Three Canadian colleges have joined forces to build tailored supports for members of the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF), Veterans, and their family members seeking a post-secondary education.
Loyalist College (Ontario), Nova Scotia Community College (NSCC), and Portage College (Alberta) formalized a new partnership (Nov. 10) through a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU). The agreement recognizes the unique challenges of those within our country’s military community wishing to further their education. Whether deployed domestically, internationally, or conducting daily operations, CAF families often face distinct hurdles in pursuing education due to the additional burdens of service - including the need for frequent interprovincial moves.
“As a proud supporter of Canadian Armed Forces, Portage College is pleased to further support Military-connected students as they continue on their educational journeys,” says Don Moore, Dean of Education, Arts & Culture, University Studies and Trades & Technology at Portage College. “We know that these individuals give so much to our country, and I am proud to see our college take an active part in supporting these students as they relocate for a variety of reasons. I’m pleased to work with our partners and Loyalist College and Nova Scotia Community College to support these pathways and program completion opportunities for students.”
The MOU frames the collaborative discussions of the three colleges, drawing from each institution’s programming and supports to enhance sharing arrangements that:
The partnership was guided by Release Point Education and its founder, Dr. Darryl Cathcart. Cathcart noted that this agreement is the first of its kind and will ensure meaningful outcomes for many years to come. He notes, "If we consider the number of serving CAF members, Veterans, and families across the country, it’s clear that military-connected learners are a unique Canadian student population with the potential to generate a significant impact on local economies.”
“Loyalist College is proud to partner with Portage College and NSCC to launch a national education pathway in support of military-connected students,” says Mark Kirkpatrick, Acting President of Loyalist College. “As publicly assisted colleges, we have a unique responsibility to create programming that is responsive to community needs. This initiative is a landmark step forward in recognizing the unique skills of an often underserved group and removing barriers to education for military-connected learners.”
NSCC Associate Vice President of Research and Innovation, Jeff Taylor adds, “I’m so pleased to work with our fellow colleges to address a real need with our military community members. Having just commemorated Remembrance Day, we are keenly reminded of the selfless commitment of those who step forward to serve our country. It is incumbent on us to create a smooth pathway for them when they choose to seek additional education.”
Braden Root-McCaig, Loyalist College