” he added.
Now into the campus’s second year, enrolment has already increased, he reported.
Campus manager Paula Foley said students are socializing more with one another this year and participating in bragging rights challenges.
One of the success stories for the campus, Baird said, is the Administrative Assistant program which was introduced last year in West Prince, the only centre currently offering the program.
“One of the things we wanted to do was allow greater access for people of West Prince to post-secondary education, and that’s certainly been a success,” Baird said. There are also three off-Island students as well as students form across P.E.I. attending the West Prince campus. Baird noted having students from West Prince attend the campus and bringing in students from outside the area both have positive impacts on the region.
Baird said he’s pleased with the way the campus has reached out to the community, and how the community has hosted events at the college, including partnering together to raise funds for Camp Kildare.
“The comment was made tonight that this centre is not seen as an Alberton facility but as a West Prince facility,” Foley added.
Baird reported that some of the discussions during the Advisory Board meeting centred around offering short courses that not necessarily fit within traditional hours, such as in the evenings, on weekends and during the summer.
The 12-member advisory board has representation from various education and skills development programs and from the various employment sectors in West Prince.