OKANAGAN OUTLOOK 2011 — 15
Okanagan College Looking Only Forward
Okanagan College has experienced dra- matic changes in its history, going from a re- gional college to a university college and back to a college.
There were a lot of questions when UBC Okanagan was created and OUC went back to OC: mainly, would the college be able to withstand the hordes of Valley students opt- ing for a university degree program exclu- sively at UBCO or a university degree in- stead of a trade or other practical training?
The answer is an unequivocal Yes, and Okanagan College has never looked back.
This academic year is expected to be the
seventh consecutive year that Okanagan College has grown. And grown it has, by 46 per cent since 2005, exceeding government- set targets every year.
In 2011-12, the Kelowna-based college will provide courses and programs to more than 20,000 students.
As of mid-September, fall enrolment was
four per cent higher than the same time last year: 6,216 compared to 5,976 in September 2010.Th
at was in addition to a 16 per cent increase in the college’s sum- mer enrolment.
“This growth is an important signal,” com- mented college president Jim Hamilton. “It means we’re able to accommodate more students who are able to pursue their career and academic goals.”
First-year university science enrolments increased by 51 per cent over the previous year (338, up from 254) and student num- bers in the environmental studies have also more than doubled (50 compared to 20).
Students taking first year of business admin- istration programs have increased about 10 per cent (556 compared to 504) and student enrolment in the two years of the Criminal and Social Justice Diploma program has climbed 53 per cent (129 compared to 84).
On a campus-by-campus basis, the fall headcount enrolment numbers are (not in- cluding continuing studies courses): Kelowna 4,361 (4,118 in 2010);Vernon 773 (761 in 2010); Penticton 610 (604 in 2010); and Salmon Arm 335 (381 in 2010).
The number of students registered in dis- tance education has also grown to 137 from 112 last year. Course registrations in that area have grown to 1,072 from 722 in the fall of 2010.
The college is also forging new partner- ships with UBCO by offering the first two years of the Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree program.
The college opened a new state-of-the-art health simulation lab just last week. The first class of 26 students is now in session and is guaranteed admission to UBCO for the final two years of study.
“The investment from the province in our
new health lab and in the delivery of years one and two of the Bachelor of Science in Nursing program have resulted in increased access for students seeking a career in health care,” said Hamilton.
“The return on that investment will greatly benefit our community and add to the grow- ing number of health-care professionals be- ing trained here at the college and at our partner institution, the University of British Columbia.”
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