In this episode of the EdUp Canada podcast, host Michael Sangster discusses a monumental achievement in the New Brunswick education sector with Darcie Reidpath, the president and co-owner of Oulton College in Moncton, New Brunswick. They delve into how the college became the first private career college in the Maritimes, possibly even in Canada, to offer a standalone degree program, specifically focusing on the bachelor’s of science in nursing program. The conversation highlights the challenges, regulatory hurdles, and innovations that Darcie and her team navigated to achieve this significant milestone. It explores Oulton College’s focus on tailoring education programs to meet the immediate needs of the local labor market, its history since 1956, the importance of adaptability, entrepreneurial spirit, and patience in the education sector. The episode also touches on the personal stories of empowerment and success that have culminated from their efforts, and the strong collaboration between private education institutions, regulatory bodies, and associations in New Brunswick. 

00:00 Introduction to EdUp Canada Podcast 

00:54 Special Episode: Educational Innovation in New Brunswick 

01:05 Darcie Reidpath’s Journey and Oulton College’s Milestones 

05:22 The Significance of Becoming a Degree-Granting Institution 

07:41 The Process and Challenges of Achieving Degree-Granting Status 

09:52 The Impact and Future of Oulton College’s Nursing Program 

16:51 Darcie’s Reflections on Student Success and Mentorship 

28:29 Conclusion and Looking Forward 

Transcript link: 

About Darcie Reidpath

Darcie is a native New Brunswicker who went on to complete her post secondary studies at Dalhousie University and later, Crandall University. After becoming a dental hygienist in 1993, she practised for sometime and was then faced with adversity as her career finished with some difficult decisions to be made. She quickly turned this situation into a positive and took the opportunity to explore new passions. In 1998, Darcie started her career at OultonCollege, with the owner, Brain Baxter.   

In 2005 Darcie became a part of the ownership team and continued to work with students, preparing  them to enter the workforce for their first jobs! This became a true passion of Darcie’s and she continues today to support the students, community and employers through the work her team does at the college. Darcie has also been responsible for the development of the health Science programs at the college, most recently the Bachelor of Science in Nursing has been approved.    

Since 2005 when the college enrolled approximately 250 students, the college has grown to nearly 1000 students, over 100 staff and 3 campuses in Moncton. Darcie and her business partner,Aaron are proud of the work Oulton has done to be a pillar in this community for 66 years.