Message from the President

Dr. Laurie Waye

Message to the CMTN Community 

September 5, 2023

Welcome to a fresh new academic year. I hope each of you enjoyed restorative time with your families and friends over the summer. While many people took time off, a great deal of activity and hard work still took place to bring us to this exciting September day.

  • The Facilities and IT teams have worked tirelessly to get Waap Sa’mn at our Terrace campus ready for our students. Thank-you to everyone involved in this complex and challenging project.
  • Minister Selina Robinson will be visiting the Terrace campus on September 11 to officially open Waap Sa’mn. If you are on the Terrace campus that day, please stop by the new building at noon for this event.
  • We have expanded our Trades offerings this fall with Carpentry Apprentice Level 1 in Smithers and Professional Cook Level 1 in Hazelton.
  • We had a great success with Contact North BC this summer, offering our first Hybrid Carpentry Level 1 program. Six students from the communities of Gitanyow, Gitwangak, Hazelton, Lax Kw’alaams, Kitsumkalum, and Topley started their training online from their local Contact North BC learning centres. They then completed the hands-on portion during a two-week stay in Wii Gyemsiga Siwilaawksat on the Terrace campus.

The program was free for students; CMTN covered tuition costs, toolkits, and learning resources, as well as travel, meals, and accommodation during the two week on-campus portion of the course. We will be offering Level 2 in Spring 2024 so apprentices can continue their journey towards their red seal in this unique pathway.

If you are not already familiar with Contact North BC, it is a collaboration between Coast Mountain College and Indigenous communities in the Northwest. It was created with the goal of expanding access to post-secondary education for Indigenous students living in remote and rural areas. Now in its fourth year, the Contact North BC Program has established learning centres in 22 communities across our region to support local residents with online courses offered by publicly funded post-secondary institutions.

  • Our partnership with Northern Health to offer the Health Career Access Program continues to be a success with 21 students across Prince Rupert, Terrace and Smithers for the fall intake. Unfortunately, our Norther Collaborative Baccalaureate Nursing partnership with UNBC has low enrolment again this year. This low interest in nursing is happening across BC. EducationPlanner BC is embarking on some research to determine how prospective nursing students determine the program that is right for them. With more data, we hope to be able to share more effectively how beneficial it can be to study nursing in the Northwest. 
  • BC students are taking advantage of the future skills grant (fsg) offered by the Government of British Columbia. CMTN currently has 94 registrations in a variety of fsg sponsored courses including Airbrakes Certification Prep, Budgets and Financial Reporting, Trauma Informed Practice and MS Office Certificate and we are looking at expanding these popular offerings. Anyone who is interested in professional development and upskilling should investigate the many courses on offer from across the province through the future skills grant: StrongerBC future skills grant (
  • Our Accessibility Plan is up and available on our website, with thanks to all the committee members who contributed to make this an excellent document. You can review it here: Accessibility at Coast Mountain College

This September we will work together to provide training and skill development to more than 1,000 learners across all our campuses, Contact North BC centres, and on-line.

In addition to 512 students from across BC and other parts of Canada, we will have 220 new and returning international students at our Terrace campus this semester. They are coming to us from all over the world, including Dominican Republic, Hong Kong, India, Israel, Italy, Korea, Mexico, Nicaragua, Nigeria, Pakistan, Philippines, Sri Lanka, and Venezuela. In Prince Rupert, we have 198 new and returning international students coming from Chile, Columbia, Ghana, Hong Kong, India, Jamaica, Lebanon, Nepal, Nigeria, Philippines, Sri Lanka, Vietnam, and Ukraine. We are working hard to improve our International Education Program, offering increased program diversity and a more global approach. This is supported by increased services available for both students and faculty, including more English as an Additional Language (EAL) supports, COLT supports, student life enhancements on our campuses and more learner services. Additionally, we have implemented some changes to our international recruitment strategy. These changes will help improve the sustainability of our international education program, benefiting all our students and our communities as a whole.

As I mentioned at Galts’ap Day, we have some work to do to improve our enrolment numbers of domestic and Indigenous students. The SEM (Student Enrolment Management) plan will help us with that, as will a careful analysis of how other BC institutions can convert applications to registrations faster. Instead of there being one big solution to the problem of our low domestic and Indigenous enrolment, there is likely a number of small improvements that we can make during the course of this academic year that will help us turn more applications into registered students in our Fall 2024 classes.

During the spring and early summer I met with 64 staff and faculty at “Lunch & Listens.” I very much enjoyed hearing all of the insights and ideas that came out of these meetings and have been working on ways to incorporate many of your recommendations as we move forward into the coming year. I’ll be conducting an additional anonymous survey later in the fall, so keep an eye out for this. We are going analog with this survey as digital outreach is sometimes not as inviting as we would like, hence the short paper survey in hopes of greater engagement.

I look forward to a busy and exciting semester and, as always, want to express my gratitude for the opportunity to work with this wonderful community of people.

Thank you,