Business

Sprott-Shaw College shuts down Maple Ridge campus

*Since the publishing of this article, Sprott Shaw Maple Ridge has re-opened and is again operational. The campus offers training for careers as a health care assistant, administrative assistant, community support worker, etc.

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After more than five years at the corner of Lougheed Highway and 203rd Street, Sprott-Shaw College is closing the doors of its Maple Ridge campus.

The privately-owned college with more than 15 locations across B.C. is one of the only post-secondary options for residents of Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows who want to study locally.

According to Sprott-Shaw College's website, the Maple Ridge Campus has "been around for a long time, but we're a well-kept secret."

Sprott-Shaw College did not return requests for interview, however staff at the Maple Ridge campus confirmed the school would be closing down as of Friday, Sept. 28.

With the closure of Sprott-Shaw College, the Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows School District's private accredited post-secondary school, Ridge Meadows College, remains as one of the only local options for students studying past high school.

Douglas College previously operated a satellite campus based out of Thomas Haney secondary. However, its presence dwindled after the opening of the David Lam Campus in Coquitlam in the mid-1990s, eventually shutting close to 10 years ago.

Bruce Grady, district principal for Riverside Centre, which houses Ridge Meadows College, says the closure of Sprott-Shaw College opens new opportunities for Ridge Meadows College, the profits from which are used by the local school district to fund public education.

"With them leaving, we can look at offering courses," said Grady. "This may open up areas we've stayed away from in the past, because students were best served by Sprott-Shaw."

Ridge Meadows College offers certificate programs in early childhood education, dental reception, computer accounting, and office administration, as well as general interest courses.

Grady said prospective students should contact the college if there are programs they are interested in that aren't offered.

"If there's a program that people are interested in, we'll look at the demand and look at getting it ready for September," he said.

Grady said while there may be little in the way of local post-secondary options, elsewhere in the Fraser Valley there are many schools competing to attract local students.

"There's been tremendous post-secondary expansion in the Fraser Valley in the past decade," he notes.

University of the Fraser Valley, Kwantlen Polytechnic University, Trinity Western University, Simon Fraser University, and Douglas College each have campuses within 20 km of downtown Maple Ridge.

Sprott-Shaw College also has campuses in Abbotsford and Surrey.

• For more information about Ridge Meadows College, visit http://rmcollege.ca/

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