Lower Tuition for Distance Learning at Red Deer College

November 11, 2003

November 7, 2003

Red Deer College Announces Plans for Provincial Government Access Funding

More students will be able to attend Red Deer College, and some will pay lower tuition as a result of grant funding from the provincial government that was announced earlier this year.

Red Deer College will use funds obtained through the Access Fund Fast Track 2003 to increase enrollments in the Practical Nurse, Pharmacy Technician Distance Delivery and Teacher Assistant Distance Delivery programs. At the same time, the College is able to reduce tuition for Distance Delivery students in the Pharmacy Technician and Teacher Assistant programs. This reduction of $18 per credit, from $107 to $89, means that students in these programs will save more than $50 per course, or more than $500 per year. This tuition reduction has already gone into effect.

Distance Delivery students in these programs will now pay the same tuition as on campus students. Until now, students in these Distance programs have paid for their own education, with no government funding. Traditional class delivery is partially funded by tuition, with the addition of government funds. The cost of technology to deliver the distance programs results in higher tuition for these types of students.

“Red Deer College recognizes the financial burden placed on students to access post-secondary education, and we are pleased to pass along these savings to students while continuing to enhance our facilities and level of instruction,” said Lynne Mulder, Vice-President of Education at Red Deer College.

“With this one time funding, the Alberta Government has allowed more students access to our College. Our hope is that the Government recognizes the importance of this funding, and continues to provide it on an ongoing basis for future learners.”

These three high demand programs have been bursting at the seams for some time at the College, and this new funding is a welcome relief. During the next few years, the Practical Nurse program will be able to accept the equivalent of 31 more full-time students. The Pharmacy Technician Distance Learning program will accept the equivalent of an extra 120 full-time students and Teacher Assistant Distance Learning will accept the equivalent of another 80 full-time students into its program.

“Our distance delivery programs continue to grow and change in meeting the needs of our learners and the workforce. It’s an exciting time for the College as we move to the future and toward our vision to become the best comprehensive college in Canada.”

In addition to accepting more students and lowering tuition, Red Deer College plans to use part of the funding to hire more instructors, enhance technology required for various distance delivery methods, and increase course selection for students in Practical Nurse, Pharmacy Technician and Teacher Assistant programs.

Red Deer College is still accepting applications to start classes in January 2004. While the Practical Nurse and Pharmacy Technician programs are currently filled, this new funding will be effective in allowing more students to access those programs. Teacher Assistant is still accepting applications for January.