November 30, 2010 — Colleges have a high success rate in providing advanced skills and relevant training for Aboriginal learners.
Unlike graduation rates from either high school or university, the percentage of Aboriginal people with a college certificate or diploma is on par with the non-Aboriginal population. And the percentage of Aboriginal people in post-secondary education who attend colleges (42%) and technical institutes (20%) is significantly higher than universities (16%).
So what are they doing right?
ACCC released a report today which shows how colleges, institutes and polytechnics are offering programs and services that support and nurture Aboriginal students through to graduation.
The report shows 90% of colleges have learning centres and tutoring support services, 80% provide help finding housing and 71% offer specific Aboriginal certificates or diplomas. Services and programs for Aboriginal learners have expanded rapidly since ACCC published a similar report in 2005. Enrolment has also more than doubled at two Aboriginal institutes in Saskatchewan and British Columbia and increased substantially at other institutions.
“Clearly we are doing something right,” says ACCC President and CEO James Knight. “The 2010 survey shows a new trend with larger institutions adopting holistic approaches to serving Aboriginal learners because Aboriginal student service offices cannot do it alone.”
Colleges provide a continuum of services based on strong liaison and relationships with Aboriginal communities for recruiting students and offering tutoring and upgrading courses, support and guidance from elders, daycare services and career and employment counseling. Colleges also have education programs specially tailored for careers in Aboriginal communities such as community policing, practical nursing, social work and early childhood education, as well as trades programs serving industries such as construction and mining. Colleges are also increasing their capacity to deliver online and distance programs to Aboriginal learners in rural and remote areas.
For more information:
Association of Canadian Community Colleges
Tel.: (613) 746-2222, ext. 3116