By Greg Fry
Prince George, B.C. – No word yet on when the University of Northern British Columbia (UNBC) Senate approved civil engineering program might be rolled out.
Dr. Dan Ryan, UNBC’s Interim Vice President Academic and Provost, says yesterday’s approval simply laid out the “academic framework” for the program.
“And what that does is it builds out the idea with respect to the courses, how we’re offering them, or how we’re planning to offer them.”
In order for the program to receive final approval, he says UNBC still needs the approval of the ministry of advanced education and the school’s board of governors, not to mention find its funding sources.
“It’s really to be frank difficult to assess when we’ll be able to have our first class because all those pieces have to fall into place first,” says Ryan. “But that being said, with the academic program in place, we can move relatively quickly once we figure out some of those other elements.”
Once the program jumps through those hoops he says they will need to go through some steps with the Canadian Engineering Accreditation Board “to ensure it’s a fully appropriately accredited program.”
“And that would be the equivalent of a four year undergraduate degree – a four year degree. Now we’re adding a co-op component to it which means it may take longer to finish because they have work terms associated with it so it’s basically a five year degree with co-op in there.”
And like Prince George City Councillor Albert Koehler told 250News earlier today (see story here), he says the program will certainly help fill a void currently being felt in Prince George.
“We have engineers coming to the North that often end up not staying in the North because they don’t understand or appreciate the North.
“And we know from our Northern Medical Program that when we train students in the North, they stay in the North because they understand and appreciate what’s going on.”