Parkland College is committed to success and growth in the community of Melville and the Parkland region. The College does not simply offer classes, but offers access and convenience to ensure that each individual and business in our community has the support and resources needed in order to be successful.
One example is the expansion of 30-level courses into online learning. Through the Adult Basic Education program, the College provides students with foundational knowledge and skills needed for academic upgrading and for the pursuit of employment or post-secondary training.
The Parkland College locations in Melville, Yorkton, Fort Qu’Appelle, Esterhazy, and Kamsack have been able to meet local needs for upgrading and have provided adult learners with the opportunity to gain their Grade 12 diploma.
Parkland College is now making it even easier for adult learners to gain the training they need to get ahead. Parkland College offers a broad selection of 30-level subjects online that allow learners to obtain their complete Grade 12 diploma with the compulsory 5 classes and additional 2 required electives.
The expansion into online delivery has put Parkland College on the map provincially. “Currently there are 79 students registered from across the province”, said online instructor Michelle Clarke. “We have been working with students from communities such as Prince Albert, Regina, Wilkie, Melville, Maple Creek, Lafleche, Rose Valley, Yorkton, Fort Qu’Appelle, Shaunavon, Wynyard, and Kamsack. We even have one Biology student who plans to do her course while she is overseas working as a nanny for a family in France. She intends to write the departmental exam when she comes back to Canada in the summer.”
Online learning is ideal for many adult learners, explained Kami DePape, Manager of Adult Basic Education. “Students are able to upgrade or gain additional credits without sacrificing work, salaries, driving, or incurring daycare expenses.”
Parkland College has found online learning to be popular with high school students who do not have access to a particular course at their high school, especially since the correspondence school closed. “High school students must be referred by their high school administration and will have the tuition costs covered by their school division,” stated DePape.
The courses are also popular with adult learners who have been out of school for at least a year. “Adult learners are not required to meet the prerequisites for each class if they have been out of school for over a year. Adult learners are charged a $45 registration fee for each course and the Ministry of Advanced Education, Employment and Labour covers the tuition fees,” explained DePape.
Students working in this type of learning environment are able to work at their own pace. “We ask students to set up their own personal timeline when they register and give them up to one year to complete each course. Students taking classes that require a departmental exam will often use the exam date as their personal deadline,” said Clarke.
Parkland College responds to the challenges of independent and online learning with ongoing counselling and academic advising and prompt and professional technical support. The two online Adult Basic Education instructors, Michelle Clarke and Erin Unchulenko, are available throughout the day Monday to Thursday to review students’ assignments and answer questions over the phone or online.
Currently, Parkland College offers English Language Arts A30 and B30, Social Studies B30, Biology 30, Information Processing 30, Law 30, and Psychology 30. In 2010, Parkland College will be introducing Math B30 and Physics 30.
“Parkland College’s leading role and success in online delivery is thanks to its enthusiastic team and talented instructors,” said DePape. In Michelle Clarke’s 5 years at Parkland College, she has designed 3 courses and revamped two others and is now in the process of designing Physics 30, which is targeted to be available in January 2010. New instructor, Erin Unchulenko, is also in the process of designing a course, Math B30, which will be available in January, and Math 30A, which will be available for the following school year.
The wide variety of electronic devices and multimedia applications has also aided in the success of online delivery. Some courses are easier to deliver in the traditional face-to-face setting, but the instructors have been innovative in their delivery approaches using slideshows, YouTube, Skype, and instant messaging, for example, to present the course material in an effective learning manner. “In Biology, the textbook we use has a variety of electronic resources available to help teach the concepts of the course to learners, including engaging animated virtual labs,” said Clarke. “The technologies and tools keep on evolving and the trick is to keep the tools simply enough to use so that students can concentrate on learning the content and not on the software itself.”
To register for online 30-level classes contact Carol Bobowski at 786.2581 or firstname.lastname@example.org. As the career counsellor, Carol will work with students to establish a personal timeline and career goals.
To learn more about Parkland College online 30 – level courses or other offerings including business and industry training, university programs, certificate and diploma training, literacy or adult basic education face-to-face classes, contact the College toll free at 1.866.783.6766 or check out the listing of programs and services online at www.parklandcollege.sk.ca. Course descriptions for online 30-level courses are also available at www.skdistancelearning.ca/parkland_college.