OC pathways pilot provides better access, supports students needing prerequisites

By College Relations | September 2, 2022

Vernon student with a colourful shirt stands in front of the stairs overlooking the Kal View Cafe.

People considering health care and trades careers have new options thanks to a pilot program at Okanagan College that offers applicants help with course prerequisites.

The pathways program supports students interested in going back to school to receive training in high-demand fields, but do not have the requirements needed for their desired program. Whether students need Adult Upgrading or English as a Second Language (ESL) instruction, they’ll be able to receive educational supports.

“By investing in new programs such as this one at Okanagan College, we are helping people to have more smooth transition from academic upgrading to high-demand career programs,” said Anne Kang, Minister of Advanced Education and Skills Training. “This program makes it easier for British Columbians to get the skills they need for good-paying careers. This is just one of the many examples we have throughout the province.”  

At Okanagan College, the pathway programs include:

  • Math for Trades and Apprenticeships
  • Upgrading English or ESL for Health Care Assistant programs
  • ESL for the Early Childhood Education program
  • A pre-health Math and Science path meeting entry requirements for Practical Nursing, Certified Dental Assistant, Pharmacy Technician, and Therapist Assistant programs

"The pathway approach is designed to support access to education. It simplifies the application, admissions and advising processes for students," explains Andrew Pulvermacher, Associate Dean of OC Arts and Foundational Programs. "Students will receive the skills and knowledge they need for their program, and where possible, content will be tailored toward their individual career direction."

Wherever possible, pathways are integrated into students’ desired programs so that they will be able to upgrade their requirements while studying in their field of choice.

For example, Trades students interested in a Carpentry Foundation program could be enrolled and learning carpentry while also working with an instructor to upgrade their math skills for program success. Their math upgrading they would focus on the skills they need within Trades and prepare them for the Trades math entrance assessment.

The pathways pilot program was funded by the B.C. Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Training, under the Adult Basic Education and English Language Learning Pathways initiative.

The pilot program runs until Aug. 31, 2023. Domestic students in the pathways program will receive the Adult Upgrading/ESL education for free but will be required to pay the tuition associated with their trades or health care program.

Those interested in the program are asked to submit their information at www.okanagan.bc.ca/upgrading.

Tags: Upgrading, Arts University Studies, Science University Studies, Health and Social Development



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