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When Robert James Sprott partnered with William Henry Shaw of Shaw Colleges in 1903, they opened the first Sprott Shaw school, called Vancouver Business Institute. Their development plan included four schools in Vancouver, one in Nanaimo and one 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 making its foundation stronger for today.
Always striving to offer the right programs based on the needs of the community, Sprott Shaw designed programs to retrain military personnel after the second World War. The training included Morse Code, Radio Broadcasting and Aviation. The college established a broadcast station for the school with a signal being picked up as far away as Hawaii. The station was known as CKMO, which is now 1410 CFUN. The legendary broadcasters Jack Cullen and Ernie Rose were graduates of the school. Many well-known students including world renowned artist Emily Carr spent time with Sprott Shaw on their journey towards accomplishing their dreams.
In 1964, Ernie Henderson, of Henderson Colleges, bought Sprott Shaw and was the owner until his death in 1974. The Victoria school was then bought 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 12 locations across the province of B.C.
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 and healthcare, tourism, hospitality, business, administrative, marketing, trades, design, international studies and more. Sprott Shaw has always maintained a sharp focus to provide relevant skills for meaningful jobs in high growth industries.
The modern campuses of Sprott Shaw now train over 4500 students each year. All locations feature small class sizes, qualified instructors, hands-on training and a friendly, appropriate learning environment for adults of all ages. During the past century, Sprott Shaw College has built a solid reputation with both the private sector and government. This reputation is based not only on training excellence, but also on Sprott Shaw graduates’ enviable record of securing successful jobs after training.
In all cases, the College’s goal is to help students to obtain employment at the conclusion of their studies and to open the door for life-long learning.