Red River College today announced plans to redevelop and expand its ACCESS programs in order to better meet the education needs of its Indigenous and other students, including providing them with an opportunity to enroll in a wider range of Red River College programs.
At present, students enrolled in ACCESS are restricted to studying in four program areas – Nursing, Aircraft Maintenance & Manufacturing, Business Administration and Civil Technology.
“It’s time for us to modernize how ACCESS programs are delivered at Red River College to better meet student, community and industry needs,” said Christine Watson, vice president Academic. “Ultimately one of our main goals is to remove some of the existing program restrictions and provide Indigenous, immigrant and other students facing barriers to education, more training options and new and improved pathways to meaningful careers.”
Red River College’s plan to expand its ACCESS programs is the result of an internal review and extensive consultations on the program. In order to undertake the redesign, there will be no intake of students to the ACCESS programs for the upcoming 2017-2018 school year. This will allow existing ACCESS students to complete their current programs, while a new ACCESS model is designed for the 2018-2019 academic year.
As part of the re-design of the ACCESS programs, Red River College will work with our community and industry partners to ensure that the redevelopment of ACCESS is also responsive to their needs.
“ACCESS programs are very important to our students and we want to ensure that the programs are accessible, agile and responsive to students who may not have had the opportunity to access post-secondary education due to a variety of factors. We know students, given these new opportunities, will contribute great things to their communities and Manitoba’s labour market,” added Watson.
“We are very fortunate to have a dedicated and experienced staff team and strong leadership, including our Elders, to work with us on the redesign of our ACCESS programs as we move forward.”
Advance Indigenous Achievement is one of RRC’s main Strategic Plan priorities (2016-2021) as well as a key goal of the Academic Division, which is committed to enhancing “the environment supporting Indigenous student success.” RRC is also a signatory to the Manitoba Indigenous Education Blueprint (2016) – one of nine post-secondary institutions in the Province – following the final report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada. RRC recognizes that the College has an important, proactive role to play in supporting reconciliation efforts in our province.