Translating ABE Curriculum to Essential Skills for Business

North West College

Adult Basic Education comprises approximately 60% of students at North West College.

In 2015-16 alone, NWC graduated 141 students from Level 3 (Adult 10) and Level 4 (Adult 12), more than almost all high schools in our predominantly rural catchment area. Skills development is critical to the long term success of adult learners returning for educational upgrading.

Living our commitment to innovation, NWC launched a pilot project in the fall of 2015 that trained students on every aspect of establishing and running a business while satisfying their Level 3 curricular requirements. Students learned budgeting, customer service, management, marketing, business plan preparation, timetabling and basic accounting in the sustaining of the business they built from the ground up. The Snack Shack provides healthy snacks and coffee to students at our Battlefords campus.

In the course of the year students were able to experience all roles, from janitorial support to management. Students learned leadership, teamwork and accountability to their peers. The program proved hugely successful with the tangible benefits of reducing attendance contracts and increasing success and retention rates by 10-15% over conventional programs.

The pilot project continues and grows this year with the introduction of a hydroponic garden to supply the kiosk with in-house produce.