Post-Secondary Program Updates- BCIT & College of New Caledonia
(reprinted from the ABCFP's Increment-June 15/09)
College of New Caledonia
The College of New Caledonia is launching a substantially revised forest resource technology program in the fall of 2009. This offering will be called Natural Resources and Environmental Technology (NRET). It will still have its core of forestry courses including measurements, forest health, silviculture and operations along with support courses like soils, silvics, ecology, English, math and others.
However, to reflect the broader interests of British Columbians and the renewed development of a broad spectrum of natural resources in central and northern BC, courses like forest policy have been broadened to include these other natural resource sectors. Therefore, new course additions include birds and mammals, earth sciences, traditional plant uses, First Nations studies and even a bit of recreation/tourism. A primarily goal in the restructuring was that graduates would still be eligible to register with the ABCFP as forest technologists, that they would continue to be valued assets for the forest sector and they would continue to acquire university transfer credits.
The response to the change from applicants has been very positive. Currently, there are 35 applicants for 22 seats. This is a substantial increase in interest that we fully expect to sustain the new NRET program at the College of New Caledonia.
British Columbia Institute of Technology
BCIT forestry had run for 42 years before it was suspended in 2007. The school welcomed the chance to renew the program in a modern framework with new courses that address what industry is looking for in graduates. The new program is called Sustainable Resource Management and has two diploma options for students.
After a first year of common study, students can select the Forest Management option that meets all the requirements for becoming an RFT or they can take the Environmental and Community Planning option with more of a community and peri-urban focus on land management. Both options include the ability for students to customize their programs with second-year electives. Students can also choose to just complete the first year which gives them a Certificate of Technology in Natural Resources and many students with allied science degrees take this option in order to gain field experience.
BCIT’s program is unique in that it is part time. While it is still possible to complete the diploma in two years, it is designed so that working people have the option to take a lighter load each semester and take three or more years to finish. The part-time format is also advantageous for natural resources professionals wishing to only take specific courses for continuing education credits. This program started in September 2008 and currently has 21 students, with a full roster of 32 students expected for the September 2009 intake.
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