Dual Credit Program Offers A Path To Secondary School Graduation And Beyond

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A partnership between Near North District School Board (NNDSB), Canadore College and four other school boards gives an alternative option to secondary students who wish to experience college courses within a chosen course of study. Dual credits are also an effective experiential learning option for adult learners looking to achieve secondary school graduation.

For students who are within reach of graduation and have the potential for success in college or apprenticeship programs, the dual credit program offers the chance to earn secondary school and college credits at the same time.

Canadore College project leader Patricia Jackson said the dual credit program is a provincial initiative jointly funded by the Ministry of Colleges and Universities and the Ministry of Education. Eligible students are chosen by their guidance departments and registered by the NNDSB dual credit teacher. Students receive both secondary school and college credits and it allows for a smooth transition to college or apprenticeship, as students build relationships, success and familiarity in the college setting.

Each semester there are two courses offered exclusively to adult learners over the age of 21. This semester, two counselling courses, Mental Health Across the Lifespan and Introduction to Substance Abuse, are being offered. The courses are small, up to 15 students and run from late September to Christmas.

“The college tuition, textbooks, supplies, and transportation are all covered by the program. Students who continue their education at a community college may transfer their credits or lighten their load if they return to Canadore,” Jackson said. “It is a low-risk way of discovering the college experience and trying courses to see if they fit with the student’s skills and experience.”

The adult dual credit program is delivered “in a mature college setting and an exciting way to earn two secondary school credits and two college credits at the same time in only seven weeks,” said Rebecca Ortiz, adult dual credit teacher at Laurentian Learning Centre.

The most popular courses in the program are the counselling course which is offered every fall and the trades fundamental course in the spring, said Ortiz.

“There are still a good number of seats available for the fall counseling course,” Ortiz said. “The trades course is also very exciting. Last year plumbing and carpentry were offered. Students earned two high school credits and one credit each in plumbing and carpentry.”

The Mental Health across the Lifespan course offered this fall introduces basic concepts related to mental health and mental illness. The lifespan approach looks at mental health issues occurring from birth to death. Students are also introduced to concepts around abnormal behaviour, its assessment and classification through appropriate diagnostic tools.

Introduction to Substance Use looks at the history of substance use, including its social and economic context. This course examines the most prevalent drugs, the common myths surrounding addiction, and the state of current drug policy in Canada. An overview of substance abuse screening and assessment, treatment settings and approaches, and concurrent disorders is also discussed.

For more information and registration, please contact Elizabeth Gribbon at 705-472-5419 ext.3408 or Elizabeth.Gribbon@nearnorthschools.ca or Rebecca Ortiz at 705-776-1340 or Rebecca.Ortiz@nearnorthschools.ca.


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