Shift in College of the Rockies program makes learning more accessible

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Mackenzie Nelson completed more than a year of her Criminal and Social Justice diploma online, due to COVID-19, and found that the format provided a lot of flexibility. Starting in September 2021, students can choose to complete the program in class or online.

Criminal and Social Justice program first in Western Canada to be offered fully online

Students interested in Criminal and Social Justice are now able to complete a certificate or diploma at College of the Rockies online, from the comfort of their own home.

“Many students are working, have family commitments, or live outside of the Cranbrook area, which can make attending classes on campus challenging,” said Darrell Bethune, Dean of Business and University Arts and Science. “Online classes provide them with flexible learning options for every career stage, without compromising on quality.”

According to program instructor Avery Hulbert, one of the strengths of the Criminal and Social Justice diploma program is its connection to the real world and to hands-on learning opportunities.

“Unlike in some online programs, we have online classes that meet twice weekly for virtual classroom sessions,” she said. “Our students benefit from being able take part in a regular class meeting time, just like they would on campus, without having to actually come on site.”

Mackenzie Nelson completed the diploma in Criminal and Social Justice in spring 2021, one of many students who saw their in-class instruction move online in response to the pandemic. Her experience with both face-to-face and online learning gives her confidence students will be able to thrive in a fully online program.

“Though the Criminal and Social Justice program initially transitioned online quickly in response to the pandemic, this did not stop the instructors from bringing valuable knowledge to the virtual classroom,” she said. “Completing the program online provided a lot of flexibility. We were encouraged to delve into topics and research that we found interesting and were given support to pursue something we were passionate about. It was a great introduction to post-secondary education and allowed me to learn and grow, which will help me in my future career.”

The College’s Criminal and Social Justice program transfers well into degree programs across the country. Nelson will be transferring her credits directly into the third year of a social work degree at University of Victoria and feels her time at the College prepared her for success.

A recent BC Council on Admissions and Transfer report supports Nelson’s belief. It indicated that College of the Rockies transfer students have the highest degree completion rate of any transfer institution in the province. College of the Rockies students are also among the top-performing students academically, with grade-point-averages (GPAs) in the top two or three of all B.C. public post-secondary institutions, after transfer and upon graduation.

Learn more about the College’s Criminal and Social Justice program.


About College of the Rockies

For more than 45 years, College of the Rockies has provided post-secondary education that meets the needs and aspirations of the people, industry and businesses of our region. Each year, we welcome more than 10,000 full-time and part-time students into a full range of programs, including: skilled trades, university studies, adult upgrading, early childhood education, health and human services, business, office administration, tourism, hospitality, recreation, fire services, continuing education and contract training. Through smaller class sizes, highly-personalized instruction and dedicated support services, our students are primed to succeed in the job market, or in the next stage of their academic journey.

Media Contact:
Heather Jackson
Manager, Communications and Marketing
College of the Rockies