KAMLOOPS – School District 73 and Thompson Rivers University are collaborating to deliver a unique education opportunity for students in the region to “sample university” while they are still attending high school.
The agreement between the two institutions which will allow Thompson Rivers University to offer dual credits in construction and mechanical trade courses at the new NorKam Trades and Technology School will be solidified November 28th at an official signing ceremony hosted at the School District office at 1383 Ninth Avenue at 3:00 pm.
“This agreement provides an opportunity at NorKam Trades Centre to give students advanced credit, and a sense of what is involved in a skilled trades career,” says Sheryl Lindquist, District Principal, Secondary Transitions. “These courses go well beyond technical programs offered at the high school level and focus on the practical skill needed to pursue a career in the trades”
Similar to the ACE-IT and TRU>Start programs already available in the district, the new Construction and Mechanical Trades “sampler” courses will be administered and taught through Thompson Rivers University faculty to eligible students in grades 10 through 12.
However, rather than students attending school at the TRU campus, they will be taught at the NorKam Trades and Technology school, where a new wing with classroom and shop facilities has been recently constructed to accommodate increased trades and technology training.
The forecasted need for skilled trades workers in BC in the coming decade is enormous with an estimated 1 million individuals needed to fill positions that will be largely vacated by retiring workers over the next 8 to 10 years.
Students who successfully complete the sampler courses over one semester earn 16 credits toward their high school diploma and 12 credits from TRU, which may be applied to a Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of General Studies degree. The training can accommodate up to 36 students in each semester and applications for the September 2015 intake will be available in the new year with a deadline set for mid February.
The first cohort of students accepted to the program begins studies at NorKam in February of 2015.
“School District No. 73 is excited to enter into this agreement with Thompson Rivers University and we look forward to providing our students with increased opportunities for trades training now and in the future,” says Karl deBruijn, Superintendent of School District No 73.
The District is making students aware of the opportunity through the Trades and Technology Coordinators at each high school and through public meetings hosted at NorKam Secondary. There is also a website that provides information on the programs at www.tnt.sd73.bc.ca.
The Province of British Columbia, the Industry Training Authority and School District No. 73 have collectively invested 7.4 million dollars to renovate NorKam Secondary to accommodate new trades and technology classrooms and facilities in anticipation of the greater need to fill skilled trades positions.