Keyano, MRU end collaborative Environmental Sciences Degree after producing only six grads

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After producing six graduates only, Mount Royal University is ending its agreement for a collaborative Environmental Sciences Degree at Keyano College. The current agreement, which would have given graduates a Bachelor of Science, expires Aug. 31.

In a letter to Keyano, MRU suggested cancelling the program because of low demand, budget challenges and changing academic conditions.

The program needed 10 to 15 students to stay viable annually. But after starting in 2017, enrolment is in “low single digits,” said Fred Russell, vice president of academics, in a statement. A Thursday email from a college spokesperson confirmed only six people have graduated since the program began.

Both schools discussed finding ways to make the program viable, but decided eventually to end the agreement.

“We are committed to working with MRU to ensure our third-year students are provided viable options and our fourth-year students will graduate as planned,” said Russell.

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This was the first collaborative program between Keyano and MRU. The program focuses on environmental issues, and problems and solutions within the natural resource industry. At the time, both schools said the skills offered are in demand by government, environmental and industry groups.

Jonathan Withey, dean of the Faculty of Science and Technology at MRU, said in a statement the school is open to working with Keyano College on future programs and projects.

“Our immediate interest is to ensure the students enrolled in the program receive the support they need to successfully complete their studies,” he said.

The Environmental Technology Diploma and the Community-Based Environmental Monitoring Program will continue to be offered at Keyano College.

lbeamish@postmedia.com

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