A new $6-million partnership between Columbia Basin Trust, College of the Rockies and Selkirk College will work toward shared priorities to enhance the quality, availability and uniqueness of the college experience for students.

Columbia Basin Trust President and CEO Johnny Strilaeff (middle left) and College of the Rockies President and CEO David Walls (middle right) gather in front of College of the Rockies’ Cranbrook Campus with students from a variety of programs to recognize the new partnership that will innovate and enhance the college experience.

“We know that education is the foundation to social, economic and environmental well-being, and our strong relationship with both colleges and our shared commitment to meeting the needs of local communities allows us to continue to elevate the local post-secondary experience,” said Johnny Strilaeff, Columbia Basin Trust President and Chief Executive Officer.

“In our rural context, both colleges already offer an amazing experience for students, and this partnership means we can do even more to create the best experience, with the best technology, and support workforce development right here in the Basin.”

The Trust will provide each college with $3 million over three years and work collaboratively to develop project plans to grow program offerings, diversify and enrich programs, and enhance the overall student experience. The partnership will support initiatives that are outside the scope of current government funding.

“Through this significant investment in College of the Rockies, the Trust is supporting the success of our students and communities in the region,” said David Walls, College of the Rockies President and CEO. “This exciting expansion of our partnership will boost applied and work-integrated learning, industry engagement and new program development opportunities that support our students and our regional economy.”

“There are so many opportunities right now for Selkirk College to expand the positive impact to the well-being of people in our region and enhance quality of life in our communities by providing access to quality educational experiences,” said Angus Graeme, Selkirk College President. “Resourcing new initiatives is always a challenge, so we are incredibly fortunate to have the Trust at our side to help move us forward on key initiatives such as innovative technology in delivering courses, programming for a range of demographics, enhanced work experience related learning, and improved student experience.”

Founded in 1966, Selkirk College serves about 2,700 full-time learners per year and offers certificate, diploma, bachelor’s degree, co-operative education and continuing education programs. It has eight campuses in six communities: Castlegar, Nelson, Trail, Nakusp, Kaslo and Grand Forks.

Jeff Lakes memorial climbing wall at Fernie campus

Founded in 1975, College of the Rockies serves more than 10,000 full-time and part-time students each year. It offers certificates, diplomas, bachelor’s degrees, associate degrees, apprenticeships, and graduate certificates and diplomas in a variety of program areas, including: university arts and sciences; health and human services; business and office administration; tourism, hospitality, and recreation; fire services; adult upgrading; continuing education; and contract training. It has seven campuses in six communities: Cranbrook, Kimberley, Fernie, Creston, Invermere and Golden.

Columbia Basin Trust supports the ideas and efforts of the people in the Columbia Basin. To learn more about the Trust’s programs and initiatives, and how it helps deliver social, economic and environmental benefits to the Basin, visit ourtrust.org or call 1.800.505.8998.

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