“What makes NorQuest unique in Wetaskiwin?” responds Karen Link, Senior Manager, Regional Stewardship, NorQuest College is “Maximizing opportunities that others don’t see”. The statement comes directly out of NorQuest’s new branding brochure, ‘Step Forward’. Karen and a team of resource people were present at the Wetaskiwin Campus explaining what that means to interested community guests and prospective students at their recent Open House on November 21st. Karen explained the purpose of the Open House was to open the doors to prospective learners but also to hear feed back about the educational needs in the community. .
“What we want to do is position NorQuest as the ‘go-to’ place if you want to do learning. Although Edmonton is only an hour drive (to attend post secondary institutions) the type of learner that we tend to have at NorQuest is usually challenged by some type of barrier; either they need upgrading, are part of an aboriginal community and do not want to go too far from this community, a single parent, don’t have transportation,,,, or whatever the reason. We want people to know they can come here and be learning at this campus with the support of their home base.”
Until 1990 the large building on 49th Avenue and 55 Street housed the Wetaskiwin Hospital when the Hospital was moved to it’s present location at the north end of 47th Street. The building sat vacant until 2004, when it was given new life as the new 9000 square foot Wetaskiwin Campus of NorQuest Community College. Having a post secondary facility along with all the opportunities that come along with the facility is pretty unique.
Karen explains the importance of the Wetaskiwin, and other rural campuses to NorQuest College. “NorQuest is definitely putting more emphasis on regional campuses and see it as an big area of growth.
NorQuest is one of nine (post secondary) institutions that has been given the opportunity,” and as she stresses, “the responsibility to ensure we meet the needs of our regional learners. We take great pride in serving our 5 campuses and 23 communities and encompass over 200 towns and hamlets in a region stretching from Whitecourt to Camrose and from Drayton Valley out to Drumheller.”
The NorQuest Open House team were present to establish in peoples’ minds that the Wetaskiwin campus is a ‘learning centre’ with diverse services, program offerings ranging from academic upgrading to University Transfer and all the necessary student services to enable people to walk through the doors and begin an new phase of their life. “We provide student advisers, distance learning access to classes with video conferencing…there are lots of different ways of learning that are suited to students needs. There are so many courses the Wetaskiwin and region people can take through us directly. They can also access courses through e-campus Alberta, where all the post secondary institutions have put in different programs and becomes a one stop shop where students can take so many things online.”
Continued on page 21 see Norquest