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Portage College Paramedicine program gets more funding from province

The Alberta government is investing millions to create new seats in high-demand post-secondary programs like Portage College’s Paramedicine program.

Among other universities like the University of Calgary and the University of Alberta, Portage College was selected by the provincial government to receive funding and add more seats in high-demand programs based on workforce needs, learner demand, and institutional capacity, among other criteria. Portage College’s Paramedicine program received $875,000 and an additional 96 in the program. 

Donna Feledichuk Vice President of Academics and Research at Portage College says this will make a huge impact on the program.

“We have always had a strong program and we are always way over-subscribed to our program. This will let us take more of the applicants into the programs and train more students.”

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The seats will go to both the Primary Care Paramedicine and the Advanced Care Paramedicine programs. Feledichuk says Alberta is short on doctors and healthcare workers and this is a step toward filling those positions. 

“We know that most students will continue to work where they took their education so if we have learners in our region that are going to NAIT to take nursing then the likelihood they will return to work in the region is slim.”

Feledichuk highlights having more seats means the Lakeland will hopefully see more healthcare workers staying and practicing here. 

“That is why it is so important to have seats not just in the urban settings but also in the rural settings as well because you are more likely to retain them in the areas.”

Even with the new seats added to the program, Feledichuk predicts the program will be oversubscribed. Portage College says there will be no change to the program, curriculum, or resources but changes to scheduling classes will be done to find the best use of the labs and equipment. 

In total, the Alberta government is investing $193 million to create nearly 8,000 new seats in high-demand post-secondary programs across the province. Among all the seats that received funding from the government more than 3,400 are in healthcare training programs.

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