Great Plains has new program

Great Plains College is pleased to announce that it has assumed the coordination of the Saskatchewan referrals for a home-based English language training program that provides an essential learning experience for newcomers to Canada. The college has entered into an agreement with the federal government and The Centre for Education & Training (TCET) to manage this essential service in the province of Saskatchewan. 

The Language Instruction for Newcomers to Canada (LINC) program is a language training program funded by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada. Based in Ontario, TCET has developed the LINC Home Study program which provides free distance education for eligible newcomers to Canada who are unable to attend LINC classes in person. The program provides English language training to assist Canadian newcomers with social, cultural and economic education in their new home and country. 

In the past, the Saskatchewan learner’s online language experience was managed and instructed completely by TCET staff in Ontario. With the new agreement in place, the college will manage all of the Saskatchewan referrals and match those individuals to qualified Saskatchewan instructors who will support the students’ online learning experience using the TCET curriculum, learning management system and supports. 

“We are very happy to secure this opportunity with TCET and the federal government,” said Keleah Ostrander, director of learning services and adult basic education for Great Plains College. “By March 2022, the college is anticipating to be managing a total of 175 learners throughout the province of Saskatchewan who will be served by this program.” 

Ostrander added that the new arrangement will be beneficial for all involved. “This is an extremely exciting development for both our online language students as well as our instructors. For the students, their language support will be managed by an instructor within Saskatchewan who can understand their rural context, relate to their experience and provide first-hand feedback to their questions. For the instructors, this will provide additional opportunities for enhanced employment beyond their commitments to classroom programming.” 

Carolyn Langdon, director of distance education with the Centre for Education & Training stated, “This is a wonderful opportunity to reach newcomers in Saskatchewan through a College that understands the potential of online learning and is able to provide local support. We are pleased that Saskatchewan-based instructors will have the opportunity to develop their online skills further and support learners through the LINC Home Study program.” 

This project is being funded by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada.

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