BU, City of Dauphin conclude pilot project offering first-year courses in Dauphin

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Brandon University and the City of Dauphin have concluded a two-year pilot project that offered first-year BU courses in that city. The pilot project was originally implemented for Fall 2016 as a one-year test, and later extended to a second academic year, through 2017–18.

“We are grateful for the strong support this initiative received from the City of Dauphin, in particular both the late Dauphin mayor Eric Irwin, and current mayor Al Dowhan,” said Dr. Heather Duncan, BU’s Dean of Education. “Despite this ongoing support, we encountered challenges in scheduling the right mix of courses, finding the right professors, and transitioning students to full-time studies in Brandon.”

The pilot was targeted both at students who were interested in studying in Dauphin for their first year of university education as well as Parkland high school students who could take advanced placement courses for dual credit.

“Along with working behind the scenes to initially get the Dauphin classes up and running, I made many drives between Dauphin and Brandon to teach a first-year course in University Writing,” said Interim President Steve Robinson, who shepherded the beginnings of the project while serving as VP (Academic). “I had wonderful students in Dauphin, and we continue to have a wonderful working relationship with the City of Dauphin.”

Although enrolment was growing, it hadn’t managed to reach a level where the program would be self-sustaining. BU and the City of Dauphin had underwritten the project’s first two years but agreed that continued financing was no longer practical given the current need for fiscal restraint.

“The benefits of expanding post-secondary education in the Parkland area are obvious, and we have been very pleased with Brandon University’s first-year courses during this pilot,” said Dauphin mayor Al Dowhan. “We continue to have interest from future students, and unfortunately there currently isn’t the ability to continue this particular program.”

Brandon University and the City of Dauphin both remain committed to exploring possibilities for future collaboration.


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