​First students graduate from ‘transformational’ NAIT Trades to Degrees program

The first graduates from NAIT's Trades to Degrees program. Image: Twitter/Boni Ehmann

Fourteen students with trades certificates at NAIT have successfully completed a program to fast-track them in the business world.

Trades to Degrees was launched in 2012 through NAIT's JR Shaw School of Business. It is described as one of the first pathways in North America to allow qualified tradespeople the opportunity to move directly from a trades certificate to the third year of a degree program. It was introduced in response to workforce demand for tradespeople with managerial, leadership and entrepreneurial skills, NAIT says.

“Trades to Degrees is a transformational program for trades people in our province and country. It provides meaningful pathways for those in the skilled trades to continue their post-secondary education,” NAIT president Glenn Feltham said in a statement.

“Their education in the skilled trades is fully recognized. They can earn a relevant degree – one that allows them to advance their career and meet the needs of industry – in only two years.”

The initial group of students was comprised mostly of NAIT instructors who helped shape and define the program.

Parts technician instructor Boni Ehmann was one of these students.

“Enrolling in this pathway was an opportunity I could not resist,” Ehmann said.

“Obtaining my Bachelor of Business Administration degree will help create new opportunities for me and open new doors.”

NAIT says there are currently 32 Trades to Degrees students enrolled in the winter term.