Both post-secondary education institutions teamed up to help anyone find the right courses to start their new career path at Free2Dream, a joint recruitment event at the New Sudbury Centre. Recruitment and liaison staff members handed out information and helped with registrations, which attracted everyone from high school students to those who never went to college.
“The success of this collaboration itself was great,” said Josée Campeau-Rousselle, manager of communications and media relations at College Boréal in a news release. “Our teams were able to meet and collaborate together because it's good to know who in the city is doing the same job as we are. As a recruitment, it was great. We were able to get people in the door and show people that the college pathway is the way to go in regards of a career.”
Recruitment and liaison staff members from both colleges were in attendance to provide information on available programs and apprenticeships, financial aid, employment services, upgrading, and much more. For those who applied on site, Cambrian and Boréal paid the $95 application fee to the Ontario College Application Service (OCAS).
Both colleges have diversified their program delivery methods and increased the number of credit transfer opportunities to better meet the changing needs of non-traditional students, allowing them to reach their goals in less time, both through the colleges and even heading onward to university.
“We are seeing more people coming to college to get skills they need for a job, then wanting their university degree,” Campeau-Rousselle said. “They can transfer to a place like Laurentian with the credits they already have and have a degree in two years, saving them time and money. The same has been done with universities, with graduates studying for college diplomas in less time.”
While pursuing a post-secondary education is strongly encouraged, going to college is a major step for people, explained Renee Scott, director of student success and recruitment at Cambrian College. To have both colleges together made it easier for people to explore their options and the programs.
“It allowed the two Sudbury colleges to provide insight in the the programs we have, but also that one offers, but not he other,” she said. We had our Employment Options agency there to not just talk to the high school market, but also that mature market.”
She explained that more than 50 per cent of the students that enter into post-secondary at Cambrian are what they call non-direct, students not coming directly from high school, either by taking time off, or working at a job.
The demographics of the colleges are changing dramatically, she said. There are now more mature students, international students and even indigenous.
“It's fabulous to see so many pursuing an education,” she said.
The city is in a unique position, said Campeau-Rousselle. It has two colleges offering programs in both official languages and have partnered on other endeavours.
“How many other cities have that in northern Ontario?” he said. “We are showing the students they don't have to go 200 kilometres out of the city to go back to college. They have it right here and can pursue their goals at home.”
As an incentive the colleges also put the names of those applying in a draw for $500. Ines Bagaoui and Blessy Morvan were the winners. Ines has expressed interest in attending Cambrian while Blessy will be continuing her studies in Boréal’s Practical Nursing program.