Although Selkirk College is reporting a slight dip in student enrolment for the 2012-13 year, releasing a head count does not reflect the activity at the Trail campus, said a college spokesperson.
Because the programs that are run term to term vary according to demand, getting an accurate count is tough, explained Susan Chew, Selkirk Campus manager and continuing education instructor.
“Continuing education programs vary because we offer what is in high demand at a given time in the community, such as First Aid or language training,” said Chew
“We are always looking for people in the community with a passion or level of expertise, to offer the community life-long learning, and it varies.”
The Health Care Assistant (HCA) course has experienced such a high demand, that it now runs twice a year, for 26 weeks.
“Enrolment numbers have been consistent, we have 20 seats available in the HCA program, and they are always full,” said Linda Clark, HCA instructor.
Another popular program with consistent, though variable enrolment is the food service worker program.
“We are a continuous intake, self-paced program,” said Geoff Tellier, chef instructor.
“We have 12 to 16 students, depending on the ability, and the program is two to four years, depending on individual goals.”
According to Chew, the Trail campus works to meet changing needs of the community, and this coming year, is offering a new program.
“In January, we are facilitating the Justice Institute to offer its primary care paramedic program,” said Chew.
“Previously, folks would have to travel to the Okanagan or (Lower) Mainland to access it.
“We can facilitate these programs, but may only run them sporadically if there is not enough interest to run them on an ongoing basis,” she explained.
As of Nov. 1, there were 1,937 domestic students and 122 international students studying at one of eight West Kootenay campuses or learning centres. The overall head count from 2011, recorded 20 more students – 17 more domestic and three more international.
The difference is negligible and numbers may even out in the coming months, as there is still intake available for some of the trades and online programs, Pat Henman, campus spokesman told the Nelson Star.