CLARENVILLE, NL –
Distributed Learning (DL) is celebrating two decades at College of the North Atlantic (CNA) Clarenville campus this year, and is looking forward to what the next 20-plus years of online learning has in store.
To mark the occasion, the campus hosted an Open House Wednesday, December 12, which was attended by representatives of the provincial and municipal governments, including Terra Nova MHA Colin Hollloway, who brought greetings on behalf of Advanced Education, Skills and Labour Minister Bernard Davis; CNA’s team, including President & CEO Bruce Hollett, faculty and staff; as well as current and former students.
“When College of the North Atlantic opened the Distributed Learning Centre 20 years ago, online education was a new opportunity,” said Min. Davis. “Over the past two decades, the college has achieved steady growth in enrolment through the convenience of learning online. Distributed learning makes post-secondary education more accessible for students who prefer to learn in the comfort of their home communities. It also contributes to blended learning techniques that benefit on-campus students and faculty. It is my pleasure to congratulate College of the North Atlantic on 20 years of excellence in distributed learning.”
“College of the North Atlantic’s history as a public post-secondary education provider in this province is 50-plus years strong,” said Hollett. “The fact that we have been successfully offering online learning as a means of program delivery for 20 of those years speaks to the adaptability and responsiveness of our college to the needs of students – then and now. People lead busy lives, either because of work commitments or families, yet they still want to be able to continue their education. DL has provided a solution to some of those challenges with its growth of online programs and related courses. ”
DL officially started in 1998 as a pilot project, which offered a new methodology of course delivery that brought CNA into a realm it had never ventured before. The DL team at Clarenville is comprised of 19 staff, as well as faculty from across the majority of CNA’s campuses. They provide support to DL’s current 785 students. This represents nearly 15 per cent of the total college enrolment.
On average, more than 90 per cent of DL students live in NL, with approximately 50 per cent them being part-time. They avail of programs in CNA’s Schools of Business and Information Technology, Health Sciences, Industrial Trades, and Academics, Applied Arts and Tourism.
“We wish there were even more programs available online, and I’m sure as time goes on, there will be,” said Theresa Pittman, DL’s Dean, noting the opportunities for blended learning, where some program courses are offered online and others are on campus, is also beneficial. “I would like people to think of DL as increasing their accessibility to getting the same quality education and an equitable level of service as our on-campus students; supported by our faculty in the classrooms. Those are our priorities.”
College of the North Atlantic
Director of Public Affairs
College of the North Atlantic
Director of Communications
Advanced Education, Skills and Labour