Online learning will be a ‘big part’ of university business

The COVID-19 pandemic has led to more online working and online learning due to lockdowns, but this online working and online learning culture remains after COVID restrictions are lifted.

Colin Kirkwood, Sault College’s vice president of operations, noted the trend when delivering the college’s 2021-2022 annual report to the college’s board of governors at its meeting on Thursday evening.

Sault College began bolstering its online learning courses and programs in 2017 as the pandemic significantly increased online learning.

“Over the past five years, e-learning has grown tremendously. I can’t say we predicted it, but during the pandemic many people were displaced from their jobs and we were very well positioned to help retrain those people in a very short period of time, roughly at the same time the government came out with what are called micro-certificates.

Kirkwood said there were more than 30,000 enrollments in Sault College’s microcredit courses.

“It’s not a big deal for us, but for sure in the future it’s expected that this type of short-term training will become a bigger part of our business,” Kirkwood said. .

In keeping with this new trend, the Sault College Board of Trustees approved two new Ontario Graduate Certificate programs on Thursday, aimed at teaching students how to design and deliver courses and programs online and at their give them the technical skills they need to present them.

The board approved:

  • E-Learning Training and Development (one year)
  • Design and development of e-learning (two years)

The one-year program – a foundation year – will serve the interests of Canadian students with an optional third semester that will consist of a co-op placement.

The addition of a second year to the Graduate Certificate program is intended to retain international students and increase their chances of success in the Canadian workforce.

The second year will include a Canadian context, including elements such as Canadian law – spread over the two years of the program.

The second year will also include a full semester internship.

“It’s a requirement that we bring in the Canadian context and it’s 30% Canadian content and context that’s integrated throughout the program,” said Jennifer Mosley, e-learning program manager of the Sault College, addressing the council.

“The rationale for these programs is obvious. We see that more and more companies want to offer more online training experiences rather than face-to-face. As such, companies need experts who possess the skills and knowledge of an instructional designer as well as an e-learning developer with a broad set of technical skills.

The Board also approved a two-year project management program in a Canadian context.

Graduates of this program will be trained for careers as project analysts, coordinators, leaders, managers, officers, and schedule analysts.

There are 4,040 active project manager job openings in Ontario.

Of these postings, 2,691 are for full-time jobs.

There are five active Project Manager jobs within a 100 kilometer radius of Sault Ste. Married.

It is predicted that by 2027, the global workforce focused on project management is expected to grow by 22 million new jobs.

As of May 2022, there are an estimated 59,000 jobs available for those who have completed program management training in human resources, education, employment and skills development, hospitals and health care, government agencies, and for-profit and non-profit agencies.

“The beauty of these programs is that students will be introduced to two fascinating industries,” Mosley said.

Kirkwood’s report also included another milestone for the college.

“We are very pleased to have received government approval for our Bachelor of Science in Nursing program in March 2022. Our first cohort of Sault College Bachelor of Science in Nursing students will enter the college in the fall of 2022. C is the first true degree program offered by Sault College,” said Kirkwood.

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