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People wanting to learn at a post-secondary level without the usual price tag attached can sign up for a free online course through Red River College.
The college is offering Social Innovation Foundations, a class on creating social change, from July 20 to Aug. 14. It's not the first course RRC has offered free, but it's a first for this one, which is open to all Grade 12 grads.
The goal of offering the course is to drive interest in the college's Social Innovation and Community Development program, said Ginger Arnold, one of the instructors. Students who finish Social Innovation Foundations will be able to apply the credit towards a certificate or diploma from the program.
Students can log in and work on the course when it suits them; there's no fixed schedule. It's inquiry-based learning, meaning there will be readings, videos and discussions online. Arnold said students will probably spend 60 hours a week doing "in-class" learning — on their computer — and another three to five hours studying.
In one project, students list social problems that bother them and share them with the class. They'll learn about social systems, reconciliation and frameworks for making change, among other things.
Sarah Panas, RRC's Indigenous education communications officer, said she can't say for certain if the college will offer more free courses in the future.
The COVID-19 pandemic has made this an ideal time to offer the course free, Arnold said.
"People are looking for new skills to develop," she said. "There's so many students who are wondering what's next."
More people are signing up for RRC's social innovation program this year, she said.
"We're in a revolution about social responsibility. There's a real need for... adults of any age, really, to step up their social responsibility and be focused on helping to make communities a much better place to be."
Arnold said she hopes to get 50 students for the free class, which RRC's School of Indigenous Education has launched. People can apply by calling the college at 204-694-1789 or 1-866-242-7073.
Community Correspondent — Headingley
Gabrielle Piché is a community correspondent for Headingley. Email her at email@example.com
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