Students are back on campus in a big way at both of Prince George's post-secondary institutions.
Orientation was the theme Tuesday at UNBC and CNC as new students familiarized themselves with their surroundings before getting down to the business of learning in the days to come.
Exactly how many students are enrolled is still to be determined but UNBC is hoping to see some growth after operating at slightly less than 90 per cent of its provincially-funded capacity during 2012-13.
At CNC, external relations director Randall Heidt said the numbers this year appear to be on par with 2012-13 although final figures are not yet in.
In the past few years, a recovering economy has meant a decrease in enrollment as prospective students opted for a paycheck over upgrading their skills.
CNC's power engineering, welding, electrical, heavy duty and industrial mechanic trades programs are fully subscribed, as is the natural resources and environment technology program, said Heidt.
The health sciences programs are also very strong, Heidt added, particularly the four-year bachelor of nursing program operated in partnership with UNBC, as well as medical radiography and medical laboratory technology.
Graduates of all of our most popular programs are extremely employable, with many being offered or finding jobs before they have even completed their programs, Heidt said.
College and career prep numbers are down as are those for business administration.
We are looking into why that is and also looking at improvements to our business program," Heidt said.
Things to look forward to this year at CNC include Culinary Team Canada coming to the campus in October, improved parking, with the capacity to receive a text message reminder before the meter expires, and better heating and cooling in the building for more consistent temperatures.
There are also several exciting applied research projects coming in the next year and we will be sending more information out on those in the near future, Heidt said. We are also looking for a new president this year, who will likely be in place next summer.
Now entering its 22nd year, UNBC can now say more than 10,000 students have graduated from its programs.
The university will also continue to build on its billing at Canada's Green University, recently achieving platinum Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design status at its bioenergy plant. As well, researchers are looking at the viability of using ash from such plants as a soil amendment at recovering mining and logging sites.
Off the hill, the first wood elements for the Wood Innovation and Design Centre (WIDC) at Fourth and George downtown are expected to be on site by the end of September and through the year, UNBC will be recruiting faculty to develop new masters degrees in engineering to be delivered at the building.