Dual Credit is a School-College Work Initiative that provides students a post-secondary college experience while introducing them to the commitment required to succeed in college and be treated as a young adult. Students earn an OSSD credit along with a college credit as they complete a college course. These are taught by college instructors and industry professionals while at college facilities.
Twelve students from Avon Maitland District School Board are joined by six students from London Catholic District School Board and are transported, at no expense to the student, every Friday to the Ingersoll Skills Training Centre.
Grade 11 and 12 students, in which many are also participating in Cooperative Education, the Ontario Youth Apprenticeship Program and the Specialist High Skills Major, are working alongside a Conestoga College professor gaining sector relevant skills in masonry and in a few weeks electrical.
Students are learning and demonstrating hands-on and transferable skills necessary to be successful in the skilled trades. Each student completes masonry projects of increasing complexity. Students start by building a ten course standard brick wall, then design and build a ten course decorative wall and finally build a ten course brick pillar/chimney. Students build their own walls and work as a team to mix mortar, haul brick, cleanup and support each other with masonry techniques to be successful. Each wall is graded to an apprentice industry standard benchmark.
One of the AMDSB students from Mitchell District High School is enjoying the real world feel that the dual credit provides. He said “I like that we are treated as apprentices and Stefan is our journeyman. It feels like we are at work and learning by doing it”.
The students are committed to a 14 week program (7 weeks masonry and 7 weeks electrical) where they are getting on a bus at 7am every Friday and not coming home until 4:30pm. They are able to use the skills they have been learning in their Construction classes and SHSM certifications and reach ahead opportunities to further develop their knowledge on the masonry and soon to be electrical trades. Conestoga College professor Stefan Kraut is encouraged for the future workforce by working with these dedicated students. He said “these students come into this program without any preconceived notions of what they should be able to do and they are attempting difficulty levels that only experienced masons are successful with. It’s encouraging for future employers, seeing these students so engaged and interested in the trades.”
Masonry and electrical Dual Credit programs like these are increasing student awareness about the diversity of careers and employment opportunities available locally. Dual Credit is preparing our future apprentices for the hard to fill skilled trades positions and contributing to building a stronger local economy.