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Burnaby's BCIT receives provincial cash to help with academic upgrades

“We’re committed to making it easier for British Columbians to get ahead."
The British Columbia Institute of Technology Burnaby campus.

The British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT) is one of several post-secondary institutions that's set to receive funds earmarked for required academic upgrades for high-demand programs. 

This coming school year, 26 new pathway programs will become available at 11 public post-secondary institutions, including the Burnaby institution. 

The programs are a new adult basic education and English language learning initiative meant to address labour shortages by supporting students in finishing pre-requisites they need to transition directly into post-secondary programs of their choice.

"We're committed to making it easier for British Columbians to get ahead," Burnaby-Deer Lake MLA Anne Kang in a statement about the one-time funding, also the Minister of Advanced Education and Skills Training. 

"We’ve already removed the fees for Adult Basic Education and English Language Learning, but we heard that people needed better supports to help them make the jump from there to post-secondary training. The new pathway programs will make it easier for British Columbians to get the skills they need for good-paying careers and help us train more people to address the labour shortages we’re facing."

In B.C., traditional academic upgrading programs are separate from post-secondary learning and are general in scope. 

The province says a consultation with public post-secondary partners in the fall of 2021 showed some students still struggle to make the transition to post-secondary training even after they have completed post-secondary pre-requisites like English, math, science and through traditional adult basic education and English language learning programs. 

The government says, for example, an English language learning program would focus on the language skills a student would need to enter a trades or technology program. 

"Many students experience social, educational and financial barriers that impact their ability to further their post-secondary studies," Surrey-Green Timbers MLA Rachna Singh added in the release.

"These pathways provide support and opportunities for them to access the courses required for entry into high-demand programs and to establish meaningful careers."

Post-secondary schools that were given one time funding also include Camosun College, Capilano University, Coast Mountain College, North Island College, Nicola Valley Institute of Technology, Okanagan College, Selkirk College, Thompson Rivers University, University of the Fraser Valley and Vancouver Island University.