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Our journey

Looking back. Thinking Forward.

Our journey to becoming a modern community college that’s continuing to innovate and prepare Nova Scotians for the future.

When the Halifax Marine School opened in 1872, it planted a seed for change. As the province’s first technical and vocational school, it transformed the way we learn, offering training that prepared students for success in their education, work and lives. It helped change our province’s future. And it laid the foundation for Nova Scotia Community College.

Becoming NSCC

In the years that followed, more technical and vocational schools opened. Each was unique, but they all shared the same vision: to prepare students for what is next and to help make Nova Scotia’s economy more vibrant, diverse and resilient. Although these schools were successful, it gradually became clear that, combined, they could have a greater impact. The Nova Scotia Government first brought these schools together in 1988 as a community college system. But it was the Community Colleges Act in 1996 that created the Nova Scotia Community College we know today—a provincewide network of campuses providing inclusive, flexible education and industry training that is opening the door to thousands of career opportunities for all Nova Scotians. Twenty-five years on, we are excited to be celebrating this milestone in our history as we prepare for what lies ahead.

Guided by a strategic plan and values that embrace diversity and accessibility, we've enabled over 90,000 students to succeed and achieve their career dreams over the past 25 years.

  • We've created centres for Student Success at each campus, which have formed the foundation for Student Services, Accessibility Services, the Writing and Testing Centres, and Career and Employment Services.
  • We've made a commitment to engaging and meeting the needs of Black and African Nova Scotian students, Indigenous students and students who experience physical or mental barriers to learning—a commitment that continues through the Human Rights, Equity and Inclusion Department.
  • We've launched online learning to meet all students where they are on the path to their education and career goals.
  • And we've supoported faculty and employees in accessing skills development opportunities to excel, more recently through NSCC Organizational Learning.

Expanding learning opportunities

Additional innovations have followed, each one creating new opportunities for all Nova Scotians to learn and succeed. Through collaborations with industry, non-profits, First Nations communities and other partners, we've introduced customized programs focused on specialized training, upskilling and continuing education, such as the Irving Shipbuilding Centre of Excellence Pathways to Shipbuilding program. NSCC Applied Research has enabled students to use their training to solve real-world challenges and develop new technologies that are furthering the growth of our province’s energy, engineered technology, geomatics and environmental/agricultural industries. And NSCC International is enhancing student training through access to global expertise and connections.

Looking to the future

As we celebrate 25 years of excellence in education, the successes of our students and alumni and our contributions to Nova Scotia’s economic growth, we're also looking ahead. From our work on the new Post-Secondary Accessibility Framework to the Downtown Sydney Campus that will open in 2024, we're sowing seeds that will once again change how we learn, and what we do with that learning, just as Nova Scotia’s first vocational school did. Through innovative projects, programs, collaborations and our extensive, updated facilities, we continue to prepare students, faculty, employees and all Nova Scotians to be ready for the future.

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