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Maritime Business College: Industry-focused learning in Downtown Dartmouth

Graduation Day at Maritime Business College

Graduation Day at Maritime Business College

Maritime Business College (MBC) has changed locations several times since its founding in 1899, but it hasn’t changed its mandate to provide students with practical, industry-focused learning.

Located in Queen’s Square in Downtown Dartmouth, this private career college offers eight different programs that combine classroom time, hands-on training and a work placement term.

Jane Bolivar, principal of MBC, says she’s found that post-secondary education at a private career college appeals to a specific type of person, “Private college, rather than university or even community college, is for someone who is very focused on getting a job. They know they want to be out working as quickly as possible, but they don’t necessarily want to be in the service industry.”

For a private career college to be successful, there needs to be a relationship between the school and the industries that its programs feed. Bolivar describes it as a kind of win-win situation where industry dictates need, and the college shapes the curriculum to fill it.

“The whole idea is that we design programs in consultation with industry. Our programs are meant specifically to meet the needs of employers, and I think that’s why our placement rate is so high,” explains Bolivar, who says that over 80% of the 2014 graduating class are working in jobs in their chosen field.

Part of Bolivar’s job as principal is to network with local businesses who might be interested in having MBC students do their work placement with them. She says  this college/community relationship is definitely a two-way street, “We often get calls from HR people looking for good workers. And that’s what I stress to our students. Employers want good workers.”

While the focus is on job-specific training, Bolivar says that professionalism is also a component of what is taught at MBC.

“We feel its really important to be specific in teaching our students what professionalism is. Instructors give marks for punctuality, attendance and attitude. We spend class time on codes of behaviour. It isn’t enough to know the mechanics of doing a job. You need to know how to do it professionally.”

Veterinary Assistant Class at MBC

Veterinary Assistant Class at MBC

More information om Maritime Business College is available here.

Hello Dartmouth

About Kate Watson

Kate Watson is a co-founder and contributing editor of Hello Dartmouth. Her day jobs include: The Coast’s theatre reviewer; freelance writer for regional and national publications; coordinator for the Hackmatack Children’s Choice Book Award. Kate has a keen interest in municipal politics, community-building and twitter. (Follow her @DartmouthKate)

Website: hellodartmouth.ca

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