Wagmatcook Learning Center first opened its doors in August of 2014 and students have experienced a very successful first term at the new center. For several years, the NSCC Strait Area Campus offered training to people in the community on a small scale. This year, the new Wagmatcook Learning Centre is offering plumbing, Mi’kmaw health and wellness, and electrical and industrial construction. All programs are open to both aboriginal and non-aboriginal students.
Nestled in the foothills of the Cape Breton Highlands and located an hour away from the nearest city centers, Wagmatcook First Nation provides a unique opportunity for rural students who wish to continue their education close to home.
“It was a dream that the students had,” explained Chief Norman Bernard. “They went to school in our community from Kindergarten through to grade 12 and they really wanted to be able to get their Trades training here as well.”
Tom Gunn, NSCC principal, describes the advantage of offering NSCC programs in Wagmatcook. “This is a huge geographic area. We have students here from Margaree and Cheticamp who have families living in the area. Having programming here allows those students to attend training without having to make the long trip into Sydney or Port Hawkesbury. This is especially important during the winter months.”
The center will be run as a rotational Trades center, offering different courses on an as needed basis. The courses offered right now are in high demand and will change as demand changes. Classes run from Monday to Thursday and so far, the feedback has been very positive. Students have just completed their first term at the learning center and are very impressed with the environment on campus.
“I love it here!” said one student about her experience so far. “It’s perfect for me to be able to come into school and get my work done without any distractions.”
When asked what they thought of the programming being offered in Wagmatcook, students had nothing but positive things to say.
“Having NSCC in my community helps me get to school,” said one student. “I went to school in Sydney for a few years and I felt like I didn’t get anywhere. Now I feel like I’m getting somewhere!”
For more information about NSCC or to apply to one of their programs please visit www.nscc.ca