Nfld. & Labrador

College of the North Atlantic to offer applied degrees

A proposed amendment to the College Act will allow the College of the North Atlantic to offer applied degree programs.

New legislation will allow college to offer applied degrees

College of the North Atlantic hopes to soon offer applied degrees. (CBC)

A bill before Newfoundland and Labrador's legislature will pave the way for the College of the North Atlantic to start granting degrees to students. 

The bill is a proposed act to amend the current College Act of 1996. 

Under existing legislation, the college only has the authority to grant certificates and diplomas.

"There is a growing trend, and a growing labour demand, for applied technical colleges such as the College of the North Atlantic to be able to move into applied technical degrees," Advanced Education and Skills Minister Gerry Byrne told CBC News. 

Colleges similar to CNA in British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario and Prince Edward Island already offer applied degrees.

Byrne said that a request was made in 2007 to amend the act, but government declined to proceed. Byrne noted that the other six provinces made the amendments to their acts in the years since.

The bill was introduced last week, and its second reading was Wednesday. 

Byrne expects the bill to pass quickly.

"In the next few days, potentially as early as tomorrow, or early next week, we may actually be able to get the entire legislative package passed through the house and signed  into the law very quickly," he said. 

In a statement, the Department of Advanced Education and Skills said the ability to grant degrees through CNA "will assist in expanding programming, increasing enrolment and revenue, and help ensure the college's competitiveness on the national stage and in other countries such as Qatar and China."

About the Author

Mark Squibb is a freelance journalist based in Conception Bay North.