The Sprott Shaw Difference: Learning with a Purpose

By , on January 15, 2015


Nanaimo Health Care Assistant students take a quick break from their studies for a class photo (Sprott Shaw College Facebook page)
Nanaimo Health Care Assistant students take a quick break from their studies for a class photo (Sprott Shaw College Facebook page)

Moving to a new place is never easy, even more so when it’s thousands of miles away from your closest family.

Most Filipinos make this life-changing journey to Canada in order to provide better lives for their loved ones back home. One of the biggest challenge for overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) is finding a job in Canada. Despite having a college degree and professional status in the Philippines, immigrants still need a degree from a Canadian institution to get a good shot at landing a job.

This is what Sprott Shaw Colleges take pride in: Equipping their students with the very best skills and tools.

We spoke with Russ Kada, Senior Regional Director of Admissions at Sprott Shaw Colleges, to talk about how Sprott Shaw prepares their students for their new lives in Canada.

“We are here to listen and support,” says Russ. “We are here with open arms to assist and give direction and guidance so newcomers can establish themselves here in Canada.”

Through the help of their welcoming and equally helpful staff, every student’s Sprott Shaw experience begins as smoothly as possible.

“Our Career Advisors walk students through the process and guide them step by step to help make them feel comfortable. Our advisors cover each requirement and document [needed] for their program or career of choice,” shares Russ.

“We want newcomers to feel comfortable and starting a new life or career in a new country is not as hard as one thinks,” he adds.

Most immigrants take courses related to health care, which will then prepare them to become skilled Health Care Assistants, Practical Nurses, and Community Support Workers, according to Russ.

We asked about any curricular or class recommendations for newcomers and Russ said, “There’s [no] one class we recommend. It is all based on the individual.”

When it comes to choosing a course or degree, Russ believes that the choice should strike a balance between practicality and passion.

“Between the newcomer and our career advisor, we like to explore options and let them choose what they feel they would most enjoy, be most successful in, and ultimately finding employment in the field of their choice,” he said.

There are currently 150 Filipino students enrolled at Sprott Shaw. According to Russ, they will have close to 200 by January 2015. Most of these students take courses in Health Care Assistance and Practical Nursing.

“They are very caring and family oriented,” Russ said about Filipinos. “It’s so nice to see how they care for everyone.”

Thanks to their strategically planned curriculum, each student will emerge with the competence to get a job in their chosen field.

“At Sprott Shaw, we prepare students through hands on training. We focus on industry related training and a good portion of their health care program entails practicums and clinical training,” Russ explained.

Being in charge of admissions and coordinating with EI, Worksafe BC, and Community Outreach Organizations, we asked what he considered as the most fulfilling part of his job.

“I love being a Regional Director,” he began. “I get to work with our Career Advisors. One of the areas I miss most is what Career Advisors get to see each day, and that is, seeing students grow and succeed. When you work with a newcomer and see them from the start (1st visit to the school) to the student ringing the bell (our students ring a bell back at the campus when they find employment), is by far the most fulfilling part of our job.”