For the past fifteeen years, people have been trying to place Riverside College into the round hole of the Ministry of Education, the square hole of the Ministry of Advance Education, the hexagonal hole of the Ministry of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training, or the oval hole of the Ministry of Social Development
but we just will not fit. Riverside College is unique, just like the students and the community who we educate and train.
It took me some time to understand this concept of Riverside College, as it is more than a public high school and has more supports than a private post-secondary, yet we balance between the two worlds as the school is undefined by the BC Provincial Government. Riverside College is something different in each Ministry and each Ministry requires Riverside College to conform to their expectations. Riverside College serves a purpose in our small community that most levels of government don't see. Riverside College is a local high school that opens its doors to all members of it community. We provide opportunities to those students, who have just graduated from high school, tuition free post-secondary education. We welcome adults back into our building that did not find success in high school and give them a chance to graduate from high school while earning a certificate in a trade or career. Riverside College is a local solution for small communities that do not have easy access to post-secondary schools. It is a model that I would encourage all small communities across British Columbia to emulate and make their own.
Riverside College may not be appreciated by all of the Ministries at the Provincial Government, but we certainly will be in a month from now when we have another 120 students cross the stage at our Commencement Ceremony. That is why we do what we do.
As Kermit the frog said, "It's not easy being green." It isn't easy conforming to what others expect of you, but I would not want Riverside College to be any different.