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November 2, 2020

The inaugural cohort of 15 students from local high schools is exploring the world of technology through a unique dual credit high school and post-secondary program that is currently being pioneered at Camosun College this fall semester.

Starting in September, and set to run for five months, the brand new full-time Discovery Technology program at Camosun is funded through the Ministry of Advanced Education, Skills and Training and provides an opportunity to participate for students from five southern Vancouver Island school districts: SD61 Victoria, SD62 Sooke, SD63 Saanich, SD64 Gulf Islands and SD79 Cowichan Valley. The program is an initiative of the South Island Partnership (SIP) and builds upon Camosun's leadership in dual credit programming.

"With this new pilot program, as with all of our dual credit programming, smooth transitions are key,"explains Nicola Priestley, Director, South Island Partnership at Camosun. "We really hope our first group of students will walk away with a positive introduction to a post-secondary environment, a new confidence in engaging in industry and heightened awareness of where their skills can take them in the future."

Plans pre-COVID-19 were for a fully face-to-face on-campus experience, but this year's cohort is taking classes mainly online and coming to campus once a week, following proper safety protocols. Programming is focussed on technology and engineering, with courses that include physics, pre-calculus, electronics, computer science and work experience. A unique aspect is the dual credit approach – students complete their high-school requirements, while simultaneously earning advanced post-secondary credits. Jeff Horncastle, an educator from the Saanich school district, has been seconded to SIP to teach and support students during their transition to Camosun.

"The goal is to expose our students to a variety of different career pathways under the technology umbrella,"explains Priestley. "The programs focuses on the skills students need to connect to a future career path and promoting a transition into post secondary education or industry. We incorporate a number of different tours and industry speakers into the program; and when it is possible again, work experience placements, so that students gain the critical hands-on learning and real-world experience they need."

The program was developed based on the success of a similar sampler program led by Camosun on the trades side called TASK (Trades Awareness Skills & Knowledge), while unique aspects of the brand new Discovery Technology program make it a pioneer in its area.

"When it comes to trades and technology programming, our program delivery and regional approach is unique,"says Priestley. "Our students have given us great feedback that they're loving the Camosun courses, and they're keen to explore electronics and computer science at a deeper level.  Being the first year, we're bringing everything together and it's been very successful so far.”

For more information about dual credit programming at Camosun, please visit: camosun.ca/sip

The South Island Partnership (SIP) includes Camosun College and the five south Vancouver Island school districts: SD61 Victoria, SD62 Sooke, SD63 Saanich, SD64 Gulf Islands and SD79 Cowichan Valley. Through SIP, over 800 local grade 10, 11 and 12 students each year earn dual credit at Camosun College while still in high school. Currently, Camosun offers over 30 different dual credit college-level programs in: arts, science, trades, technologies, health and human services, business, sport and exercise education. Courses are taken in high school, on Camosun campuses or online.

Camosun College is one of the largest colleges in British Columbia with campuses located on the Traditional Territories of the Lekwungen and W̱SÁNEĆ peoples. Established in 1971, the college serves 19,000 learners a year in certificate, diploma, bachelor's degree and post-degree diploma programs.

Media Contact:
Ivan Watson
Marketing and Communications Strategist
Camosun College
Tel: 250-418-0700
Email: watsoni@camosun.bc.ca

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Last updated: November 2, 2020 8:33 am

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