The McNicoII School

Keeping Pace With Excellence


Going to school used to he something you did only because you had to. Now millions of people are taking classes for the fun of it or to improve their skills and expand their knowledge. We can say that Con-Ed is like making sure von have tanked up before going on an automobile trip. Without education, which can be

compared to the gas of your life, von will still make the trip of life; it only means that you will not be well prepared. It means that your trip will be harder than it needs to be. Career Education and career improvement are ďiní. Lately this expanding interest in Con-Ed has started to filter through to the dental technicianís world. Upgrading not only challenges the mind to remain flexible, it is essential to the professional demeanor of the technicians, especially it they want to gain and maintain the respect of the dentists.  

With this in mind it was indeed a pleasure to attend the opening of the new McNicoll School in Toronto. The school is conveniently located in the Runnymede and Dundas area of Toronto. It is accessible by public transit and has free parking across the street. The school has a fresh modern look with soft olive green walls and soft incandescent lights; an environment congenial to learning. The logo of the school, a royal eagle, has been painted on one of the walls and reminds all of us that education is a key component for anyone wanting to reach new heights of success. The focus of the school is to provide Con-Ed for technicians who have a commitment to enhancing their competence in the dental technology field. After the opening festivities the Journal (J) spoke to Jean Robichaud, RDT, president of Bego Canada or, with Mark Peters, RDT, co-owner of the school (MP) and with Christoph Weiss, President of Bego Germany (CW).  

J: Thank you for inviting the Journal. It is indeed impressive. However, as I look around I canít help but notice that most of the equipment here is Bego equipment. Is the school affiliated to Bego? JR: No, the school is privately owned by Mark Peters and myself. We have financed the school. The school is associated with Bego to the extent that the machinery here is all Bego. If it has to he some corporationís machinery why not Begoís since I am the president of Bego Canada. However, let me remind you that we are not in the business of selling machinery we provide education. I have a friend who invested in a laser but is reluctant to use it. He lacks the knowledge. Knowledge is power but only when you apply it.


CW: Bego has been around for 107 years and it is the only dental company that runs its own commercial lab. We at Bego feel that we can help deliver the latest know how when it comes to dental technology. We are also aware that the students that will take the courses will be exposed to Bego machinery and that could be a bonus for us.

MP: I want to stress the fact that the school is in the business of upgrading the knowledge of technicians across Canada. But, to answer your question, no. Bego does not financially sponsor the McNicoll School.

J: Monsieur Robichaud, I understand that there is already a McNicoll School in Quebec. Could you please  expand?

JR: I have another site in Quebec City which 1 opened in l995. Since then 36 students have taken courses there. The vision of the school is identical to the one in Toronto. To provide Canadian technicians with an alternative source of practical education.

CW: There are also other schools that follow the Bego System; these are located in Boston, Berlin, West Palm Beach, and in Hungary.

J: What was the original idea behind the McNicoll school?

JR: Well, I was tired of hearing technicians say that there were no challenging courses offered in Canada . I think about it, after a technician graduates from the various colleges there is nothing available to them. Without new challenges people stagnate. Now with our school we are challenging technicians to become better, to push their limits. It is like a graduate school for technicians.  

J :Are you competing against George Brown and all the other colleges?

MP: No, we do not otter diploma courses. We just want to complement or add to what the colleges are doing. In fact, we invite all the colleges to work with us.

  J: Who can take the course at your school?

JR: I would say that anyone who is serious at becoming a better technician should look into the courses we offer. We can take six students for hands-on intense courses. We feel this is the best number. Everyone will get a lot of attention. By intense I mean courses that last from one to three days and that are loaded wit Ii the latest practical knowledge.

MP: We will focus on combination cases, casting and attachments. We will look at different materials and how to combine these to achieve optimal results. We will also base courses on the new milling technology since very little has been done in this subject. The curriculum follows P.R.A. which stands for Precision Removable  Appliances.

J: Who will teach the courses?

JR: Mark, master dental technicians who traveled the globe, lecturing on topics we mentioned above and of course myself.

J: How would you define success? JR: When the technician is satisfied I feel I have been successful. In the end the patient will benefit Success is having Mark take the course at the McNicoll School in Quebec City and he so impressed by it that he makes a proposal to open a school in Toronto.

  J: Will the school award credit points?

MP: the school canít assign points. We are accredited by the S.Q.D.M. in Quebec, and we will follow the guidelines of the C. D.T.O. in Ontario. I am sure that our courses will be accredited. In dealing with the operators of the McNicoll school one canít help but realize that they feel that a strong educational program must be a central contributing factor to technicianís success. Education has to be regarded as t he most reliable indicator of continuing competence that follows any professionís initial certification. With the opening of its second location, the McNicoll School is encouraging a learning curve that will keep pace with innovation and excellence.