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Vol 38  No 14
May 18, 2006


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Studying Labrador’s post-secondary needs

By Jeff Green

Memorial University has appointed a Labrador-based consultant to prepare a report outlining the post-secondary needs in Labrador.

Cathy Jong of Happy Valley-Goose Bay was appointed April 15 and is currently examining the various issues facing post-secondary students throughout Labrador.

A draft report was due May 15 and a final report is scheduled to be completed by June 9. It will be submitted to Dr. Michael Collins, associate vice-president (academic) of Memorial University. His office is responsible for a number of units at the university including the Labrador Institute based in Happy Valley-Goose Bay.

“This is a very broad study but we want to determine Labrador’s most compelling post-secondary needs,” said Dr. Collins. “We need to identify those requirements which might vary amongst the regions in Labrador ­ Labrador West is not the same as Central or the Straits, the Southeast coast or the North Coast ­ before we move forward.”

He said the goals of the study include identifying the gaps between post-secondary education demands and what is currently offered in Labrador; highlighting the social, cultural and developmental issues of Labrador to understand the post-secondary education needs in the region; and determining the actual needs for post-secondary education among high school students, working professionals, aboriginal groups and other organizations. Although Memorial does not offer full-time onsite post-secondary education in Labrador, Dr. Collins noted that the university has partnered with the College of the North Atlantic to offer the College University Transfer year and the Integrated Nursing Program. Dr. Collins expects this study will identify other ways in which Memorial and the college can partner to better serve the postsecondary needs of the regions.

“The university has committed itself to doing more in Labrador and to begin by identifying and understanding the postsecondary priorities,” Dr. Collins said.

A steering committee made up of representatives from Memorial University and the College of the North Atlantic was to meet this month to review a draft report of the study. That committee will then help implement the report’s final recommendations.

Dr. Collins said he’s confident Memorial, and its partners, can play a key role in offering vibrant and diverse educational programs throughout Labrador.

“The recent White Paper released by the provincial government stresses not only the need for post-secondary education but also the partnership that should exist between the College of the North Atlantic and Memorial. We’ll be working with them to ensure that what comes out of this study is addressed with them.”

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