Conestoga news

May 19, 2009 9:54 AM

Wilkinson Announces Local e-Learning Network


Stratford - Ontario is helping people in Perth County get the education they need to compete and succeed in today’s knowledge economy, John Wilkinson, MPP, Perth-Wellington announced today at the opening of a new elearnnetwork distance education centre at Conestoga College in Stratford.

Students at the centre will be able to use e-learning stations equipped with the latest in audio and videoconferencing technology to complete college and university courses without having to leave their community.

"This new e-learning centre will strengthen our rural community by giving residents here the opportunity to access world-class teaching and postsecondary programs while staying close to home," said Wilkinson.

Ontario is investing $2 million this year to open 12 new elearnnetwork centres and to support five centres already up and running in southern and eastern Ontario. Each centre is receiving about $150,000.

Ontario will invest $7.4 million over four years in the elearnnetwork. The network is being established in partnership with 34 colleges and universities and is administered by Contact North, northern Ontario’s distance education and training network.

Today’s students will build tomorrow’s knowledge economy, so we want to do everything we can to make sure they have the opportunity to pursue higher education, no matter where they live in Ontario," said Minister of Training, Colleges and Universities John Milloy.

Conestoga President John Tibbits added, "Opportunity in today’s economy comes from the skills and experiences post-secondary education provides. To maximize opportunity, we need multiple pathways to success. This initiative makes higher education more accessible and more meaningful."

Ontario's elearnnetwork's five centres have helped more than 400 students since they opened in January 2008. Seven out of every 10 new jobs created in Ontario over the next decade will require post-secondary education or training.

"Working together, we make things better," stated Wilkinson.

For additional information, contact:
Cathy Winhold
Special Assistant

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