In the beginning, post-secondary education in BC was an offshoot of McGill University`s programming. Victoria College was chartered in 1903 as a junior college, and the McGill University College of BC, started in 1908 as a private institution, and offered McGill degrees until it became the University of British Columbia in 1915.
Technical and vocational training started in the early 1900s as night school offerings at high schools: King Edward High offered adult night school courses after 1903, and was supplemented by Vancouver Technical High School in the 1930s. But returning soldiers after World War 2 needed more training, and not in high schools. The Vancouver Vocational Institute started offering nursing classes in 1948, and opened its door in 1949. See https://blogs.vsb.bc.ca/heritage/2017/12/28/the-vancouver-vocational-institute-the-site-and-its-history-2/
The faculty certified in 1951, and the Vocational Instructors`Association, now VCCFA, is the oldest post-secondary union in BC. See http://vccfa.ca/about-us/
The next phase saw an expansion of trades training, with the creation of the BC Vocational School at Willingdon & Canada Way in Burnaby in 1960. It was joined four years later when the BC Institute of Technology opened its doors. In the regions, vocational institutes were set up in Victoria, Nanaimo, Abbotsford, Kelowna, Nelson, Prince George and Terrace.
In 1960, in response to the post-war population growth overwhelming the education system, the W.A.C. Bennett government appointed John Macdonald, then UBC President, to make recommendations for the future. In 1962, his report laid out a blueprint for expansion: Victoria College would be turned into an independent degree-granting institution; a four year college would be established in the western Fraser Valley (it would become Simon Fraser University); school districts would assist in setting up 2-year regional colleges, first in the Castlegar and Okanagan regions, then central Vancouver Island, Vancouver istelf, Kamloops, Prince George, and the eastern Fraser Valley. Macdonald's report laid out how they should be funded, governed, and what number of students they could expect, and all of this was to happen before the decade was over. See http://www.bccat.ca/pubs/macdonaldreport.pdf.
Victoria College transformed into the University of Victoria in 1963; Simon Fraser University was chartered in 1963 and opened its doors in 1965; so did Vancouver City College, formed by amalgamating the Vancouver Vocational Institute, Vancouver School of Art, and King Edward Continuing Education Centre. Selkirk College was the first regional college, and it started in 1966; and it was followed by the College of New Caledonia, Capilano College, Okanagan College, and Malaspina College in 1968. CNC's first students were enrolled in classes that started in September 1969. Douglas College and Cariboo College were opened in 1970, followed by Camosun College in Victoria in 1971. Finally, East Kootenay Community College, North Island College, Northern Lights College and Northwest Community College all opened in 1975.
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