Amherst NSCC expands

Darrell
Darrell Cole
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Two new courses open at learning centre

New state of the art facilities are greeting students in two new programs at the Nova Scotia Community College’s Amherst Learning Centre.

NSCC Cumberland principal Don McCormack looks on as LPN students Buffy-Jo Perry and Michelle Walton make up a bed in the new lab at the expanded Amherst learning centre.

AMHERST – New state of the art facilities are greeting students in two new programs at the Nova Scotia Community College’s Amherst Learning Centre.

Students in the electronic engineering technician program and restored licensed practical nursing program are receiving instruction in newly expanded classroom space in the Amherst centre.

“We’re really excited about this renovated facility,” NSCC Cumberland principal Don McCormack said. “One of the things we really want to focus on is to be responsive to the needs of industry and we’re so excited with the LPN and the continuing care program with a state of the art lab facility. It really is second to none.”

McCormack said he’s looking forward to the day when these students graduate from NSCC and head out to jobs in homes, hospitals and nursing homes across the province.

The LPN course had been out of circulation locally for several years, but McCormack said the decision was made to bring it back this year after taking with officials from the Cumberland Health Authority last year.

The new lab is much like a hospital setting, complete with nursing station, medicine carts, shelves, hospital beds and patients.

The electronic engineering technician program is a new offering that McCormack feels will help provide qualified employees for companies such as LED Roadway Lighting, Oxford Frozen Foods and possibly IMP.

He also sees it playing huge dividends when the Ships Start Here shipbuilding contract.

“We’re really excited about what it can do for local industry,” McCormack said.

The expansion to the learning centre is just another example of the college’s commitment to Amherst, McCormack said. From a small satellite campus in downtown Amherst several years ago, the college moved to the former TeleTech quarters in the Town Square Mall.

“We’re excited that we’re able to help more people through our Cumberland Campus, both in Springhill and Amherst. That’s what we’re here for,” McCormack said. “Our goal is to provide highly-skilled and trained people for jobs in Cumberland County and beyond.”

Longtime CCA instructor Rhonda Jackson loves the new facility.

“It’s absolutely beautiful and very conducive to learning,” Jackson said. “It really is state of the art.”

Jackson said the new lab space is just what’s needed to best prepare students to enter the workplace after graduation.

LPN students Michelle Walton and Buff-Jo Perry are thrilled to be learning in modern surroundings.

“The first time I walked in the door I was blown away with the lab,” Walton said. “We just started two weeks ago and we’re so excited to be able to learn in this facility.”

Perry said the lab offers the best hands-on learning experience.

“There’s only so much you can read about from a textbook. In a lab such as this we can learn how things really are in the workplace and be prepared for when we go to work in a hospital setting.”

There are presently 150 students at the Amherst learning centre, along with another 250 at the Springhill campus.

darrell.cole@tc.tc

Twitter: @ADNdarrell

Organizations: Nova Scotia Community College, Amherst Learning Centre, Cumberland Health Authority Oxford Frozen Foods

Geographic location: AMHERST, Springhill, Cumberland County

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