The Seabird Island Band announced 49 First Nations Students Graduate with a B.C. Adult Graduation Diploma (Adult Dogwood).
On June 24th forty-nine (49) First Nations students from 14 First Nation Bands across B.C. will cross the stage and receive their B.C. Adult Graduation Diploma and/or Trade Certificate at a special graduation ceremony at Seabird Island. “The College partnered with our School this first year” remarks Chief Clement Seymour, “the end result is worthwhile. We follow our traditions and culture – encourage and strengthen our peoples capacity of decision making in education, life and community.”
Seabird College #3550 officially opened its doors with 9 adult education programs in September 2010 with 172 students. The college offered a unique, dual credit programs providing adult learners the opportunity to graduate with an Adult Dogwood and a trade or vocation.
“The Band started the College in our community to help students overcome barriers to success which they experienced in off –site institutes,” Carolyne Neufeld, Seabird College Dean remarked, “Students need cultural, community and family supports in order to reach their dreams. With the opening of Seabird College we are able to provide these supports close to home”.
The College also provides a broad range of employment services and technical training, including career/employment assessment and counseling, employment readiness, academic upgrading, work placement and monitoring services. The College also introduced a new Eagle Quest Program dedicated to helping young people complete their Grade 12. This is an inclusion model where First Nations communities, institutions and families surround the student providing the supports the student needs to succeed.
“This unique and collaborative approach of the College and Community School has been successful in providing education and training to First Nations who would otherwise not have enrolled in off-site public institutes,” remarked Daryl McNeil, Band Manager. “49 adult graduates in one year is a record breaking success for our adult learners.”
Seabird Island Band thanks the many supporters and partners including the Chiefs and Councils from Chawathil, Cheam, Chehalis, Shxw’owhamel, Squiala, Scowlitz, Skawahlook, Skowkale, Skway, Skxwha:y, Sumas, and Tzeachten First Nation Bands, Seabird Education Committee and College Team, First Nations Education Steering Committee, Indian and Northern Affairs Canada, Indigenous Adult & Higher Learning Association, First Nations Technology Council, Fraser Health Authority, and Health Canada, SASET and the Province of British Columbia and the many dedicated supporters.
Seabird plans to offer an expanded and exciting array of adult programs starting in September 2011 and invites everyone, First Nations and non First-Nations, to come by and register. The programs include: Community Support Worker, Dental Chair Side Assistant, First Nation Provincial Instructors Diploma, Hair Stylist, Mobile Electronics, Professional Cook 1, Power Line Technician, Business Technology, Information Technology, Carpentry, Painting and Decorating, Plumbing, Wall and Ceiling, and Eagle Quest/Adult Upgrading. There are plans to offer Distance Education options to expand access to First Nation students across B.C. and Canada.
Seabird College #3550 is affiliated with Nicola Valley Institute of Technology and Vancouver Community College. Through these affiliations Seabird hosts the First Nation Practical Nursing Pilot Program, Early Childhood Diploma, Health Care Assistant Certificate and University College Entrance Program courses.
Seabird College #3550 is a private post secondary institute registered with Private Career Training Institute Agency (PCTIA). Unlike public post-secondary institutes the College does not receive core funding. Tyrone McNeil, FNESC President and Seabird College Committee member commented, “Federal and Provincial Governments need to be compelled to provide financial support to First Nation Post Secondary Institutes. The success of the students is a clear indication that First Nation Institutes are capable of educating, training and building the capacity of First Nations in their own communities.”