By Anna Smith
Prairie Rose Public School Division’s own Coulee Collegiate offers students a chance outside of the traditional classroom to get what they need to get where they’re going.
Coulee Collegiate is a partnership between Medicine Hat Public School Division, Prairie Rose School Division, and Medicine Hat College. Previously known as Beyond Walls, it operates as a Distance Learning High School, to allow for mature students or others with alternative schedules to still take courses.
“We have two main facets to my school. One half is a face-to-face operation, traditional like Eagle Butte High School or how Foremost runs a high school. We have teachers that teach an English 30-1 block at 9:15 and then an English 10-1 block, every day like a traditional high school does. And we operate those out of classrooms in the college, and we follow the college semester and so forth. So we do teach face-to-face classes,” said Tim Bloomfield, principal of Coulee Collegiate during a presentation at the public school board meeting on May 9. “And on the other side is our distance learning school.”
Students can sign up and take a distance learning course for your enrollments and they can work on their course at home. “That’s more of a student-led program,” said Bloomfield.
The collegiate sees all kinds of students, said Bloomfield, from mature students looking to upgrade their classes or complete their high school education, to students who are currently in school looking to take a few extra courses to fast track their education.
“We also get a lot of students who don’t fit into those traditional schools. So students who are not finding success at a local high school for any type of reason you could imagine that’s where we step in, we try to build a program around them and try to make them have successes,” said Bloomfield. “And we will get those students who have been unsuccessful out of traditional high school in the past, we’re really their only option and we don’t say no, we don’t turn any students away for any reason.”
Coulee Collegiate saw roughly 900 different students registered in the past year, for various programs, many of which require no diploma exam if they’re already graduated, as their grades are already entered into Medicine Hat College.
In addition, they also offer various safety programs, such as first aid and forklift certification, which in some cases can be the credits a student may need to graduate.
“They will also get high school credits from us towards graduation, and they get it for free. So they just have to go through the course, and put in the time to get the certifications. And that’s open to all high school students, Prairie Rose and Medicine Hat Public and anywhere. So it’s a pretty cool thing we think we do there for the students,” said Bloomfield.