New Brunswick Community College
New Brunswick Community College (NBCC) serves the province’s English-speaking community with six college campuses situated across the region in Fredericton, Moncton, St. Andrews, Saint John, Miramichi, and Woodstock.
Established in 1973, NBCC is home to 4,700 full-time students, plus 6,000 part-time learners and apprentices, accounting for more than 10,000 students.
Offering a comprehensive mix of more than 90 programs, from practical nursing to the skilled trades, NBCC provides a flexible and accessible post-secondary learning experience to students across New Brunswick.
Marilyn Luscombe, President and CEO, joined NBCC in 2010. Luscombe spoke with The Canadian Business Journal about the school’s transition into a Crown corporation, and how it continues to offer a relevant and attractive suite of certificate and diploma programs to its student body.
“We’re continuously updating our curriculum and developing programs that are needed in the labour market,” Luscombe detailed. “We’re also offering programs that students want. We have proven that people get jobs as a result of our programs.”
In 2010, NBCC became a Crown corporation, under a self-governance model with the role of president and CEO reporting to a board of governors. Luscombe has been a key figure in overseeing the transition to the new model, part of which involved consolidating a six college structure into a single unified one college structure and vision.
Most recently, in late 2012, NBCC unveiled its new strategic plan, a five-year initiative headed toward 2017. The plan was developed over 18 months through consultation with more than 1,000 college and community stakeholders. Luscombe commented, “A strategic plan rallies people behind common goals and objectives, and measures success. Our strategic plan is our new vision for the future.”
The vision is clear: NBCC aims to transform lives and communities. With campuses in so many communities across the province, NBCC is an essential aspect of shifting the socioeconomic prosperity of these communities and, as a result, the province as a whole.
NBCC recognizes that when students come to the college, they are transformed, through their experiences at NBCC and their graduation as work-ready professionals. Enrolment figures show a historically high student population at NBCC, with significant growth seen over the past three years. While the majority of students are local, NBCC has also developed initiatives to continue expanding its presence within the international community in an effort to enhance its overall global experience and attract new citizens to New Brunswick.
NBCC’s strategic plan meets the demands of modern learners, while also supporting labour market needs and fostering community engagement and overall economic development opportunities within the province.
“Our programs are hands on and students see the results of their skill development,” Luscombe said. “Another great statistic is that more than 90 per cent of our graduates find employment within the first year and, in the most recent study, 94 per cent found employment in New Brunswick.”
NBCC offers a learning environment that supports the hopes and dreams of its learners and its communities. As a reflection of this, NBCC recognizes that now more than ever it is home to a diverse student population, with more part-time students, more mature learners, and more students returning to the classroom after university graduation.
NBCC statistics show an average student age of 27 years, of which many are working students or have family commitments, meaning that the typical Monday to Friday schedule isn’t tuned to their needs. As such, NBCC has made it a priority to offer accelerated learning opportunities and a blended experience of classroom courses and online learning.
“We’re developing a signature learning experience,” Luscombe explained. “We want to have more co-op and service learning opportunities within our communities. We’re also becoming more innovative, getting into applied research through using the skills and intellectual capital of faculty, staff and students.”
Partnering with local industry, NBCC strives to meet workforce and community needs. Luscombe added, “As a publicly funded institution, we’re accountable to our stakeholders, the many taxpayers of New Brunswick. They deserve learners who are equipped to contribute to the success of the local economy and the social aspects of life in New Brunswick.”
NBCC cultivates a vibrant post-secondary learning environment that fosters professional development, creativity, and the spirit of innovation. NBCC recognizes the strengths and talents of its staff and continues to champion its student successes.