College of the North Atlantic (CNA) has seen its fall enrollment grow by 10.3% over last year, with 6,056 students currently taking programs at the institution. This is the largest student body at CNA since 2016.
About half of this year’s increase comes from the addition of several new program offerings, extra sections of existing programs, and programs being at or more closely filled to capacity. The other half is from a significant increase in international students.
CNA experienced a nearly 80% increase in international student enrollment this fall as compared to last, bringing the number of students from outside Canada attending the college to 671 – a record high. The previous high was 375 international students. The college now has students enrolled from more than 50 countries worldwide, comprising 11% of the student body.
The college uses provincial labour market data to determine its program offerings, and great strides have been made in attracting students into the areas of most demand in Newfoundland and Labrador.
“We work with industry and government to identify both current and future employment requirements, and put in place the training needed to ensure those industries have a highly-skilled workforce,” says Elizabeth Kidd, president and CEO of CNA. “The increase we’ve seen in enrollment, especially as it relates to the areas of need for employers, is satisfying in that it shows the work our staff and faculty are doing is paying off.”
Notable increases have been seen in the areas of Early Childhood Education (up 157 students), Practical Nursing (up 29 students), and Personal Care Attendant (up 23 students), among many others. There have been significant increases in a number of trades and technology program areas too, with the new Wind Turbine Technician program being filled to capacity in its first year with an intake of 16 students.
While most of CNA’s 17 campuses have seen increases in the number of students walking its halls, it is interesting to note that 30% of the college’s students are now enrolled in a blended learning or fully online learning program.
“We are doing our best to eliminate the physical barriers to post-secondary education that many students experience,” says Kidd. “Having learning options online allows people to access education from most anywhere, at any time. Looking at the numbers, we had 949 students registered in online programs in 2019. That number is now at 1,643. So the demand is definitely growing.”