Tucked away in the coastal mountains of British Columbia near the Great Bear Rainforest, Coast Mountain College offers innovative programs and experiential, place-based education. Formerly known as Northwest Community College, the school has campuses in Hazelton, Haida Gwaii, Prince Rupert, Smithers and Terrace. A range of certificates, diplomas, associate degrees, trades, apprenticeships and upgrading programs are offered. Coast Mountain emphasizes Indigenous programming; the college’s student body is made up of 47 per cent self-identified Indigenous students. The First Nations fine arts program focuses on the northern style of West Coast First Nations art and is the only one of its kind in Canada. Intensive summer field schools condense a full semester into a few weeks. In one, students are paired with RCMP members to investigate a crime using forensic studies. In another, students examine the geography of northern B.C. and Alaska during a two-week trip to mines and glaciers.
In 2021, two new student housing complexes opened at the Terrace campus, adding 108 residence beds. The complexes have suites for visiting family members, shared kitchens, an e-sports room and bike storage. The first phase of the library’s $4-million renovation is also complete and includes new space and an Indigenous reading circle. The second phase is slated for completion in 2022, and will add workshop spaces and child care areas for student parents.
• Applied Coastal Ecology
• University Arts and Sciences
• Degree: $3,600-$3,800
• Diploma: $3,600-$3,800
• Certificate: $3,600-$3,800
• Post-Grad: $3,250-$4,100
• Applied Coastal Ecology: Blending biology, geography and oceanography, this program teaches students to examine how coastal ecosystems react to the stresses imposed on them by humans.
• Criminology: Mock trials are part of this exploration of the justice system.
• First Nations Fine Art: The Freda Diesing School of Northwest Coast Art has offerings about the art of the First Nations of the Pacific’s northwestern coast.