Southeast College’s 2019-2020 full-time program schedule was recently updated due to lower student numbers than anticipated.
The fourth class power engineering and welding applied certificate courses that were scheduled to start Sept. 3 at the Estevan campus have been paused for the upcoming year.
The fourth class power engineering program has been offered consistently between the Estevan and Weyburn campuses for the past 14 years and has produced approximately 140 graduates into the local and regional economy. Uncertainty of the future of coal-fired plants for power generation is believed to be part of the challenge in maintaining student enrollment.
Post-secondary institutions across the province are seeing a similar shift in power engineering enrollments. Southeast College will continue to focus on its offering and development of third and second class power engineers through its partnerships with Great Plains College and SaskPower.
The Estevan campus started offering the welding applied certificate course when it moved into the new location on Bourquin Road in 2011. This program has consistently shown a fair to strong labour market attachment. However, the student demand has not always indicated the same success.
As with power engineering, welding programs across the province have experienced declining interest over the past few years.
Jody Holzmiller, vice-president of training for Southeast College, said, “We will continue to be reactive and flexible with the programs that we offer at Southeast College. We will be researching other programming opportunities across our region that align with both the college and the province’s strategic priorities.”
Each year the college undertakes a program planning exercise using a comprehensive prioritization matrix that provides robust data to develop program plans. Southeast College will continue to realign its focus on programs that have student demand and a strong labour market attachment.
The college says it is proud to offer innovative and flexible programming that encourages students to learn where they live.