‘You want to be proud of where you go to school’
Delta is poised to open the doors to a new adult learning centre this fall.
Delta Community College will start classes in September in a new 15,000-sq.-ft. facility at 11590 83 Ave., next to North Delta Secondary – replacing the former Delview Adult Learning Centre (DALC), currently located next to Delview Senior Secondary.
The school will offer three core programs: LINC (Language Instruction for Newcomers to Canada), a federally funded program aimed at helping new immigrants to Canada become familiar with Canadian Culture customs and English; Foundations, an upgrading and skill-building program for those who have spent significant time away from school and are looking to upgrade their skills; and a high school program for adult students looking to complete their Grade 12.
“The program is awesome,” said student Nathan Duschesne, 18, who recently arrived in B.C. from Quebec and enrolled in math and English 12.
“When I left Quebec I hadn’t completed my schooling so I’m looking to upgrade and then get into a trade like heavy duty mechanic,” Duschesne said. “In three months I have done eight months of work… there’s more teacher one-on-one instead of having one teacher for many students.”
Currently DALC has 1,200 course registrations, however the portable buildings have outlived their lifespan.
DALC had been borrowing classrooms from local high schools to help with growing enrolment numbers, but in the past, when the high school enrolment numbers increased, DALC students got bumped.
“Our concern here over the last few years is that we had very limited space,” said Delta District Vice-President Alyson Caouette.
Standing next to two microwaves in the main hallway amongst numerous computers and a student lounge consisting of six donated chairs near the front entrance, and a staff room that serves as a mail room, kitchen and board room, Caouette said space was at a premium.
“We were very cramped for space, to the point where we had to keep waiting lists and we just couldn’t expand anymore. So having one central location that is cohesive is so important.”
The students come to the school for many reasons. Some have a busy high school work load that includes sports or band so they will enrol in an evening course just to get ahead.
And with many new immigrants coming to the area, district principal Ted Johnson has seen the programs flourish.
“Often professionals come to Canada from other countries, but without a working knowledge of English they find it very difficult to find work,” he said. “We have more Foundations students than we have high school completion students… Many students have been in an executive or management level in their country of origin but just need to upgrade their language skills.”
The new Delta Community College will have nine full-size teaching classrooms, a student lounge, a daycare for both students and the public, a reception area and a computer lab.
Standing beneath one of the many skylights cascading natural light into the new facility, Caouette says she is thrilled with the new school.
“As Delview Adult Learning Centre, people weren’t sure if we were part of Delview Secondary or not, but as Delta Community College, people will know they can come to the beautiful new building to learn,” she said. “You want to be proud of where you go to school.”
For more information about courses and registration email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 604-594-6100.