Southeast College has been granted full institutional eligibility for funds, granting them access to funds from research grants. 

Those come from three organizations - the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC), and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC).

Grant eligibility status was the result of a rigorous application process and adherence to compliance requirements, with Jody Holzmiller, Vice President of Professional Training, spearheading the process.

Those grants mean that Southeast College will also be focused on research, with Vice President of Innovation and Strategic Development Darcy Nolte explaining that'll likely change operations for the College.

"What they are is they'll predominantly be to our applied research and to our health and social sciences research. It's dependent on what we're going to offer and how we partner with the universities. So we take labour market needs in the area and we work with a number of stakeholders to bring programming that's needed into each of the six campuses that we currently have in the Southeast." 

"For now, because we don't want to start off with too many giant steps, we're looking at agriculture, we're looking at microgrids, and we are looking at some nuclear possibilities to start upscaling down the road, our local workers here in the mining community."

The change is likely to change drastically how Southeast College works, both now and in the future. 

"By having this full institutional eligibility, it expands what we can do as a college. So as we work with the Advanced Education Minister and his team and the universities we see ourselves as being positioned to grow the college, grow our students, and really be a major stakeholder in the education sector here in the Southeast."

With a new focus on research, Nolte says they're hoping that ends up attracting new talents to the southeast and hopefully getting them to work in the local communities. 

"Part of the goal in Saskatchewan is to try and maintain and retain our youth in our communities by being able to offer some elevated programming. With some applied research programming, we'll see that retaining students in the community. So instead of having to travel to Regina or Saskatoon, we see them being able to stay here." 

"It's economical too. It drives it for families sometimes, with all the things rising in price. The students can stay at home, learn where they live, and still get a proper education and a relevant education to what they need."