Community Colleges


COMMUNITY COLLEGES were established as part of a general expansion of POST-SECONDARY EDUCATION in the 1960s. They were primarily 2-year institutions offering programs in 4 fields of education: academic (university transfer); career/technical, to train students for specific employment with programs ranging in duration from a few weeks to 2 or more years; vocational, offering short applied programs of a year or less; and adult basic education to prepare those without high school graduation for other post-secondary programs or for employment. The first college to open (1965) was Vancouver City College, renamed Vancouver Community College in 1974. Its Langara campus separated into an independent college in 1994. Along with the 2 VANCOUVER colleges there were 10 other community colleges around the province: College of New Caledonia in PRINCE GEORGE, Northwest Community College in TERRACE, Capilano College in N VANCOUVER, Douglas College in NEW WESTMINSTER, Camosun College in VICTORIA, College of the Rockies (formerly East Kootenay Community College) in CRANBROOK, North Island College in COURTENAY, Northern Lights College in DAWSON CREEK, Okanagan College in KELOWNA, and Selkirk College in CASTLEGAR. Most of these colleges operated subsidiary campuses in neighbouring communities. Enrolment of full- and part-time students in 2001 was 68,809; this was 40% of total post-secondary enrolment. In 1989 the province began upgrading several colleges to the status of university-colleges, offering upper-level courses and granting bachelor degrees. There were 3 of these: Malaspina Univ College in NANAIMO, Univ College of the Fraser Valley in ABBOTSFORD and Kwantlen Univ College in RICHMONDSURREY. Then, in 2008, these three institutions, plus N Vancouver's Capilano College, achieved full-fledged university status. Unionized college faculty associations coordinate their efforts through the College-Institute Educators Assoc, while administrators work through corresponding bodies such as the Advanced Education Council of BC and the Presidents' Council.