Rodney MacDonald has big plans to expand the course selection at the Cape Breton Gaelic College, where the fiddler, dancer and former Nova Scotia premier has been CEO since 2012.

The Cape Breton Gaelic College already offers weekend and week-long language immersion courses for both children and adults, but MacDonald said it can do more.

"We want to offer a five or six-week immersion credit course on site at the college, starting in the spring of 2015," he said.

"We think that we can not only do that — a Gaelic language program — but we can move well beyond that and begin to offer additional courses."


Former Nova Scotia Premier Rodney MacDonald became CEO of the Cape Breton Gaelic College in 2012. (CBC)

According to Statistics Canada, there are fewer than 500 native Gaelic speakers left in Nova Scotia.

The Gaelic College has signed a memorandum of understanding with Cape Breton University to offer a Gaelic credit toward a degree. MacDonald said right now, most people who want to advance their studies have to go to Scotland.

"There's no reason why we can't offer these types of courses at home," he said.

"Whether it's in language, it could be the history, music and other courses that would be worked out with Cape Breton University."

MacDonald said the Gaelic College has the facilities already to house and feed students for the duration of a course. He said all that is left is to determine how many credits a student would earn toward a Cape Breton University degree.