Northern College and Sault Ste. Marie’s Algoma University have signed two new agreements that add to their existing joint offerings that allow college students to bridge over to university, earning a diploma and a degree.

Algoma president Asima Vezina notes that business programs are now part of the offerings.  She says that once they’ve completed two years at Northern College, students can go directly into the third year of the degree program at the university.

“Students can specialize in human resources, accounting and/or marketing as part of that agreement,” Vezina says.

A feasibility study is being conducted to determine whether the degree program can be offered at Northern’s Timmins campus.

College president Fred Gibbons says the collaboration between the two institutions is “spot on” in terms of trying to keep young people in the North.  He says options are limited, for students who want a university education.

“We’re trying to expand those options to stop the outflow of not only youth, but the brain drain from the North,” he comments, “retaining them here so that upon completion, as we’ve indicated, not only two post-secondary credentials, but highly marketable credentials.”

Gibbons also believes those people would be quickly absorbed into the local workforce.