Community Colleges in Manitoba
Suppose that you wanted to become a doctor or an engineer in Manitoba. You would need to go to university to get your official training and qualifications. If you wanted to become a library technician or a business administrator, however, you could consider choosing a community college instead of university. In many parts of Canada, including Manitoba, community colleges are good options for people who want to combine academics with practical learning.
Getting an academic education can be good for many things, such as learning to think and to solve problems, learning to read and write, and developing leadership skills. However, people eventually have to learn the skills that they need on the job, and community colleges can be very good for that.
Except in a few cases like medicine and engineering, university programs generally focus on larger ideas and philosophies rather than day-to-day tasks that people use in most jobs. A Bachelor of Arts from a university, for example, can teach people to research and write, but not how to dig a well or to design an engine. The programs are usually at least three or four years long, after which students might need additional training before they are ready for many jobs.
Although community colleges also offer bachelor’s degrees, the focus tends to be mainly on job-related areas like agriculture or nursing. Programs are generally quite short, and they focus on special skills that many employers want, such as technical writing or nursing. The range of knowledge that community college students learn is smaller, but they usually gain practical experience as part of their programs, and they graduate ready to go to work.
Winnipeg’s community colleges follow this pattern of mixing academics with practical education. The biggest and probably the best known of this type of educational institution is Red River College, which has two campuses in Winnipeg, one downtown and one near the airport. Programs include everything from technical writing and library technician work to aircraft maintenance. Students can attend the school full time or pursue the Continuing Education option.
Winnipeg also has several smaller colleges of the same type, including Assiniboine Community College, which also has campuses in Brandon, Dauphin, and Russell. Some of the other community colleges in the province include Keewatin Community College in The Pas and University College of the North in Thompson. Some programs also allow for distance education, so that students can get their diplomas through online studies at home rather than going to classes together in one place. Community colleges can be good choices when they offer programs that give the students what they need.
A 2 Z Colleges.com. “Community Colleges and Technical Colleges in Manitoba (MB), Canada.” http://www.a2zcolleges.com/Comm/canada/manitoba.htm.
Red River Community College. “About RRC.” http://www.rrc.ca/index.php?pid=46.
Schools in Canada. “Community Colleges in Canada.” http://www.schoolsincanada.com/Community-Colleges-In-Canada.cfm
Settlement.org. What is the difference between college and university in Canada? http://settlement.org/ontario/education/colleges-universities-and-institutes/what-is-post-secondary-education/what-is-the-difference-between-college-and-university-in-canada/.