|Credenda Virtual High School and College|
Credenda Virtual High School and College is a not-for-profit, registered charitable First Nations and Métis educational institution in Saskatchewan. We are well positioned to educate First Nation students for success. We also understand the need for improved training at the post-secondary and specialized training levels (e.g., courses in business management, human resources, project management, etc.) for First Nation and Métis learners. Credenda is committed to the development and delivery of innovative, technology-based education and training initiatives that meet the needs of all students, communities and industry.
First Nations schools have dramatically increased the number of students graduating from Grade 12. However, the 2004 Prince Albert Grand Council (PAGC) Educators Report identified a major concern. The Grade 12 graduates are generalists because their schools cannot offer the higher-level math and sciences required by professional degree programmes like medicine and engineering. This is not the fault of the schools but of geography. Remote schools rarely have enough interested students to justify offering specialist classes (for example, Physics 30) and even if they do they may not be able to hire and retain a specialist teacher.
While originally formed through the Prince Albert Grand Council, Credenda is now an autonomous, charitable, First Nations educational institution. The name Credenda stems from our background, originally working with Cree, Dene and Dakota (CREe-DENe-DAkota) communities in northern Saskatchewan. In our high school we currently work with First Nations, rural and northern communities in Saskatchewan. Our college and training programmes enrol students from across the Prairie Provinces.
A Model of Success
First Nations, Northern and rural communities and schools have difficulty attracting and keeping qualified mathematics and science teachers. This results in limiting a student’s options after high school. Credenda is strongly committed to the development of innovative, technology-based education and training initiatives that meet the needs of industry, simultaneously leveraging resources from government and providing educational tools for the community. Credenda achieves these goals through synchronous (live) online learning. Online learning is one of the fastest growing trends in educational technology use. Credenda believes that using the synchronous (live) delivery method provides learners with the best of both worlds.
Credenda is a unique organization; we present opportunities for individuals to complete their education and training needs in a location of their convenience–the only requirements are a computer and online connectivity. While Credenda recognizes the importance that developing successful children and youth has for ensuring a prosperous Saskatchewan, we also understand the need for improved training at the post-secondary and specialized training levels for Aboriginal learners.
Student success is our number one priority. We recognize that our First Nations and Métis learners have unique challenges to overcome when they set out to further their education and training levels. That is why we have staffed our organization with a full-time guidance counselor, IT supports and experienced teachers who understand the complexities involved with Aboriginal education and training. While some other institutions have struggled to maintain a 50% success rate for on-reserve programming, Credenda has achieved close to a 75% success rate with on-reserve programming since 2008. College and training programmes have seen success rates of close to the 90% mark. We have found a formula that works and are eager to expand our service delivery in order to better equip the province and industry with a skilled workforce that will help with continued social and economic growth.