The College of New Caledonia (CNC) will be adding a Health Assistant program to its Vanderhoof campus thanks to $140,000 dollars in funding from the BC Ministry of Advanced Education.

“This is something that we were planning for and preparing the students who are planning on enrolling into that program to ensure that their literacy and numeracy skills were at a level so that they will be successful,” says Henry Reiser, president of CNC.

He says they expect to fill all 16 seats for the program’s initial intake in September.

“There has beena demand in the community for this program and we are just trying to understand what the needs of these communities are. We are creating programs in communities so that local people have an opportunity to study in community.”

Reiser says local programs help keep costs down for students and allow them to take advantage of community support systems.

“When we can, we would like to deliver programming in communities where the students are living. A great number of our students are of aboriginal ancestry and there are supports in the community that we have a very difficult time replicating.”

Graduates will be able to work in both community and facility settings, providing care that promotes physical, psychological and social well-being for their clients. The hope is that they will stay and work in their community when they graduate.

Reiser says the school is committed to training healthcare workers in the north who will stay in the north.