Private career college opens campus in Sudbury

A private career college operating in southern Ontario is expanding to northern Ontario with a new campus in Sudbury.

Campus to open next month

Derryck Turcotte, campus director of Trillium College, stands beside a bell that is rung when a student gets a job. The college will open its Sudbury campus in February. (Kate Rutherford/CBC)

A private career college operating in southern Ontario is expanding to northern Ontario with a new campus in Sudbury.

Trillium College will open next month in downtown Sudbury in the Rainbow Centre Mall. It's the same location where another private career college suddenly closed four years ago.

Everest College left students dangling when the parent company went bankrupt in 2015.

Derryck Turcotte, the campus director for Trillium says there is absolutely no connection between the two colleges.

"Trillium has been owned by the same family since its inception over twenty years ago and that has no part or bearing to Corinthian Colleges or Everest College or anything of that nature," he explained.

"[The Everest College] facility that was built was a brand new facility. So for a college to come into Sudbury and not consider that space, especially being across from the bus station, in the mall … would be foolish not to take advantage of that."

Turcotte says anyone can verify Trillium's standing independently online in the private career college section on the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities website.

"The ministry's been putting a very heavy regulation on schools and ensuring they're running properly and that student success is of the utmost importance," he said.

New programs

Turcotte says Trillium will offer programs that are currently not available in Sudbury in English, including massage therapy. The program is being taught in French at College Boreal.

"The massage therapy program is fully certified, fully registered with the College of Massage Therapists," he said.

"We train you and when you're done your training, you write a provincial exam, the same that you would with nursing, dental or any of those other medical fields."

Other programs the school will be offering include a medical laboratory technician course, personal support worker, esthetics, video game design, accounting and medical office administrator.

The campus in Sudbury will feature a number of programs and spaces for students to learn, including a lab where medical technicians are trained. (Kate Rutherford/CBC)

Turcotte acknowledges private colleges are more expensive than public ones, but says the college offers compressed programs which can allow students to graduate faster.

"By being able to complete a program … in six months rather than a year, it also means for a lot of people that they're out working six months sooner," he said.

"So if you're working six months sooner and you're earning a wage six months faster, even though the initial cost of tuition when you look at it may look like its more expensive, in the long run it may actually be a less expensive option for the person."

He says on average, a two year program costs about $20,000 in tuition.

Provincially monitored

The Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities advises students to check out private colleges on its website to make sure they're in good standing.

As for former Everest students in Ontario, 2,700 of them were affected by the closure.

The ministry says it was able to offer them an option to complete their training elsewhere or receive a tuition refund.

With files from Kate Rutherford