Collaboration offers Okanagan College students a pathway to mining programs at BCIT

Students in BCIT’s Mining Technology-Mineral Resource Engineering programs.
Image Credit: SUBMITTED

Students considering a career in the mining sector – which boasts more than 120 different careers, including technology and engineering related roles – will now have the opportunity to start their education and training at Okanagan College and bridge into mining studies at BCIT.

Launching this fall, the Collaborative Mining Engineering and Technology Diploma/Degree pilot program will provide students across British Columbia with a convenient conduit into BCIT’s Mineral Exploration and Mining Technology or Mining and Mineral Resource Engineering programs.

The program was launched with convenience for students in mind. The first year of training is provided locally through courses at Okanagan College in Kelowna or Penticton (all but one of the required courses can be completed at the College’s Penticton campus) and online. Students then join others from across BC to complete the diploma or degree at BCIT’s Lower Mainland campus.

“This collaborative partnership with the Mining Engineering program at BCIT is an excellent example of BC post-secondary institutions working together to increase accessibility to education not previously available in the BC interior,” says Phil Ashman, Associate Dean of Science, Technology and Health at Okanagan College. “Financially, it can be a significant cost savings for students to study close to home for a year. We are very excited to be a part of this unique provincial collaboration, providing students living in the Okanagan with local access to opportunities in the mining sector.”

“The development of this new learning pathway is a tremendous opportunity for aspiring Mining students to embark upon an exciting career as Mining Technologist or Professional Engineer,” says Dave Rutherford, Associate Dean, BCIT School of Construction and the Environment. “Congratulations to Okanagan College, College of New Caledonia, Northwest Community College and the BC Centre of Training Excellence in Mining for stepping forward and contributing to the long term training success of BC’s Mining sector.”

Okanagan College is one of three BC colleges delivering the pilot program in collaboration with BCIT. The others are College of New Caledonia (CNC) and Northwest Community College (NWCC). The project is supported by the Centre of Training Excellence in Mining (CTEM), a province-wide virtual hub that facilitates collaborative, innovative training opportunities for the British Columbia mining industry, job seekers and communities.

The collaboration is timely given the demand for skilled workers in the mining sector in BC, across Canada and internationally, according to Jill Tsolinas, Executive Director of CTEM.

“The BC mining industry needs skilled individuals to fill newly created jobs and vacancies from retirees,” explains Tsolinas. “Jobs are located in every region of the province providing employment close to home or allowing the opportunity to travel. CTEM congratulates Okanagan College and BCIT for being leaders in exploring innovative ways to deliver relevant training for the BC mining industry.”

Interested students should apply to the Associate of Science degree program at Okanagan College and speak with an advisor to express their interest in the collaborative mining pathway. They will need to complete a list of required classes at OC, in order to meet the entry requirements to step into year two of BCIT’s Mining programs.

More information is available at www.okanagan.bc.ca/mining.


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