Sahra MacLean

Sahra MacLean

Dollars for Dogwood concerns student advocate

In the fall, Camosun College will begin charging hundreds of dollars in tuition on some high school equivalency courses.

  • Aug. 8, 2011 2:00 p.m.

A basic stepping stone to higher education will soon be a little slipperier for adults looking to go back to school.

In the fall, Camosun College will begin charging hundreds of dollars in tuition on some high school equivalency courses.

The college will still have about 1,700 free spaces for students looking to earn their Dogwood. That’s 500 more than mandated by the province. But the concern is that some of the available free spaces will no longer include courses needed to pursue a post-secondary education.

Sahra MacLean, external executive for Camosun College Student Society, says the problem runs deeper than the number of seats.

“It’s who gets those seats, what classes those seats are in and when they’re offered,” said MacLean, who is also the B.C. executive with the Canadian Federation of Students. “By just saying we’re offering x-number of seats, it’s not really addressing the issue. It’s a quality over quantity issue.”

Students accessing the adult basic education courses are coming back to school for any number of reasons, facing any number of challenges, whether they’re young or single parents, people with disabilities, or new immigrants, MacLean said.

“They all come together here to try and get that education,” MacLean said. “Grade 12 is what everyone in this province should be able to get.”

Camosun is in the midst of replacing a selection of adult basic education courses, including all high school equivalency science courses, to 100-level, tuition-bearing courses.

Grade 11 and 12 equivalency courses in chemistry, physics and biology, for example, will now cost $361.80 or $440.10, depending on the course.

Last year, equivalency courses were tuition free.

“It’s not a path that we’re absolutely thrilled about,” said John Boraas, dean of Camosun College’s school of access.

“It’s not my first choice on how we would have responded. It’s balancing fiscal responsibilities.”

Boraas oversees the delivery of all English and math courses, some of which will also now charge tuition.

The depth of those new 100-level courses has been expanded to meet both student needs and course prerequisites in preparation for college and university programs, he said. But not all of the new courses are university-transferrable.

“We either had to decide that we just wouldn’t (offer adult basic education), or find a different way to create some capacity that gives students some options,” Boraas said, lauding the student society’s efforts to stand up for accessible education.

“For us, our problem is how do we deal with too little money and too much demand?”

nnorth@saanichnews.com

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Students from SD62 stepped up to help members in the community with the annual 10,000 Tonight food drive. This year’s organizers had to adapt during the campaign as COIVD-19 public health orders changed. (Black Press Media file photo)
West Shore students step up to make sure community members don’t go without

Students of SD62 are this year’s recipient of the Youth Volunteer Award

A cat died in this house fire in Sidney afternoon. The fire started on the house’s deck and spread from that point. Sidney Volunteer Fire Department Chief Brett Mikkelsen said the permanent presence of crews at the Community Safety Building prevented worse damage. (Photo courtesy of Clayton Firth)
Sidney house fire kills cat, causes extensive damage

Official says fire started on deck and damage to the house could have been worse

Millstream Village is welcoming a new Marshalls location March 9. (Photo courtesy GWL Realty Advisors)
New Marshalls store in Langford brings boost to women in need

Retailer will hold opening ceremony in Millstream Village March 9

Abstract Developments is donating $75,000 to support community programming at The Cridge Centre for the Family. (Courtesy of The Cridge Centre)
Victoria developer builds support for community programs

Abstract Developments donates $75,000 to The Cridge Centre for the Family

SD 62 (Sooke) has announced a COVID-19 exposure at David Cameron Elementary in Colwood. Potential exposure dates are Monday, Feb. 22; Tuesday, Feb. 23; and Wednesday, Feb. 24. (Black Press Media File).
COVID-19 exposure at Colwood’s David Cameron Elementary

Potential exposure dates are Monday, Feb. 22; Tuesday, Feb. 23; and Wednesday, Feb. 24.

A health worker holds a vial of AstraZeneca vaccine to be administered to members of the police at a COVID-19 vaccination center in Mainz, Germany, Thursday, Feb. 25, 2021. The federal state of Rhineland-Palatinate, start with the vaccination of police officers in internal police vaccination centers. (Andreas Arnold/dpa via AP)
B.C. officials to unveil new details of COVID vaccination plan Monday

Seniors and health-care workers who haven’t gotten their shot are next on the list

A boat caught fire in Ladysmith Harbour on Saturday morning. (Photo submitted)
Search underway for missing woman after boat catches fire in Ladysmith harbour

A large boat caught fire on the morning of Saturday, Feb. 27

Lone orca from a pod that made its way north from Georgia Strait and into Discovery Passage on Saturday, Feb. 27, 2021. Photo by Ella Smiley/<a href="https://www.facebook.com/Comoxvalleywildlifesightings/?ref=page_internal" target="_blank">Comox Valley Wildlife Sightings </a>
Island wildlife viewers thrilled by close view of passing Orca pod

Group gives wildlife photographers a classic opportunity to view them off Campbell River shoreline

An investigation is underway after a man was shot and killed by Tofino RCMP in Opitsaht. (Black Press Media file photo)
Man shot and killed by RCMP near Tofino, police watchdog investigating

Investigation underway by Independent Investigations Office of British Columbia.

B.C. Supreme Court in Vancouver on Tuesday December 11, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C.’s compromise on in-person worship at three churches called ‘absolutely unacceptable’

Would allow outdoor services of 25 or less by Langley, Abbotsford and Chilliwack churches

Baldy Mountain Resort was shut down on Saturday after a fatal workplace accident. (Baldy Mountain picture)
Jasmine and Gwen Donaldson are part of the CAT team working to reduce stigma for marginalized groups in Campbell River. Photo by Marc Kitteringham, Campbell River Mirror
Jasmine’s story: Stigma can be the hardest hurdle for those overcoming addiction

Recovering B.C. addict says welcome, connection and community key for rebuilding after drug habit

A Vancouver restaurant owner was found guilty of violating B.C.’s Human Rights Code by discriminating against customers on the basis of their race. (Pixabay)
Vancouver restaurant owner ordered to pay $4,000 to customers after racist remark

Referring to patrons as ‘you Arabs’ constitutes discrimination under B.C.’s Human Rights Code, ruling deems

Most Read