Dauphin, Canada

Who says you need to go to Brandon to take Brandon University classes?

Starting this September, the school will offer some classes right here in Dauphin, which will start as a one year pilot project. Depending on community interest, though, it could become a permanent fixture for the city.

Brandon University Dean of Education Heather Duncan says the exact number and variety of classes offered will depend on community interest.

"If we can get 25-30 students, we'll offer a menu of courses. We're just going to offer one course in one particular time slot, so one course should be adequate."

BU is looking to rent a classroom at Assiniboine Community College, but if at least 100 students express interest, Duncan says they'll look into getting additional space.

There aren't a whole lot of details right now about which classes will be offered, but that's what they want to find out next week.

"We're going to meet with the community next Thursday evening, and see what people want from the program. You know, what sort of scheduling works for them, and then we'll make a plan for the fall."

Duncan says the main reason the school wanted to offer courses in Dauphin is because of the impact it would have on students. She believes, in addition to higher education helping people get better, higher-paying jobs, being able to take courses in Dauphin will make it easier for people to get started with university.

"Sometimes, that can be daunting for young people to have to move from their home community. So the hope is to engage young people in university-level education so they further it."

Duncan says students would be able to get a full 30-credit course load in one academic year.

Dauphin Mayor Eric Irwin says he's been trying to make this initiative a reality for four years now, and is happy to see it finally come.

A public information session will be held at the Dauphin City Hall Thursday, April 7 at 6pm. Brandon University will layout what they would like to do, but are also welcoming community input on which classes should be offered. The school will then develop a more thorough plan for the fall.