IEPT Skills Based Approach
Marcie Allen, who graduated from Selkirk College in 2009, decided on the Integrated Environmental Planning and Technology (IEPT) program based on the range of courses offered in different environmental disciplines and the program’s practical, skills-based approach.
“I thoroughly enjoyed my two years in the IEPT program, and after finishing I knew that many exciting jobs were now more available to me - even if the rock solid career goal remained elusive,” Allen explains. “Since graduating I have worked seasonally as a fisheries technician on a number of mark-recapture programs for the stock assessment of Chinook and Coho salmon on rivers large and small within the Fraser River watershed. It still amazes me that I get paid to go out on the river everyday!”
Another unique aspect of the IEPT Diploma program at Selkirk College is the ability to transfer two years of credits toward an environmental science degree at many universities and schools across Western Canada.
Selkirk's Diverse Physical Environment
Deon Louw, who graduated from the IEPT program in 2010 was one of the first students accepted into the University of British Columbia’s TerreWeb research on terrestrial ecosystems and climate change effects, says the program’s location in Castlegar is a key to its success.
“The strength of Selkirk College’s IEPT program begins with the diversity of Castlegar’s physical environment,” says Louw. “This environment attracts a core of excellent instructors who transmit their passion for their respective disciplines to their students. In a field as broad and quick to change as environmental science, the adaptive approach of this strong core of instructors ensures a leading program for developing qualified environmental sector candidates for years to come.
Importance of Hands-On Learning
Heather McMahon, a 2009 IEPT graduate who now works as an environmental technologist, says the program really suited her hands-on learning style.
“The best part about the classes for me was that there was a lecture portion and then a following lab portion, which, as a hands on learner, I found to be very valuable,” McMahon notes. “At my first job in the environmental field I was insulted to be asked if I could navigate a GPS, read a map; use a piece of equipment. But had to hold myself in check after realizing that prior to the IEP program I had not known how to use those tools. I had become so comfortable in using the equipment in labs that it had become second nature in only two years.”
IEPT 2001 graduate, Crystal Klym says the program not only launched her into a decade-long career in the environmental field, but also helped prepare her for life as a whole.
“Selkirk College’s IEP Program not only prepared me for a successful career in natural resource and environmental management but also inspired me for a life-long commitment to learning, travel and professional development,” says Klym.