Local high school students earn Durham College plumbing credit through Dual Credit program

With the launch of a hands-on Dual Credit program, local high school students can now earn a Durham College (DC) plumbing credit and a high school credit at the same time.

DC and the Durham Catholic District School Board (DCDSB) have partnered to offer the program at Notre Dame Catholic Secondary School in Ajax where students can enroll in construction technology class where they will earn both a high school credit and a DC basic plumbing credit, which is part of the Trade Fundamentals program.

The class is team-taught by both a high school teacher and a DC instructor.

“We are excited to expand opportunities for high school students to engage in college-level skilled trades courses,” said Sue Hawkins, Director, School College Work Initiative and Academic Upgrading for DC. “The early introduction to the skilled trades allows students to discover the wide array of career paths available and can better prepare students for post-secondary education or apprenticeship programs in these fields. It gives them a head start on acquiring the necessary skills and knowledge, making their transition to further education or training smoother and more successful.”

Michael Jamieson-Hanson, a Grade 11 student, said he was interested in the construction technology class and felt like adding the Dual Credit aspect was like adding the missing piece of a puzzle.

“I couldn’t have imagined becoming a part of the first plumbing Dual Credit class, where I could learn while also feeling like a part of a family.”

Dual Credit courses have been offered at DCDSB for more than 15 years and the school board continues to work with DC to expand the program. In September 2024, Notre Dame will offer a Dual Credit that will allow students to earn a DC Trade Fundamentals basic electrical credit.

“We are incredibly proud to be able to provide further learning opportunities for our students to continue to explore various post-secondary pathways while in our secondary schools,” said DCDSB Superintendent of Education Jim Wilson. “Our ongoing partnership with Durham College, along with expanded pathways offerings, including Specialist High Skills Major, Dual Credit, Co-operative Education, and Ontario Youth Apprenticeship Program, lead to greater student achievement and student success.”

The funding to provide the equipment and setup required to deliver the college course at Notre Dame Catholic Secondary School was generously supported by the Ministry of Education through the School-College-Work initiative, the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities, and Durham College.