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Lakeland College launches new hands-on training program for Indigenous students

Lakeland College has partnered with an environmental service company to offer more hands-on training for Indigenous students.

The college and Ridgeline Canada Inc. have created a pilot certificate program following a curriculum made by the company. The program will provide competency-based training and work experience at a third party job site. The pilot program is targeting 10 students initially for training with an industrial partner and will be offered at the Vermilion campus.

VP of Academic and Research Michael Crowe says the program is an innovative way to support Indigenous-focused training.

“The big innovation here is that students participating in this program can complete a portion of their training while at work, under the mentorship of an industry professional, and then can have the associated learning outcomes evaluated onsite. In a very real sense, their classroom is the worksite, and this aligns with what we do at Lakeland, where we always work to put our students in the lead.”

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Students in the program will also receive college credits which could go towards a bachelor degree in applied science or environmental science diploma at Lakeland. The college will also help in an advisory capacity with the curriculum.

“The program is unique in that it offers a ‘practicum first’ mentality, then a specialized post-secondary education opportunity as opposed to the traditional education/practicum model. This allows students to not only develop valuable skills but also to inspire them to pursue a career in an area they like through a post-secondary institution,” says Tyler Heathcote, president of Ridgeline Canada.

Ridgeline Canada has provided environmental site assessments and reclamation work for the oil and gas industry, renewable energy and commercial land development since 1999. The partnership between Lakeland College and Ridgeline Canada started on April 15, 2020.

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