Graduation Ceremony at Loyalist College Bancroft Campus Includes First Graduates from Christian Island Programs
The Loyalist College Bancroft Campus Graduation ceremony was held on September 25th and the College welcomed 65 new Loyalist graduates as they received their certificates and diplomas. A highlight of the evening was the graduation of 11 students from Beausoleil First Nation (BFN), Christian Island, from the Personal Support Worker, Practical Nursing and Educational Assistant programs. Chief Rodney Monague made a presentation in recognition of the successful partnership that Loyalist and BFN formed to develop and deliver these programs within the Christian Island community.
The innovative partnership between Loyalist College and the Christian Island community was formed in response to the need for specific training within this remote community. It was initiated by Peggy Monague-McGregor, the Island community’s Director of Education and Manager of the BFN Health Unit. She approached First Nations Technical Institute (FNTI) for assistance in locating a partner to offer a Practical Nursing program on the Island through part-time studies, enabling participants to continue to work and manage family and community commitments. FNTI introduced her to Loyalist College and in July 2005 the College began its first program offering. The success of this initiative prompted the growth of the partnership to include the Educational Assistant program.
The guest speaker at the ceremony was Peggy Monague-McGregor. “Many of you have young families, transportation challenges, income challenges and, at times, have had academic difficulties throughout the duration of your program,” she told the graduates. “Through sheer determination and courage, you were able to overcome these barriers and succeed. Tonight is a tribute to your unwavering dedication despite these obstacles.”
“I want to express our appreciation to President Tim Thompson and our colleagues at First Nations Technical Institute, who first made the connection which led to the development of the program, and who provide so much support for students in the programs,” said Maureen Piercy, President of Loyalist College.
“Many of our graduates have personal stories of the challenges they have overcome to complete their studies. Students worked on-site, and in their home communities with support from staff and technology. The evening was, as graduations always are, a wonderful reminder of the impact we have the privilege to make on the lives of individuals and our communities.”
Media Contact: Marilyn Warren, Communications, Loyalist College (613) 969-1913, ext. 2332 or Tom Malloy, Dean of Skills Training, Access and Continuing Education, (613) 332-1743, ext. 223 or Peggy Monague-McGregor, Christian Island Dir. of Ed’n, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org