More opportunities to come for Georgian College students
BRUCE COUNTY – Georgian College President Dr. MaryLynn West-Moynes and College Board Steve Lowe briefed Bruce County Council on changes that will benefit Georgian College students and substantial economic benefits college for the community.
Like everyone else, Georgian has felt the impact of COVID-19 and has changed to meet the needs of students and the community.
There are 24 students doing paid work in the Personal Support Worker program. The college has also seen an increase in apprenticeship and pre-apprenticeship programs. The pandemic “gave us a boost” in technology, creating more flexibility, West-Moynes said.
She noted that even before the pandemic, there was a shortage of nurses in the health system. To meet demand, Georgian College is implementing a four-year Honors Bachelor of Nursing program in fall 2022. This means that students who were scheduled to do two years at the Barrie campus and two more at the York University, can spend the entire four years close to home, on the Owen Sound or Barrie campuses.
She noted that the college’s recently renovated 9,200 square foot health care wing is equipped with the latest technology. The $ 7.1 million wing is “an incredible learning space,” she said.
Lowe went on to stress that nursing students need to gain their practical experience outside of the region and are not coming back. Having a “nursing degree program” available locally will change that. He described it as “an incredible opportunity. We absolutely need these graduates.
County Council. Steve Hammell, Arran-Elderslie, thanked Georgian College representatives for “all the resources you put into nursing,” noting the reduced hours in the emergency department at Chesley Hospital due to the shortage of nurses. He also asked how the housing shortage is affecting the college.
“It keeps us from growing,” West-Moynes said. She described how the college wants to attract students from across Canada and abroad. The region needs immigration to support the workforce, and that requires housing and transportation.
At the Barrie campus, 40 percent of students are international.
“Affordable housing is a real problem,” she said. “This will have to be our next project.
Housing is something she would prefer the community to provide, she said, noting that the college was looking for student housing. Anyone with rooms available to accommodate students is requested to contact the college.
In response to a question from Principal Janice Jackson, South Bruce Peninsula, asked how COVID-19 has affected student housing.
West-Moynes said most international students are taking distance learning courses, but the situation has opened up in recent months.
“If anyone has a place…” she said.
Georgian College’s advantage over the regional economy can be seen in the numbers – a total income of $ 1.7 billion added to the region.