by Cody McInnis
Collège de l’Île is Prince Edward Island’s public French Language community college. It offers eight college-level programs, as well as French language training. There are campuses in Wellington and Charlottetown, and a training centre in Deblois.
The college has approximately 200 full-time and part-time students. College programs and language training are delivered in class, online, or with a tutor. While students can follow any courses on a full or part-time basis, evening courses include French language and early childhood education fields.
Since fall 2017, Collège de l’Île and Holland College have offered bilingual pathway programs for students who wish to continue pursuing part of their post-secondary education in either language.
- Early Childhood
- Accounting Clerk
- Bilingual Administrative Assistant
- Practical Nursing
- Resident Care Worker
- Early Childhood Assistant
- Early Childhood Educator
- Youth Worker
- Human Services
General adult education programs
- General Educational Development Test (GED) preparation
- Grade 12 upgrading for equivalency or academic certificate
Improve reading, writing, and numeracy skills
Collège de l’Île offers a service to help Island adults improve their French language skills. Their goal is to help adults function in everyday situations that require reading and writing. Students receive help from qualified tutors.
For more details about adult education, contact Natalie Arsenault at 902-854-3010, ext. 246, or email [email protected].
About the staff
The Collège has approximately 16 full-time staff and 16 part-time staff who work in the daytime and in the evening. Some job titles include instructors, administrators, and tutors.
Donald DesRoches, President of Collège de l’Île, says he places a high priority on creating an environment which encourages strong employee engagement at the college. To increase employee engagement, they administer an annual survey and implement an annual action plan.
“Engagement is one of our key indicators,” says Donald. “We support staff training, and we try our best to create strong relationships between our staff to make sure they are happy and connected. It’s not just about money. It’s also important to develop a positive connection with colleagues.”
At Collège de l’Île, all staff are provided an Insights Discovery personality profile as a means to facilitate connections between staff. Efforts are made to ensure that communication is open and transparent.
“Salaries are competitive, and benefits include health and dental, RRSP contributions, etc.”
“Turnover for part-time faculty is quite steady. We are almost always recruiting for someone to teach a French course or in a more specialized area such as in the health field. We have just completed competitions for two permanent positions. I am not sure when the next opportunity will be. I don’t see anything else on the horizon, but you never know.”
Initial employment comes with a two-year probationary period, with the final appointment based on evaluations submitted by students and supervisors.
Education and training
“Minimum criteria for college level instructors are set by the government. For example, those with a college diploma need a number of years of experience, and those with a Bachelors degree need less experience.”
“In some positions, staff may be able to function just in French, but we put a premium on being bilingual. When hiring for specialized programs such as Health, where jobs are harder to fill, the language requirements are more flexible.”
“Collège de l’Île offers some non-credit programming which is of interest to the Acadian and Francophone community, such as development and governance for boards of directors, HR policy, and subjects useful to community groups. We survey these groups to determine interest and develop courses as required.”
How to apply
Applicants can submit a resumé at any time to the college, and they will keep it on file until an appropriate employment opportunity arises.
The resumé and cover letter should emphasize your practical experience. “We look at the applicant’s formal training and how it has been applied. Proper training and appropriate work experience is the best combination.”
The interview process is conducted by a board that includes a supervisor, the manager of Human Resources, and a third person from the college or the community. The interview may include questions about how one might act in certain situations.
How to stand out during the hiring process
“To stand out, try to demonstrate in your cover letter and resumé that you have the qualifications listed in the job description,” says Donald. “During the interview, look people in the eye when answering their questions. It doesn’t bother me if people say ‘That’s a tough question and I just need a minute to think about it.’ That’s just being honest.
“It is important to ensure that the fit works for both the college and the potential employee.” Donald adds that they look for applicants who are energetic, fit the culture of the organization, and are passionate in upholding the values and mission of the college.
Donald says the Collège plans to offer more online programs which involve specific competencies. The Collège will continue to deepen cooperation with Holland College and has a number of initiatives planned in cooperation with the faculties of Arts and Education at UPEI.