Record breaking success in First Nation adult education

Seabird Island, Seabird College, adult education, graduation

First Nation adult education is booming.

Forty-nine First Nations students, from 14 bands, received a B.C. Adult Graduation Diploma (adult Dogwood) and or trade certificate at a special graduation ceremony held on Friday at Seabird Island.

Seabird College opened last September and offered nine adult education programs, which gave First Nations people opportunities to obtain an adult Dogwood, a trade or vocation.

In September, 172 students were registered.

“The Band started the college in our community to help students overcome barriers to success which they experienced in off-site institutes,” said Carolyne Neufeld, Dean of the Seabird College.

“Students need cultural, community and family supports in order to reach their dreams. With the opening of Seabird College, we are able to provide these supports close to home.”

The college also provides a broad range of employment services and technical training, including

career/employment assessment and counseling, employment readiness, academic upgrading, work

placement and monitoring services. As well, the college introduced  a new Eagle Quest Program dedicated to helping young people complete their Grade 12, where  First Nations communities, institutions and families surround the student providing supports for success.

“This unique and collaborative approach of the College and Community School has been successful in providing education and training to First Nations who would otherwise not have enrolled in off-site public institutes,” said Daryl McNeil, Band manager.

“Forty nine adult graduates in one year is a record-breaking success for our adult learners.”

Seabird plans to offer an expanded and exciting array of adult programs starting in September 2011.

For more information, visit the Seabird Island website at www.seabirdisland.ca