St. Clair President: Strike Didn't Hold College Back In 2017

The president of St. Clair College is looking back at the past year with a smile.

Patti France says, despite the five-week-long faculty strike, the college has plenty to be proud of in 2017.

France starts off by pointing to celebrating the school's 50th anniversary, and that St. Clair saw its 100,000th graduate cross the stage in October.

To mark the anniversary they did '50 Acts from the Heart'.

"We wanted to celebrate our involvement and engagement in our community by our staff and students lending their support to a number of local charities and agencies," she says. "Goodfellows, Socks Warm Your Heart, Coats for Kids. We were aiming for 50 and I think we actually surpassed the 50 that we were aiming for."

International student enrollment skyrocketed this year as well.

"Two years ago we were at 380. Last year we were at a little over 580. This year we actually exceeded over a thousand," says France."I actually think word-of-mouth is helping. International students seem very happy here. Students, themselves, have been great advocates in getting other students to come."

France says now that the strike is behind them, it's business as usual.

"The faculty stoppage, it was unfortunate that it did happen, but the faculty do have a contract now. So I'm just happy that it's behind us and we're moving forward. Our faculty and our staff are all very dedicated and focused on helping our students and making sure that they're successful."

Looking ahead, France says 2018 is going to be a big year for St. Clair. Work is underway on a new sports park and business tower in Windsor as well as a powerline technician school at the Chatham campus.