Whether young, middle aged or seniors, we learn as we grow. The quality of our learning depends on the programs and resources to which we have access. High quality opportunities that are widely available and cover a broad range of interests help us make the most of our talents and passions.
High School Graduation
In 2013/14 the six-year graduation rate in Powell River was 79%, compared to the 84% rate for BC, and better than the 74% rate in Powell River in 2010/11. In Powell River, students who participate in the dual credit program with VIU and the Trades program are part of this number.
In 2013/14 the first-time graduation rate in Powell River for Grade 12 (students who entered Grade 12 for the first time in 2013) was 53%. This is way below the 80% rate for BC and worse than the 69% rate in Powell River in 2010/11.
From a broader perspective, the graduation rate for all eligible students (i.e., those who met graduation requirements, even if it was not their first year in Grade 12) was much better—93%. This is up from 92% in 2010/11 and comparable to the 94% provincially in 2013/14.
82% of Powell River students reported that they planned to continue education after high school. English 12 is a gateway to university admission and many skilled or professional grade positions. For example, BC Hydro requires English 12 for cable splicers, electricians, mechanics, meter and power line technicians and other similar jobs. VIU requires English 12 as a prerequisite for most academic courses. In 2013-14, only 41% of Powell River Grade 12 students took the course and passed the exam. This is down from 2009/10 when 45% of Powell River Grade 12 students took English 12 and passed the exam. Provincially in 2013-14, 65% of Grade 12 students took the exam and 98% passed. 11% of our region’s Grade 12’s took Communications 12, a less challenging course not used for university admissions, and 94% passed. The combined pass rate for both senior English courses for Powell River students is 92.7 %, which is higher than the BC average of 91.4%.
Finishing High School
Although the first time graduation rates are low, Powell Riverites tend to catch up eventually. In 2011, 88% of residents aged 25 to 64 had completed high school. That’s up from 85% in 2006 and 71.4% in 2001. We’re also catching up to the rest of the country. In 2006 the noncompletion rate was 2.6 percentage points higher than the BC average, but in 2011 that gap had decreased to 1.9 percentage points. And, we are now only 0.7 percentage points lower than the Canadian average for high school non-completion.
In 2011, 51% of the working age population (15 years and over) had a post-secondary education (trades certificate, diploma, or university degree) compared to the BC rate of 56%. That’s an improvement from 49% in 2006
From the Survey …
How important is high speed broadband internet for learning in Powell River?
Surprisingly, those over 40 thought that high speed internet is more important for learning than did younger people.
Do you think Powell River offers enough high quality learning choices to its young people?
Over 36% think the learning opportunities here are OK or Great, with about 39% choosing Not Enough or Limited, so opinions are nearly even on both sides of that divide.
With the passage of the New Library referendum in November 2014, Powell River now has the opportunity to expand its small library and improve library services. In 2013, 810 new registrations meant that over 30% of the region’s population were active library cardholders. Circulation of all types was 9.8 per person compared to 8.6 in 2010. That’s high, but still below the BC average of 12.6, probably because of space limitations. Despite the space restrictions, 6558 print volumes were added to the collection in 2013 bringing that total to 33,909, The entire library’s collection was 100,011 volumes (39.1% physical and 60.9% electronic).