The former Nelson Daily News building will become UBC’s learning centre headquarters come September, hosting both the West Kootenay Teacher Education Program and the recently announced course Writing from the Ground Up.
And according to teacher education director Wendy Carr, the upcoming move came together with a surprising synchronicity.
“There were so many wonderful omens. Everything was falling into place,” said Carr, who noted there were a number of possibilities for relocation, but 266 Baker St. was the best. For the past 26 years the WKTEP has been running out of Selkirk College in Castlegar, but she said it was time for a change.
“We’ve got really tight ties to the West Kootenay. Our program is based on a place-based pedagogy, and we really rely on the school and community locations. At one point we thought maybe we would locate in a school, but we needed a certain amount of space and we weren’t able to find it.”
UBC then went looking for somewhere central to base their operations, and that’s when the Nelson Daily News building became available.
“Right away we fell in love with it,” said Carr. “We love the history of Nelson and we love being in Nelson. It was traditionally a university town and we really think bringing the UBC presence back is a really good thing. And that was reinforced when Tom Wayman and Verna Relkoff got in touch with us to see if some kind of partnership was possible.”
The WKTEP will share the space with the recently announced creative writing course Writing From the Ground Up, which will meet on Fridays and Saturdays.
The location will serve as a base for operations as UBC continues to expand its programming in Nelson. All classes will be held on the ground floor.
“During the week we’ll have classes running in the centre most days, at least three, while there will be one to two days where students are off in school-based learning sites.”
The program is a 60-credit intensive for those who already have an undergraduate degree. Students obtain a Bachelor of Education certification after one year.
“The BC teaching certificate is very highly regarded worldwide, and it opens up a lot of possibilities. A lot of our graduates do decide to continue to teach in local and rural areas around BC and Canada, but the rest of the world is also open to them.”
Carr said UBC hopes to build a number of community partnerships.
“We have strong relationships in the schools, not only in Nelson but the whole region. We’d love to continue to develop our relationships with community members, and we think situating ourselves right downtown is the right way to do that.”
Carr said she’s proud of their 26-year history in the area, and they’re looking forward to building on that.
“Teaming up with Tom and Verna is just the beginning,” she said. “We’re hoping to grow and develop our presence in the Kootenays for many years to come.”
For more information on the WKTEP contact firstname.lastname@example.org.