In 1903, Robert James Sprott partnered with William Henry Shaw of Shaw Colleges to open the first Sprott Shaw School, originally named the Vancouver Business Institute. RJ Sprott and WH Shaw’s development plans included four schools in Vancouver, one in Nanaimo, and one in Victoria, situated on the traditional territories of the Coast Salish Peoples, including the territories of the Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh Nations in Vancouver, the Cayuse, Umatilla, Walla Walla, and Snuneymuxw Nations in Nanaimo, and the Cayuse, Umatilla, Walla Walla, Songhees and W̱SÁNEĆ Nations in Victoria. In 1913, RJ Sprott and James Beatty opened Sprott Shaw College in Victoria, which has been in continuous operation since its opening. The college survived economic recessions, two World Wars, and the Great Depression – all which made its foundation stronger for today.

Always striving to offer accommodating programs based on the needs of the community, Sprott Shaw specifically designed programs to retrain military personnel after the Second World War. The training included Morse Code, Radio Broadcasting, and Aviation. During this time, the college established a broadcast station for the school with a signal connection being read as far away as Hawaii. The station was broadcasted by the legendary Jack Cullen and Ernie Rose, who were also graduates of the school.

In the 1930s, Sprott Shaw College took over British Columbia Airways and offered flight training at their Aviation School. During this time, gliders were used to teach students elementary flight principles and allow them to practice flight control. 

Sprott Shaw is proud to have distinct alumni including world-renowned artist, Emily Carr, and Bill Hughes who was the former CEO of the Vancouver Canucks.

In 1964, Ernie Henderson of Henderson Colleges purchased and acquired Sprott Shaw and was the owner until his death in 1974. The Victoria School was then purchased by Commander Robert N.G. (Bud) Smith, who operated it until 1988, when Terry Hackett purchased the school. Since then, the college has grown to 16 locations across the province of British Columbia.

Employing the principles of adult education theory, the curriculum has expanded to include much more than office training, as students now train for careers in Nursing, Healthcare, Business, Administration, Marketing, Trades, Design, Hospitality, and more. Over the past century as an acclaimed educational institution, Sprott Shaw has always maintained a sharp focus to equip our students with the relevant skills for meaningful careers in high growth industries.

Today, the modern campuses of Sprott Shaw train over 2500 students each year. All locations feature convenient class sizes, qualified instructors, hands-on training, and a friendly learning environment for adults of all ages. During the past century, Sprott Shaw has built a solid reputation based on training excellence and our graduates’ enviable record of securing successful jobs after training.

In all cases, our goal is to support our students to secure employment at the conclusion of their studies and to open the door for life-long learning.

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