News Archives: GPRC Negotiates Transition of English as a Second Language Students to Local Provider
Thursday, April 26th, 2012
GPRC is negotiating the transition of students from the English as a Second Language (ESL) Program from GPRC's stewardship to that of a local provider. ESL services are not part of the College mandate, and GPRC has not received funding for this program for over five years. Government funding for that purpose is allocated to community adult learning centres throughout the province. The Grande Prairie Council for Lifelong Learning (GPCLL) is currently accepting students, as their limited capacity permits, into their part-time ESL and adult basic learning services that they have already been offering within the community.
GPRC's decision is part of the College's plan to focus resources on its core business: credit students and programs. The ESL program has operated through the College for several decades, and has established an excellent reputation with agencies and institutions overseas. But the demand for this programming is limited and the number of students transitioning from ESL-to-credit programming is low.
"ESL has been an excellent program run by wonderful people, but it is not what GPRC is funded to do," says Don Gnatiuk, GPRC President and CEO. "Our focus is on those international students enrolled in credit studies. I am confident that the students who come here to improve their English language skills will have their needs met by a local provider to their full satisfaction."
Some instructors in the program have been part of the fabric of the College for over 30 years, so this change has not been made lightly. "It is very difficult to make these changes which impact people, but these are difficult times. We are in a very tight budget situation," says Gnatiuk, "and we are streamlining our business model and making strategic choices about the future of our College. We must focus on our core business, our mandate and providing our students with the best learning experience possible."