We came back from our fantastic trip to Easter Island, where we filmed the first episode of the Travel by Dart TV show (well, the first of the series, after the ‘pilots’ Svalbard and ‘Russia’.
Until the episode is ready, we will be posting a lot of images and videos. We also wanted to take a moment to officially thank one of our most important partners to make this trip happen, Robertson College.
Not only the college supported the Travel by Dart crew to get to Polynesia, but also donated some custom-made backpacks, which we took to Easter Island and gave them away to the young students at Earthship Music School (Toki School)!
Above is just one of the few images we took there, so make sure to subscribe to our newsletter to be notified when we will have more news and when the episode will be ready.
Robertson College is one of the oldest educational institutions in Canada, but also has something very special about it. Instead of us doing the talking about it, we invited Ramona Buda, Campus Director at Robertson College in Edmonton, to join us in the studio, for a radio interview on Sorin in the City show, aired on World FM 101.7.
Sorin: Ramona, what is so unique about Roberson College?
Ramona: We do have a high population of students that is of immigrant descent or brand new Canadiens. I would say over 70% of our students are born outside Canada. I think one of the reasons for that is because admittance into our college does not necessarily require that you have prerequisites such as the English 30 or Math 30 or Bio 30. It depends on the programs, of course, but if the immigrants have a certain level of English knowledge, they can be accepted into the college without having to obtain prerequisites previously.
So you are a fully recognized college.
Absolutely. Therefore our students are eligible for student aid. As a recognized college we have to maintain very high graduation and employment standards. Just as an example of last year over 80% of our graduating students found jobs in their field of studies.
Can you talk a bit about your demographic? What kind of students you have regarding age or ethnicity?
Very good question. Most of our students are adults between the age of 18 and 40, but we have older students than that. I think the older student I had was a 70-year-old male!
What did he take?
He took health care aid! He did that to take care of his wife. He wanted to improve his skills. Most of our students do have spouses and children. As mentioned, over 70% of our students are immigrants, the majority coming from Philippines, India, and some African countries.
What kind of programs do you have? What’s their length?
We have programs that are as short as five months in length – for our Health Care Aid, or Pharmacy Assistant Program, and are as long as 11 months for the Network Security Technician, Legal Assistant, Business Management. So, between five months and less than a year.
The economy was terrible in the last few years. How did that affect the enrollment into Robertson College?
We seen an increase in the number of new registrations. As I’m sure, everyone is aware the economy has hit Alberta pretty hard. The unemployment rate is very high for our province. Many of the people that were laid off are now looking to get a career in a more stable, more secure environment. We have seen an increase in the number of students that are wishing to take health care programs: Health Care Aid, Medical Office Assistant, Pharmacy Assistant, Hospital Unit Clerk.
How many programs do you have?
We have different faculties. As I’ve already mentioned: the Health Care Faculty, we have Business Administration-Management, Community Support Worker, Network Security Technician, Logistics and Supply Chain Management – which is being offered online – so most of the programs that we offer are definitely available on campus on 8-12 kind of schedule or evening classes, but we also have the online option.
I know you have campuses in other cities. Which ones?
We have campuses in Edmonton, Calgary, Brandon, Winnipeg, as well as the online campus.
Tell me a student success story.
How much time do we have? I have so many. Every day we do hear success stories from our students, that we were able to change their life through education. Very recently I had one of my students – a mother of seven children. She graduated after giving it a try for a couple of months, struggling. When you have seven children they have to take priority and graduating is a little hard putting in that time. When she picked up her diploma, her eyes were in tears. She was telling us that she is the first in her family to graduate from college. And because of this college degree, she won’t allow other people to talk down to her. She is going to inspire her kids to go to college to get an education, but even more so, she was hoping that her family, her brothers were going to break the chain of substance abuse and violence. She was very proud and we, as a college, were very proud to give her an education.
Where can people find your contact?
Thank you so much, Ramona!
You can listen to the audio file of the interview below: