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Algonquin College enrolment closes on 1,000

By Sean Chase, The Daily Observer

Algonquin College's Waterfront Campus in Pembroke, Ont.

Algonquin College's Waterfront Campus in Pembroke, Ont.


Beginning the new school year with the largest enrolment in its nearly 50-year history, Pembroke's Algonquin College Waterfront Campus is closing on the unprecedented 1,000-student milestone.

The college currently has 958 students enrolled in 20 full-time programs, ranging from the skilled trades to health sciences, while another 40 are taking academic upgrading and apprenticeship programs. Last year, the campus had 890 full-time students taking classes.

According to the college, almost 50 per cent of the student population are out-of-town students enrolled in unique programs like Outdoor Adventure, Outdoor Adventure Naturalist, Forestry Technician, Radiation Safety and Environmental Technician. Campus dean Karen Davies credits the new $36 million facility, opened in 2012, has created a positive learning environment endorsed by the students themselves.

“The combination of excellent teaching, a good mix of programs and a state-of-the-art facility has created a campus atmosphere that is very inviting for students and families, and more are choosing to study with us,” said Davies.

Nursing continues to be the program with the largest enrolment with more than 170 students registered in the four year Bachelor of Science in Nursing Degree. Across all programs, there are more than 635 first year students enrolled and more than 315 returning students. Opening its doors as an institution in 1967, Algonquin College in Pembroke has become one of the province's largest regional campuses but they have never met or surpassed 1,000 students but that could soon change.

“We are on track to achieve that,” said manager of community and student affairs Jamie Bramburger. “We are pretty much knocking on that door now.”

Relocating the campus to the waterfront, the renaissance that the college had hoped for themselves and the community is coming to fruition, added Bramburger, as students take advantage of downtown businesses and amenities. The new campus has also generated immediate economic development opportunities including the establishment of two student residences.

“There is a certain amount of energy and it is exciting for the city,” he noted.

During orientation sessions prior to the start of the school year, many visiting students brought their families to check out the campus and all it had to offer.

“The waterfront campus is very appealing to students and families,” said Bramburger. “It has allowed us to have a showcase of facilities and build on the commitment we have made to student success. This has become an important piece for the college's future.”

The college is also enjoying welcoming a diverse population with students hailing from different backgrounds and cultural groups.

“We have students from the west coast to the east coast,” noted Bramburger.




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