School divisions across Central Alberta showcased the importance of career pathways learning at Olds College of Agriculture and Technology on June 20.  

The event brought together Central Alberta Collegiate Institute (CACI) partners, including Red Deer Public Schools, Red Deer Catholic Regional School Division, Wolf Creek Public Schools, Chinook’s Edge School Division, Red Deer Polytechnic, Olds College of Agriculture and Technology to highlight the career pathways learning that is underway in Central Alberta.   

During the event, Demetrios Nicolaides Alberta's Education Minister spoke about the importance of helping students have career-based learning opportunities that lead directly to career training.  

“I am firmly committed and confident that through collaboration, like the ones we see here in Central Alberta, and by sharing knowledge and ideas we can continue to build opportunities for students to flourish in school and in life,” Nicolaides said.   

A dual credit review group will meet over the summer and review the program components to gain a better understanding of how to eliminate barriers, improve transferability, and potentially improve course offerings.  

“We have some amazing facilities and spaces where students can have the opportunity to try trades, explore those pathways, and see what really works for them,” Nicolaides said. “Anything we can do to open up more of those doors I think we have to facilitate it.”  

The event welcomed senior leaders from CACI partner organizations, elected board members, staff, representatives from Advanced Education and Alberta Education, school authorities, and post-secondaries involved in career pathway programming.  

A panel of five students who were involved in career learning shared their experiences before event attendees toured the Olds College Campus observing students in trades programming such as welding, veterinary technician, and heavy equipment mechanics.  

“We were excited to celebrate the accomplishments of CACI, and to encourage the continued growth of career pathways learning for students,” said Jackie Taylor, CACI Executive Director. “This work is exciting because it makes a measurable difference for students.”  

Taylor explained the impact that early exposure to career learning can have on students.   

“Success looks like students who transition to post-secondary training with confidence and students who know what they want and with that, they become more engaged in their academic learning,” she said. “Critical to that success is the support students have at the high school level to help them be successful in the post-secondary environment.”  

 

 

**With information provided by Central Alberta Collegiate Institute.