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Dual Credit Jump-Starts Careers

Dual Credit Jump-Starts Careers

Published: 08/15/2014 by Submitted on behalf of the Calgary Catholic School District

» Current Affairs

The Dual Credit program at the Calgary Catholic School District (CCSD) offers high school students an array of options to get a head-start on their post-secondary pursuits and careers. The program is tailored to students who are committed to enter specific trades and career specialties.


CCSD has seven high schools with Centres of Excellence offering First Year Apprenticeship Technical Training courses that are equivalent to technical training at a post-secondary institution. These courses include automotive servi ce technician, carpentry, culinary arts, hairstyling and welding.


The culinary arts program allows students to earn the first year of the Cook Apprentice program at SAIT. The program has been growing in popularity since starting at Bishop McNally, Bishop Grandin and now Notre Dame High School. Students in the program also run the lunch service in the school cafeteria during the school year. The culinary arts program has also been added at Notre Dame High School for 2014-2015. The program offers students an inside track on Calgary’s burgeoning food scene.


The end of the 2013-14 school year saw the first graduates from the two-year Pharmacy Assistant program. Students earn a Pharmacy Assistant certificate from SAIT while completing their high school diploma. Successful students may begin working as a pharmacy assistant immediately following completion of high school and a summer practicum without any further post-secondary training.


The Registered Apprenticeship Program (RAP) offers students the opportunity to acquire hours toward a first year apprenticeship in one of Alberta’s 50+ trades while in high school and earn up to 40 credits toward their High School Diploma.


RAP students divide their time between an approved worksite and their high school. At school, students take regular courses to earn their Alberta High School Diploma. At their worksite, they are expected to take on the same responsibilities as regular apprentices, including completing assigned tasks, observing safety regulations and other rules of the employer. Students can earn up to 1,000 hours toward a Journeyman’s Certificate. For every 25 hours they apprentice they receive one high school credit to a maximum of 40 credits.


In addition, CCSD offers work experience programs, which consists of 25 hours of in-school orientation followed by at least 75 hours of career-related experience at a work site. These include the work experience program which consists of 25 hours of in-school orientation followed by at least 75 hours of career-related experience at a work site. There is also the health services internship that places students in hospitals, extended care facilities, labs and clinics; and the career discovery program runs in the summer where students can job shadow lawyers, engineers, architects, veterinarians and other professionals. There is also a new Green Certificate program that will allow trainees opportunities to enter a variety of agriculture related pathways including equine studies, field crops and cow/calf production.

In partnership with Alberta Education and post-secondary partners including SAIT, CCSD hopes to add more courses under the Dual Credit program in the coming years to meet the growing demand.

Annual scholarships are available for the Registered Apprenticeship Program and students or parents interested in more information about Dual Credit should talk to their school’s guidance counselor. More information is also available on the district website by visiting cssd.ab.ca and looking up Career & Technology Studies under Supplementary Curriculum.


Submitted on behalf of the Calgary Catholic School District