You may be familiar with Contact North | Contact Nord, also known as Ontario’s Distance Education and Training Network. Contact North partners with Ontario’s 24 Public Colleges, 22 public universities and 250 literacy and basic skills and training providers. It maintains and upholds a mission to “increase and improve affordable and equitable access to quality education for Ontarians, support regional and community economic development, and promote a culture of lifelong learning.”
Contact North supports over 4 million Ontarians living in 600 small, remote, rural, Aboriginal and Francophone communities in order to help them access online education without having to leave their community. Contact North was established by the Government of Ontario in 1986 and is incorporated as a not-for-profit corporation headquartered in Thunder Bay. It receives annual funding of $10 million from the Government of Ontario through the Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Development. Additionally, it generates and supports 67,135 student registrations annually.
Cornwall’s Contact North Centre has seen great success and improvement over the year of 2017. In June of 2017, they moved locations from TR Leger to the Aultsville Building of St. Lawrence College. Additionally, in August of 2017, they found successful candidate Emily Lavigne to fill the Online Learning Recruitment Officer position in Cornwall. Since this date, the Cornwall Centre has renewed memberships with Cornwall’s Chamber of Commerce, has been a guest on COGECO’s YourTV, as well as, created holiday advertisements with Wild Country 96.5 radio. They are also currently in the works of opening a new Online Learning Lentre in the Akwesasne Peace Tree Mall on Cornwall Island where the Grand Opening will take place January 18, 2018 from 10:00 to 1:00PM.
Contact North’s Cornwall Online Learning Centre has had a great impact on the community’s economic development by striving to improve the populations job skills, help them complete their high school diploma, as well as to help them upgrade to post secondary education. By helping to upgrade the public’s education and skills, Contact North anticipates to decrease the number of local employment positions filled by candidates outside of the community.
The number of students using the services at Contact North increased by 30% in 2017, rising to 335 first-time students from 230 first-time students in the previous year. In the year of 2016, the Cornwall Online Learning Centre supported 901 student resgistrations. In comparison to this year to date (January 1 to December 1, 2017), the Cornwall Online Learning Centre has supported 2095 registrations. This is an increase of double the college and university registrations, as well as, a significant increase in training registrations. We impart the increase in numbers to the successful staff at the Cornwall Online Learning Centre and the new location on St. Lawrence College campus. They are extremely proud of this success and look forward to it maintaining the momentum into the year of 2018.