Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Very Cool Program Expansion at GPRC

GPRC Media Release:

Bachelor of Education Secondary now offered at GPRC

Meeting the demand for high school teachers in northern Alberta is the goal of a new pilot program this fall at GPRC. For the first time ever, the Bachelor of Education, Secondary, will be available in Grande Prairie through a collaboration of GPRC and the U of A, beginning with Year 3 in the fall of 2011. A series of information sessions are being planned to share specifics with prospective students.

The highly successful Teacher Education North (B Ed Elementary) collaboration has been paving the way for this announcement for more than ten years – over 150 elementary teachers now employed at schools throughout our region are alumni of the GPRC/U of A collaborative degree. Students have long been requesting the option of Secondary route degree completion at GPRC as well.

Area school districts have been working closely with government, GPRC and the U of A to facilitate this pilot project, and the great cooperation and effort of all the people involved is recognized as its major strength.

“We are fortunate to have wonderful partners who have made this pilot project possible,” says Susan Bansgrove, GPRC Vice-President Academics and Research. “It is a collaborative effort in every sense, and all partners are excited at the potential to increase access to needed education for learners in our northern and remote region.”

Peace Wapiti School District is excited about the recruitment opportunities that this pilot program represents, according to Superintendent Sheldon Rowe. “We expect that in the upcoming years, as a result of a considerable increase in retirements, we will be facing a significant and growing shortage of secondary teachers,” says Rowe. “This U of A program brokered by GPRC will help address this issue and also help insure that our new hires are very familiar with the advantages and disadvantages of teaching in rural northern Alberta. As a District we are always pleased to see additional locally available post secondary programs offered to our graduates.”

The pilot program will offer a general Bachelor of Education Secondary program, with majors in either English language arts or general science, and minors in English language arts, general science or math. Prospective students who have completed 60 credits of study may bring transcripts to GPRC for evaluation. It is hoped that a cohort of 20 students will soon be registered for the program, which begins in September, 2011.

“The opportunity for the University of Alberta to collaborate with GPRC in offering a pilot program in Secondary Education is ground breaking and extremely exciting,” says Fern Snart, Dean, Faculty of Education at the University of Alberta. “The Faculty of Education and GPRC have an excellent relationship based on a decade of delivering the Teacher Education North (TEN) Elementary Education program, and both institutions share a great pride in the many graduates who are adding strength to the teaching force in northern Alberta. We are confident that the Secondary graduates from this cohort will join the school systems with equal strength in two years, and we are delighted to have this opportunity.”


For comment please contact:
Susan Bansgrove, VP Academics and Research
Grande Prairie Regional College


Fern Snart, Dean
Faculty of Education
University of Alberta

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Ahh Spring....

The city has a general email account that people use from time to time to send notes myself or council. As we get in to spring I expect this won't be the last one I receive that is concerned about the roads.

I try to respond to any email that has a working return address and a name. Here's the resident's note (with their name removed) and my response:

I know your the new mayor of Grande Prairie, but you might want to start doing something and get the roads fixed because they are shitty, that's the only way to describe it. You might want to start considering the citizens of Grande Prairie because if your doing nothing to fix the roads, are you gonna pay for all the vehicle damages? 

 - Name Removed - 

My response....

Hi - Name Removed -, thanks for the note. 

You'll notice that we've had a spring with lots of melting, then re-freezing. This is really rough on the roads, it creates lots of potholes that weren't there last fall because the run-off water gets in to tiny cracks in the pavement and then freezes over night. When it freezes it expands and breaks apart the pavement just like a bottle that's left in the freezer too long. 

We will be going after these potholes very aggressively but there's not too much we can do until more of the snow melts and the temperatures get warmer. We have already had some crews out addressing the worst cases but that work doesn't last because it's still too wet can cold for the repairs to hold. 

This summer we plan to spend about $20 million on road repair, construction and overlays as well as sidewalk construction. So this area is a major priority for me, Council and our staff.... and we're spending a significant amount of your tax dollars on it. 

I hope you'll notice the improvement but understand that our weather here make this an ongoing battle and that every spring will bring new potholes no matter what we do. 

Thank you again for taking the time to write.

Bill Given, 
Mayor, City of Grande Prairie 


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