Island-hopping: P.E.I. colleges try to woo students from Magdalen Islands

P.E.I.'s Holland College and Collège de l'Île are selling their programs to students from the Magdalen Islands, now that there's a partnership in place for shared classes in both languages.

Holland College, Collège de l'Île visit Magdalens to promote new programs in French, English

Representatives of two P.E.I. colleges want people in the Magdalen Islands to know about the programs offered in both French and English for post-secondary students. (Radio-Canada)

Officials with P.E.I.'s Holland College and Collège de l'Île have just returned from a trip to the Magdalen Islands that they hope will mean even more students from there attending their classes.

They have been promoting the strong language and cultural ties to the Acadian and Francophone community, and the common Island way of life.

The two institutions also started a new partnership in April that allows students to take courses at both institutions, which they were pushing during their visit, said Ross Young, international student coordinator for Holland College.

"So now with being able to take French programming for the students from the Magdalens and for the English-speaking students, they can also come and take our programming," Young told Mainstreet's Angela Walker.

"And we found over on our little visit that one of the educators in the English school recognized that her students, while they might take an English program, let's say culinary arts, they could take a French course with De L'ile. So there's a lot of nice synergies."

Ross Young of Holland College and Dominique Chouinard of Collège de l'Île spent the weekend in Magdalen Islands, the first time the two colleges have formally visited. (CBC)
Young, along with Dominique Chouinard, the director of communications for Collège de l'Île, spent the weekend in the Magdelan Islands meeting with parents, students and teachers.

UPEI is well known there, and the two colleges are building their reputations now as well.

"Both colleges are on the upswing over there," said Chouinard.

"There are very little local opportunities for post-secondary education. Some in French, CEGEP, as it's known in Quebec, and they only offer the two-year university prep locally. Anything else, they have to go off the Islands for that."

This was the first time both institutions sent staff to the Magdalen Islands, and recruiters will return in the fall.

from the Mainstreet interview by Angela Walker