After months and months of negotiations, we are pleased to inform our former students, prospective students, and the general public that we have signed an MOU with Portage College to deliver their Early Learning and Child Care Certificate and Diploma, as well as the Education Assistant Certificate and Diploma.
I had my first contact with administrators at Portage College back in August 2013, and they were receptive to sitting down and discussing the possibilities. It was very obvious upon our first visit that we had a shared interest in educating students, primarily those day care and HeadStart workers that put in tireless hours to serve our First Nation communities. As we listened to Fatima Tarrabain and Myrna Fox share their successes at Portage College, I was particularly excited to hear about how they were involved in online learning and for how long they have been doing it. It was apparent they were leaders in the online world delivering programs similarly to Credenda. They used a live, synchronous model like ourselves. For years, we have been promoting the merits of synchronous learning as the next best solution to a live classroom setting.
In addition to being leaders in using technology to deliver their program, I was impressed with the level of care and commitment they had for their students. They were not only interested in teaching students, they were interested in the students themselves. They wanted them to succeed, but more than that, they wanted the students to grow personally. Why? Because these are the students working directly with our children and grandchildren, and they have such a huge impact on these little lives that end up going to school and are better prepared to learn there. We share this vision. We want the same for our First Nation college students. Our instructors go the extra mile to support and assist our students with whatever challenges they face. So this was another thing we had in common.
Finally, Portage College not only are technological leaders in distance learning, and willing to extend themselves to show care for students, but academic rigor is important to them. If our First Nations students are going to be successful both on and off reserve, we need to ensure that our students are receiving the same level of training and education as they would in any urban college or university. Further to that, we want our students to be academically prepared to direct enter university or college if they wish to further their education. Portage College has transfer agreements with a number of reputable colleges and universities across Canada so that students can take their Certificate or Diploma and transfer into a Bachelor program. Our First Nation students need these agreements in place to ensure they are not starting over from the beginning if they transfer. Portage College has these agreements and it only serves our First Nation students better.
So when it was all said and done, and after lots of meetings and conference calls, Portage College and Credenda officially signed the MOU January 2014. We look forward to working with Portage College to serve our First Nation communities in Saskatchewan and bring them the quality educational programming we have been offering since 2006.