College could offer training programs this fall

But has no plans to re-establish a physical presence

Coast Mountain College wrapped up an electrical training program in conjunction with Houston Secondary School this year and may offer more programs this fall.

But what those might be has yet to be determined, says its communications director.

With the secondary school, the college provided the curriculum and instructor and the school the facilities, said Sarah Zimmerman.

“For students, they receive dual credit from the school and from us. For adults, it would have been a credit from us,” she said.

In locations where the college does not have a physical presence, it concentrates on mobile training, Zimmerman added, saying building relationships with community partners is an efficient way of providing a service.

“For a lot of trades programs, we do this in places such as Prince Rupert, Smithers and in Houston,” she said.

The college, then called Northwest Community College, closed its Houston campus two years ago, citing a drop in enrolment and overall costs of maintaining its campus here which consists of two buildings.

That decision will not be reversed, said Zimmerman, as there are just not enough students in the area to maintain a physical presence.

“We had two students from Houston this year taking health care in Smithers,” she said.

At the time of its closure, the college had three employees in Houston and cited building operating costs of $75,000 a year.

One of its buildings is being rented by Houston Link to Learning which has recently expanded its offerings to include more comprehensive computer training.

It may entertain the possibility of renting its additional empty space, said Zimmerman.

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