Charles Sanderson: Sharing His Knowledge
Wednesday, September 13th, 2023
NWP Instructor Charles Sanderson
Charles Sanderson's journey at Northwestern Polytechnic (NWP) started in 1998 when he attended the Fairview campus and completed the Electrician and Power Engineering programs. But Charles' ambition didn't stop there. In 2002, he earned his Red Seal Certification in Electrical and launched his career.
After working at a mill for several years, Charles stumbled upon a job listing at NWP for Electrical Maintenance. For over three years, he served as the Maintenance Electrician and was elected president of the Employee's Association. The EA leadership role gave him a chance to meet and get to know many of NWP's staff. When a teaching position in Electrical opened up, Charles jumped at the opportunity.
Teaching has allowed him to expand his skillset and share his knowledge with others.
During his time at NWP, Charles has held multiple leadership positions, including Chair for the Electrical Department and Interim Dean of Trades. However, his favorite role has always been that of an instructor. He speaks passionately about the opportunity to watch his students grow and develop over time.
"Many of these students come to us straight out of high school, unsure of what they want to do with their lives," he says. "But as they progress through our program, they gain confidence and skills, and they start to see that this is not just a job; it's a career that can take them places."
As an instructor of the trades for 13 years, Charles can't imagine doing anything else. "I get to know all the future electricians that will go on to work in this region, which is fantastic. You get to be there for their successes and guide them through their struggles; it's gratifying." He takes pride in knowing that he gets to be there for his students. And it's not just about the classroom. Charles emphasizes the importance of hands-on learning in the trades, where students gain real-world experience that will serve them well throughout their careers.
He firmly believes that completing a trades program at NWP sets individuals up for success immediately. "The opportunities for an individual to leave this program, find work, and make a livable wage right away is enormous."
Teaching in the trades allows Charles to follow his students over many years and see their evolution as they apply the knowledge and skills gained through their program. "They disappear for an entire year, and then they return; when they do, they are different people. They could be married and have a kid," said Charles. "You get to witness their remarkable development as they come through the program."
Through his years of teaching at NWP, Charles Sanderson has not only enriched the lives of his students, but they have also enriched him. As he guides eager learners through their program, he is rewarded with the satisfaction of watching people grow personally and professionally over time. The hands-on learning that Charles facilitates has allowed his skilled trades students to gain real-world experience that will serve them well throughout their careers and lives.