Thursday, 23 November 2017 12:18

Great Plains College offers unique dual certificate program

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The Great Plains College will be offering a unique dual certificate program at the Rosetown Program Centre in 2018.

The new carpentry and production line welding program will give students an opportunity to receive dual certification and to earn credits towards two apprenticeships that will prepare them for different work streams. This is the first time that such a program will be offered in the province.
“We identified what we would consider a need in the local community and we wanted to put together a program that would address the question of relevant multiple skills in the particular Rosetown service region,” Great Plains College President and CEO Dr. David Keast said. “Part of our mandate as a college is to serve the local communities. … It fits with the demographic and defined labour market needs in the Rosetown area. So we’re expecting a lot of enthusiasm and a lot of uptake on this program.”
The full-time program will run over a period of 31 weeks from September to April. The first intake for the new program is Sept. 4, 2018 and applications are now accepted. Individuals who submit their applications by April 30, 2018 will be eligible for entrance scholarships up to a maximum of $5,500.
The program will provide students with introductory skills in carpentry, production line welding, skills and safety training, as well as other construction skills such as roofing, electrical, plumbing, and solar panel technology.
In addition, the program participants will gain real work experience during their capstone project, when they will work in teams of four to six students to build an energy efficient tiny home that will have to comply with all the relevant building codes.
For the capstone project the college will be partnering with Robinson Residential Design Inc. The Regina-based company will provide the blueprints for the tiny home.
“When students in this type of a program do a capstone project like that they acquire multiple skill sets,” he said. “It is a classic model for hands-on learning. It is a classic model for work-integrated learning. They essentially acquire the groundwork for the entire skill set that would be involved in building a home.”
According to Dr. Keast it makes sense to combine carpentry and line welding in a single course that will help to prepare students for a career in the construction industry.
“Those two skill sets are actually more common than you would think in the process of home construction,” he said. “In this particular case they’ll also be building frames and trailers to support the tiny homes. That’s where the welding comes in.”
Students will have various options after completing this dual certificate program.
They will receive an applied certificate in production line welding and an applied certificate in carpentry from Saskatchewan Polytechnic.
They will also receive certification in fall protection and first aid/CPR/AED. They will have an opportunity, at an additional cost, to take the Canadian Welding Bureau test before they graduate.
“So students, after completing this program, can go into the construction trade, they can go into the welding trade, they can go into the energy-efficiency trade, or they can also use their trade transfer credit to further their education to complete an apprenticeship program at Sask Polytechnic or in Alberta in Edmonton or Calgary,” he said.
Dr. Keast noted that budgetary implications are always a challenge when the college is considering a new program or course. In this case the dual certificate program will replace the existing welding program offered in Rosetown.
“What we’re actually doing is replacing an existing program with something that is more developed, more innovative, that is focused more on skill development, that is probably going to be more appealing to a student population in Rosetown,” he said.
The welding program is currently offered in Rosetown and Swift Current, but it will only be available at the Swift Current campus at the start of the 2018-19 academic year.
For more information about the new dual certificate program in carpentry and production line welding or other programs and courses offered by Great Plains College, visit the website

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Matthew Liebenberg


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