Fabienne Brulhart had planned for over a year to enroll in the Primary Care Paramedic Certificate program at Yukon College.
She had arranged daycare for her two children, completed an Emergency Medical Response course and received several required immunizations. She had even quit her job.
Then last week, just before classes were set to begin, she learned that classes were cancelled.
'Basically it's poor management from the college and we're left hanging.' - Fabienne Brulhart, student
“Basically it's poor management from the college and we're left hanging and we have to deal with the consequences,” she says.
Brulhart says the only hint she had that the college was having trouble recruiting was an extended enrolment deadline for more students to sign up.
"If you don’t have enough people to run the program, cancel it at the time when you don't have enough people,” Brulhart says. “But don't go out of your way, extend deadlines for other people without communicating to the rest of the group that the program is jeopardized at this point and that it maybe could be cancelled."
Yukon College was hosting the Primary Care Paramedic Certificate program on behalf of the Justice Institute of British Columbia, but there were signs of a setback early on.
A local instructor cancelled in the summer causing the College and JIBC to hire one from BC.. at far greater expense.
Last year the course received nearly $320,000 in funding from government and a non-profit. This year the College was going to rely on tuition alone.
When just nine people qualified for the program... it cut the funding close. Then, two students cancelled.
Dan Anton is chair of continuing education at the College. He says it’s a lesson learned the hard way.
"Now I would hazard to guess that Yukon may always have smaller numbers and so we may have to review, how do you achieve such a costly program with smaller numbers,” Anton says.
Brulhart hopes the program can continue, but college officials say, that's not going to happen.
Instead they'll spend this year reviewing funding and recruitment strategies, and planning to start the course over again next year.