What's New at BC Colleges: April 14, 2010

Message from Jim Reed - President, BC Colleges

Welcome to this month’s edition of “What’s New at BC Colleges”.  As we approach the end of the school year, I would like to take a moment to celebrate our leading edge programs, world-class instructors, their teaching excellence and the students who excel under their instruction.  I was struck this month by the number of news stories that focused on accolades for programs, teachers and students within the BC Colleges' system.

Notably, Langara College's Kathryn Shaw, Artistic Director of Studio 58, won the 2009-2010 Association of Canadian Community Colleges (ACCC) Bronze Teaching Excellence award.  While this prestigious recognition took Shaw by surprise, it was unanimous among students and colleagues that it was well-deserved. Shaw’s tenacious commitment to world-class teaching and her gift for training student actors to become artistically-and technically-seasoned professionals has earned her a prominent reputation in the theatre community.  Kathryn is just one of the many instructors making a difference at BC's colleges. It is our plan over the coming year to introduce you to other excellent instructors at our 11 member institutions throughout BC.

On the student front, there were many competitions and many awards received in April and May.  Helen Clay, a 2010 graduate of the Print Futures: Professional Writing program at Douglas College, won the Editors' Association of Canada's (EAC) inaugural Claudette Upton Scholarship.  This monetary award supports continuing professional development in editing.  On another front, a team of Okanagan College business students traveled to California where they were awarded Top Company and Top Report at the 46th International Collegiate Business Strategy Competition.  A global recession and stock market crash were just two of the obstacles the team had to overcome.  I'm sure you will agree that this is incredibly worthwhile training in today's turbulent economy.

From a program perspective, Vancouver Community College's program for deaf and hard of hearing adults has been recognized by the Disability Resource Network (DRN) for its outstanding contribution to education for students with disabilities. When the award was announced, DRN representative Shirley Coomber  stated "Your team has been recognized for your commitment to excellence, support of students, and creative programming within the post-secondary system."

These are just a few of the many success stories during the past month at BC Colleges.  In the coming months, many graduates will face one of their biggest challenges to-date, entering the work force.  It is my belief that their college education will prepare them well for this challenge and provide an excellent foundation for future success.


Jim Reed
President, BC Colleges

Below are just a few of the many things happening throughout the province at BC’s colleges. We welcome your feedback and would be happy to hear from you.  Please feel free to e-mail us at

Waap Galts’ap a hit with big crowd at official opening
Northwest Community College Media Release, May 08, 2010

Hundreds came out today to Northwest Community College’s (NWCC) Terrace campus to witness the historic and long anticipated opening of Waap Galts’ap, the spectacular longhouse that is the first of its kind to be built on a Canadian college campus.  To commemorate the event, NWCC invited the public, chiefs, matriarchs, elders and special guests and dignitaries to an afternoon of celebration that kicked off with the ceremonial raising of two nine-foot totem poles carved by graduates of NWCC’s Freda Diesing School of Northwest Coast Art.

Following an explanation of the poles, the doors to Waap Galts’ap — Tsimshian for “community house” — were opened with Irene Seguin (Hagwillook'am Saxwhl Giis T'yooksiy niin), Chair of the NWCC Board of Governors, along with dignitaries and representatives from the Kitsumkalum and Kitselas Bands The building was then blessed by Kitsumkalum Matriarch, Mildred Roberts. Read more.

Camosun student becomes first international executive officer on student business club executive
Camosun Media Release, May 7, 2010

History was made last month at the 2010 Delta Epsilon Chi International Career Development Conference in Louisville, Kentucky. Camosun College business student, Conor Pommerville, was elected to the DEC executive team as a vice-president at the April 17-21 conference. Pommerville, a Camosun Business School student, is the first international officer since the organization’s inception 50 years ago in the United States.

More than 14,000 students from 230 college campuses across North America participate in Delta Epsilon Chi (DEC) which enhances student learning by providing recognition and leadership activities. Community colleges, technical colleges, four–year colleges and universities from Canada, the U.S., Puerto Rico, Germany, China, Guam and Mexico belong to DEC. Read more.

Douglas College grad wins national editing scholarship
Douglas College Media Release, May 5, 2010

A passion for punctuation and wizardry with words has helped a Douglas College graduate land a new national scholarship.  Helen Clay, a 2010 graduate of the Print Futures: Professional Writing program at Douglas College, is the recipient of the Editors' Association of Canada's (EAC) inaugural Claudette Upton Scholarship. The $1,000 prize supports continuing professional development in editing.  "Writing and editing is something I've enjoyed doing ever since I was wee," said Clay. "I love words and language and a well-punctuated sentence. There's a wit and elegance in good writing and a well-written piece can convey much more than just what the words are saying."  The U.K.-born New Westminster resident credits the Print Futures program with honing her passion for writing and language and giving her a leg up in the world of professional writing. Read more.

Construction begins on the Technical Education Centre at CNC’s
College of New Caledonia, May 5, 2010

The project was awarded this week to a local company, IDL Projects Inc. “It’s very exciting to finally have the equipment on site and construction about to begin." said CNC President John Bowman. “We are also happy that a Prince George company was the successful bidder and we look forward to working with them to create this impressive building.” Mobilization of equipment and site preparation began this morning, with demolition of some small out buildings and some asphalt removal scheduled for this week. Substantial completion of the project is scheduled for March 31, 2011.  The project is funded by the Knowledge Infrastructure Program, which the Government of Canada launched as part of its Economic Action Plan. CNC will receive almost $30 million from the federal and provincial governments to construct new buildings at its campuses in Prince George and Quesnel. Read more.

NLC and Canadian GeoExchange Coalition announce MOU
Northern Lights College Media Release, April 29, 2010

The Canadian GeoExchange Coalition (CGC) is pleased to announce a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Northern Lights College (NLC) in Dawson Creek, BC.  As a result of this MOU, NLC will incorporate CGC’s curriculum into its Renewable Energy Technologies Program, which is part of the College’s Workforce Training Department.  After completion of their college course and a passing grade on the CGC exams, graduates from NLC will be able to apply for their CGC accreditation as installers and designers under the CGC Global Quality GeoExchange™ Program. To date, more than 1,200 individuals in Canada have obtained their CGC accreditations and are actively involved in the GeoExchange industry. Read more.

Studio 58’s Kathryn Shaw wins Teaching Award
Langara College Media Release, April 27, 2010

Kathryn Shaw, Artistic Director of Studio 58 at Langara College, is the recipient of the 2009-2010 Association of Canadian Community Colleges (ACCC) Bronze Teaching Excellence Award.  While this prestigious recognition took Shaw by surprise, it was unanimous among students and colleagues that it was well-deserved. Shaw’s tenacious commitment to world-class training and her gift for training student actors to become artistically-and technically-seasoned professionals has earned her a prominent reputation in the theatre community. Read more.

YES 2 IT Targets Trades
College of the Rockies Media Release, April 27, 2010

Ninety Grade 9 students from 10 different schools from Golden to Creston to Elkford will converge on the College of the Rockies in Cranbrook to participate in a project called YES 2 IT (Youth Exploring Skills to Industry Training). Half will take part on May 11 and the other half on May 12.  Last year's YES 2 IT participants were tutored by College of the Rockies Instructors and student apprentices in the COTR Trades' shops. Project Coordinator Brian Conrad says that the project is "designed to increase awareness of skilled trades among younger students as well as their parents, educators, and communities. It provides an excellent opportunity for these students to enjoy a hands-on experience in a trades-focused environment and to learn that apprenticeship in the trades is a sound career choice option."  Four trades will be highlighted -- Electrical, Welding, Carpentry and Heavy Duty/ Auto Service Mechanics. There the students will engage in hands-on projects under the supervision of College instructors and student apprentices. The day will end with a skills competition with prizes and a barbeque at the College. And the students get to take their completed projects home. Read more.

College business students golden at California competition
Okanagan College Media Release, April 23, 2010

A global recession and stock market crash were just two of the obstacles overcome by a team of Okanagan College business students to earn the honours of Top Company and Top Report at the 46th annual International Collegiate Business Strategy Competition in California last week.  The business simulation competition charges teams of post-secondary students from across North America with the challenge of creating a business product or service and then beginning with a share price of one dollar, the teams run their businesses, making decisions for the company over 20 quarters in a two-and-a-half month time period, which represents five years in the real world. Ryan Rotariu, Asia Snook, Kim McIntyre and Michelle Plamondon ran their business, Taboo Apparel, more effectively than any other team, including top performers from the University of San Diego, San Jose State University and California State University - Long Beach.  Read more.

CNC to offer mining technology program
College of New Caledonia Media Release, April 22, 2010

CNC signed an MOU with several partners Thursday that will bring mining technology training to northern B.C.    The memorandum of understanding between CNC, BCIT, Northwest Community CollegeNorthern Lights College and School District 91 will provide for a collaborative delivery of the first year of BCIT's Mining Technology Diploma. The program will be accomplished through online delivery of the first year at CNC; learners will complete the second year by attending classes at BCIT.    "We are very excited to be able to provide the training and skills required in this growing industry," said CNC president John Bowman. "Part of what makes CNC so successful, is our ability to partner with other public institutions and industry."  Read more.

South Okanagan learning partnership signed
Okanagan College Media Release, April 22, 2010

A new partnership in the South Okanagan between School District 67, Greyback Construction, the Penticton Indian Band and Okanagan College will bring training opportunities for students and new facilities for the Penticton Indian Band.  The 2010 Home for Learning project will see 12 students in the College’s Residential Construction program work under the supervision of Greyback Construction and an Okanagan College instructor to build an office structure in conjunction with Westhills’ Aggregates.  School District 67 will work in support of one of its students who will take the dual-credit program while completing Secondary School graduation requirements.  Representatives from each of the partners met in early April to sign a Memorandum of Understanding.  Read more.

New funding opens up for Douglas College researchers
Douglas College Media Release, April 20, 2010 

Humanities and social science research at Douglas College is getting a boost with the announcement that the college is now eligible to administer research funding from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC).  SSHRC is the federal agency that promotes and supports research and training in the humanities and social sciences. As a SSHRC-eligible institution, Douglas College researchers can apply for a share of the more than $300 million in grants and scholarships distributed annually by SSHRC. "SSHRC eligibility is an important milestone for Douglas College," said Jan Carrie, Acting Vice President of Education. "It's a testament to the strength of our faculty and will help develop Douglas College as a centre for social science and humanities research."  "This is good news for faculty and students," said Dr. Kathy Denton, Dean of the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences. "The ability to access SSHRC funding will enable us to continue to attract and retain the best instructors and program personnel. And our students will benefit from greater opportunities to work with faculty on research projects and learn about research outcomes in their courses."  Read more.

VCC program wins Disability Resource Network award
Vancouver Community College Media Release, April 19, 2010

Vancouver Community College's program for deaf and hard of hearing adults has been recognized by the Disability Resource Network for its outstanding contribution to education for students with disabilities. "The instructors and staff in the program deserve this award because they are a hard-working, innovative and unique group of people," said program head Shannon Hougham. "I am very proud to be part of this team."The VCC program consists of full-time and part-time studies in basic English language skills and in job-readiness.  Read more.

Selkirk College Ensures University Transfer of Courses
Selkirk College Media Release, April 15, 2010

Selkirk College will be hosting the articulation committee meetings of the British Columbia Council on Admissions and Transfers (BCCAT) to ensure smooth transferability of courses to degree-granting institutions.  At the end of April, faculty members from Selkirk College’s School of University Arts & Sciences will be chairing three of the annual provincial events along with representatives from all other BC post-secondary institutions. "Transferability is something we take very seriously,” explains college faculty member and chair of BCCAT’s English Articulation Committee, Linda King-Harwood. “Every post-secondary institution in BC sends its department head or surrogate to these meetings, and we work together to make sure courses you take at Selkirk are accepted at other colleges and universities and vice versa.”  Read more.

Douglas College has been awarded a $200,000 grant to study the biological control of insect pests in B.C. vegetable greenhouses.
Douglas College Media Release, April 13, 2010

The award was made by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC), under its College and Community Innovation Program.The grant will support a two-year research project on the use of predators and parasitoids for the management of insect pests that cause annual crop losses in BC's tomato, pepper and cucumber greenhouses. The researchers hope to develop one or more new biological control products as well as to optimize the use of existing products for aphid and psyllid management. They will also develop molecular-biology tools for aphid parasitoid identification which could be used to facilitate research and practice of biological control in greenhouses.  Douglas College's partners in the research are: the BC Greenhouse Growers' Association, Applied Bio-nomics Ltd, the Bug Factory Ltd., Koppert Canada Biological Systems, and Kwantlen Polytechnic University, whose new insect biocontrol laboratory will be the site of much of the work. Read more.

BC Colleges is a consortium representing BC’s 11 public, community colleges serving almost 200,000 students annually with campuses in close to 70 communities throughout British Columbia. BC’s 11 colleges offer a comprehensive range of programs from university studies and baccalaureate degrees to career, technical and trades education. All 11 of BC’s colleges offer programs that are designed to be accessible, affordable and responsive to the evolving needs of BC communities and industry. For more, visit our website.