Northlands College is reporting increased enrollment.

The college said the number of students taking classes at their campuses across northern Saskatchewan is up by 19 per cent. The increase marks a turnaround for the community college which had previously seen student enrollment dropping for a significant period of time.

Northlands College president and CEO Karsten Henriksen said they are happy to see their numbers going up. He credits the growth in large part to health programs which the college is now offering students.

“We’ve seen a 90 per cent increase in health and wellness programs, including the launch of our new dental therapy program here in La Ronge,” he said.

The health programming also includes some training for nursing, mental health and wellness along with continuing care. Henriksen said the college has also seen enrollment growth in some of their other programs as well.

“Our flexible learning division, which primarily consists of adult basic education, those numbers are up 39 per cent,” he said.

Currently Northlands College has just over 400 students taking programming at all of their campuses, with 100 of those students being new to the college. The increase in students is welcome news for the college, which had previously been experiencing a decline in their numbers. Henriksen said in 2023 the college’s leadership was directed by their board along with their Elders Council to work to renew the institution. During the renewal process the college worked to connect with communities and relevant industry to form groups which advised the college on what they believed was needed.

“The reason for those advisory councils is to hear directly from leaders in industry and communities about what their needs are,” he said.

Henriksen said the college is going to continue to work with various people and groups in the north to make sure their enrollment continues to go in the right direction and that they provide relevant programming. Next week the college is set to release their five year strategic plan, which the college generated after doing online and in person engagement with a range of people including their own staff.

“We’re looking forward to releasing that to the public next week,” he said.

(Top Photo: Northlands College in La Ronge. Photo courtesy of Facebook.)