Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Changes at Pincher Creek Adult Learning Council

PCALC Coordinator Monica Sczyrba-Davis 
Toni Lucas

Pincher Creek Adult Learning Council is a provincially funded program that, like many other programs, is facing upcoming changes.  Some are due to funding, some are mandate changes, there are new and renewed partnerships for the organization, and a large change  is their relocation to Kettles Street while St. Michael's school undergoes modernization construction. "As far as the community is concerned, they shouldn't notice too much of a change, because courses are still being offered, just in different places," explained  Adult Learning Coordinator Monica Sczyrba-Davis.

"The way it all has percolated out is that for our community, it will all be business as usual.  All the courses that were offered will continue to be offered, our community isn't losing any capacity, their gaining more learning support services.  The calendar is still happening, and the Women's Fair is going right on schedule." The day long fair is close to being sold out and is scheduled for April 18th.

 "The mandate for Pincher Creek Adult Learning comes from Innovation and Advanced Education, a provincial level funding arm," Sczyrba-Davis explained. "Our mandate has changed, somewhat.  Our new focus will be around learner support services." The staff will help those who are looking to upgrade, go on to post secondary schooling, invigilating (supervising) exams, and locating copies of transcripts to enter back into the educational system.  "The time consuming things that are the obstacles to getting to your next spot."

PCALC will have a focus on tutoring, community capacity building, work place readiness, mental health, foundational learning and essential skills,  life skills, literacy, numeracy, document use, thinking skills, and computer basics.  "Those basic, essential things to get you to the next level."

The PCALC will no long be offering their general interest programming.  "I was sad about losing our general interest programming, because I think it lends itself tremendously toward mental health.  The programs we will no longer be doing will be the straight up general interest programs, basically all the fun, recreational kinds of things."  Sczyrba-Davis said that some of these classes will be re-tooled to fit with the new mandate and others that do not fit the mandate will now be offered through Allied Arts, the Town of Pincher Creek Recreation Department, Huddlestun Senior Center, and possibly the Library.  "An awesome thing is that our community has the capacity to just pick up these programs that have been going for 5 years, with a different organization."

Starting on June 1, 2015 PCALC will be in a new location for one year, returning to St. Michael's School when the modernization project there is completed.  "Their intention is to have a learning commons, which will be open to the community.  So then we will offer our learner support services through their learning commons."  In the meantime the new location will be south of the post office at 732 Kettles Street. "We'll be in the old Myelli Travel building south of the post office.  That will be our space."

One of the new items that is Sczyrba-Davis is looking forward is an upcoming pilot project with Taber Adult Learning, Medicine Hat College, and Lethbridge College.  "They want to put out a model for Learner Support Services. So, we put in a proposal, and we got in on that.  It's a huge benefit for our community because basically, we will have enhanced learner support services, for the duration of that grant."   PCALC has worked in partnership with Lethbridge College in the past, and Sczyrba-Davis is looking forward to renewing that partnership.  To contact PCALC call 403-627-4478.

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