What's New at BC Colleges: December 14, 2011

Message from Jim Reed - President, BC Colleges

It appears that the holidays have come early to our college system this year with many new things to celebrate. I realize this is an especially busy time of year for everyone so, here's a snapshot of What's New at BC Colleges this month!

New Buildings: Jim Pattison, BC businessman and philanthropist, has donated the largest-ever gift to Okanagan College for the Jim Pattison Centre of Excellence in Sustainable Building Technologies and Renewable Energy Conservation.

New Funding: The provincial government is investing over $13 million in new employment skills training in regions throughout British Columbia and EVERY BC Colleges institution received significant funding to deliver programs and prepare the job-ready workforce that BC needs in the coming decade.

New Programs: Whether it's Paramedic Training at Northwest Community College, the Mobile crane operator course offered at CNC Mackenzie orflight and ESL training for Vietnamese pilots at Camosun, our colleges are working hard to deliver programs that meet the needs of our communities.

New Partnerships: This month's partnership highlights include Langara's partnership with India's Royal Institute of Nursing and Canfor Pulp's strategic partnership with CNC. Many additional partnerships were completed earlier in 2011 and many are underway for 2012.

New Accolades:  Congratulations to the developers of Langara's groundbreaking heating and cooling system. They were granted a National Award of Excellence at the annual Canadian Consulting Engineer Awards for their innovative and revolutionary approach to the heating and cooling of Langara's buildings. Douglas College won a national "outstanding program" award for its Uganda Project, an initiative that sends student interns to the African country to work in hospitals, libraries and aid centres. This award was given to Douglas by the Canadian Bureau for International Education (CBIE). And finally, it wouldn't be the holidays without a Gingerbread Competition and VCC's baking and pastry arts students have won the Hyatt Regency's annual gingerbread contest for the 3rd year running. The images of their gingerbread house will certainly amaze you and fill you with the spirit of Christmas.

For a full list of this month's projects, collaborations and announcements from our 11 member colleges please check out  "In the News" at the BC Collegeswebsite. As always, I welcome your feedback, you can reach me by e-mail.

From everyone at BC Colleges we wish you a wonderful holiday season and all the best for a healthy and happy 2012.


Jim Reed President, BC Colleges

Entrepreneur inspires a new generation with largest-ever gift in B.C. college sector
Okanagan College Media Release, December 12, 2011

One of the most sustainable buildings in the world will now carry the name of one of the province’s best-known entrepreneurs and community-builders, Jim Pattison. The Jim Pattison Centre of Excellence in Sustainable Building Technologies and Renewable Energy Conservation was officially opened today in Penticton. The Honourable Christy Clark, Premier of B.C., announced the building’s new name from inside the community hall of the $28-million building. Jim Pattison joined Premier Clark, MP Dan Albas and approximately 250 guests, students and members of the community to announce a pledge of $2.5-million in matching funds to the College. Read more.

B.C. invests over $13 million in new skills training programs
Government of BC Media Release, December 9, 2011

From software systems development and auto refinishing, to underground mining, shellfish aquaculture and a host of other programs, the B.C. government is investing over $13 million in new employment skills training in regions throughout British Columbia. As part of 'Canada Starts Here: The B.C. Jobs Plan', over 50 skills training programs are being delivered by 20 post-secondary institutions throughout the province under the government's Employment Skills Access Initiative (ESA). This project is funded within government's existing fiscal plan.Through ESA, eligible British Columbians are provided with tuition-free, group-based training at public, post-secondary institutions to prepare them for entry or re-entry into the labour force. ESA skills training programs are primarily focused on preparing participants for entry-level employment in industries, sectors or occupations that are currently experiencing or are projected to experience labour or skills shortages. Read more.

Paramedic training in Smithers starts in January
Northwest Community College Media Release, December 09, 2011

Specialized training for paramedics offered by the Justice Institute of British Columbia (JIBC) in the Lower Mainland will be available to Northwest Community College (NWCC) students in Smithers through part-time study in 2012. Thanks to one-time funding from the province, up to 75 students in a handful of BC communities can take the training that leads to a fast-paced career in paramedicine. In Smithers, the Primary Care Paramedic (PCP) Certificate program starts in January and applications are still being accepted. As the demand for healthcare professionals continues to grow, so will employment opportunities for graduates of the Primary Care Paramedic program, says NWCC Dean of Trades Margo Van Der Touw. Read more.

NLC Aboriginal students receive Irving K. Barber awards
Northern Lights College Media Release, December 9, 2011

The Irving K. Barber British Columbia Scholarship Society has granted a total of $311,500 to 117 B.C. Aboriginal students for study in B.C. this year.Two of the recipients are Northern Lights College students: Sandra Carlick from Telegraph Creek and Tanner Napier from Arras.The B.C. Aboriginal Student Award is funded from the returns on a $10 million endowment fund established by the Province in 2007 as part of its strategy to improve Aboriginal achievement and access to education. Awards of $1,000-$3,500 are given annually to Aboriginal students pursuing post-secondary education in B.C.Read more.
VCC youth centre gets big financial boost
Vancouver Community College Media Release, December 8, 2011

Sights and sounds at VCC’s Broadway Youth Resource Centre are just like your average high school. There’s colourful artwork on the walls, class schedules posted and teenagers chit-chatting. But what’s special about the centre is that it’s really not like a high school at all. The 35-or-so students who go to the off-campus facility every day receive self-paced, one-on-one instruction. Acknowledging that everyone’s situation is unique, the centre offers grade 10 and 11 courses to learners who need individualized help; an approach you just can’t find in your average high school. Here’s the challenge: the centre relies on funding from VCC, charitable organizations, and the private sector to deliver its programs. Read more.

Camosun provides ESL training to Vietnamese pilots
Camosun College Media Release, November 30, 2011

Camosun has recently welcomed a group of pilot trainees from the Vietnamese Navy, through our partnership with Pacific Sky Aviation of Victoria. Pacific Sky, which has been in the business of flight training in Victoria for more than 25 years, is providing flight and technical training to more than 40 Vietnamese pilots and technicians, as part of its partner Viking Air’s contract to supply the Vietnamese Navy with the De Havilland Twin Otter Series 400 aircraft. Camosun has partnered with Pacific Sky/Viking Air to provide a customized English as a Second Language (ESL) program for the pilots as an essential component of their training here in Victoria.Reducing VCC's environmental footprint. Read more.

Langara Launches Partnership with India's Royal Institute of Nursing
Langara College Media Release, Nov 30, 2011

A jobs and trade mission to Asia led by BC Premier Christy Clark has resulted in the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between Langara College and India’s Royal Institute of Nursing (RIN) that paves the way for collaboration on student and faculty exchanges. The delegation, which saw more than 120 BC companies and organizations travel to China and India, was the largest ever trade mission undertaken by the province. Premier Clark described the expedition as having three goals: “strengthening our existing relationships in the Asia-Pacific region; opening new doors; and setting the stage for future opportunities with China and India.”   Read more.

Douglas wins national award for international education
Douglas College Media Release, November 28, 2011

Douglas College has won a national "outstanding program" award for its Uganda Project, an initiative that sends student interns to the African country to work in hospitals, libraries and aid centres. The Outstanding Program in International Education Award was given to Douglas by the Canadian Bureau for International Education (CBIE) at the CBIE's 45th Annual Conference Nov. 20-23, in Ottawa.The Canadian Bureau for International Education is a national, not-for-profit organization that promotes Canada's international relations through international education.The award is given to an institution or program that demonstrates high-quality and highly creative programming in international education and is a model of best practice that is transferable to other institutions.  Read more.

NIC Student Builds his own Electric Car
North Island College Media Release, November 25, 2011

From the outside, David Davidovics’ car looks like any other older-model four-door sedan. On the inside, however, this modest Saturn has an electric secret.  Davidovics designed and created the e-car himself over three years, then registered in NIC’s Electronics Technician Core program to perfect the car’s performance. “After building the car, I decided there was still a lot to learn about electronics and there is only so much you can do at home,” he said. “I wanted a program that would allow me to understand the car’s electrical components. Anyone can buy components and install them; I wanted to know what goes into them.” About three years ago, Davidovics bought a 1996 Saturn in Victoria and headed home to Campbell River determined to test his idea. Read more.
Canfor Pulp signs strategic partnership with CNC
College of New Caledonia Media Release, November 21, 2011

CNC and Canfor Pulp Limited Partnership (CPLP) signed a strategic partnership agreement Monday, which will lead to future careers for students and training opportunities for CPLP employees. The agreement means CNC will build on its existing strong training partnership to become “the College of Choice” for trades and technology training for CPLP employees. “This agreement will create new programs for future students, and help us fill even more of our existing classrooms,” said CNC President John Bowman. “It will also give our students the specific training that one of the region’s largest, well-paying employers wants. While we can’t guarantee our students will get jobs with CPLP, the opportunities will definitely be there like never before.” Read more.

New daycare facility opens at College of the Rockies
College of the Rockies Media Release, November 16, 2011

Many people turned out for the official opening of the Young Parents Education program's daycare facility at College of the Rockies on November 8. Along with greetings from various supporters, a tour of the facility was provided culminating with refreshments and an opportunity to learn more about the YPEP program. The Columbia Basin Alliance for Literacy (CBAL) is thrilled with the opening of the Young Parents Education Program daycare. CBAL and College of the Rockies partner to offer parents, who have not completed high school, a supportive learning environment in which to achieve their Grade 12 diploma. Read more.

Selkirk College Hosts a Conversation on BC Forests
Selkirk College Media Release, November 14, 2011

Selkirk College and its School of Environment and Geomatics invites the public to attend a community dialogue on B.C. forest management as part of the Healthy Forests - Healthy Communities initiative. It will be held on Thursday December 1 (9:00– 12:00 pm) at the Selkirk College Castlegar Campus in the Staff Lounge. Community dialogue sessions will be held across the province to constructively explore the expressed needs of concerned citizens, helping to determine if current management practices enable local forests to satisfy their public purpose. A wide range of knowledgeable forest leaders are raising concerns about the future of B.C.’s forests and the potential impact on families and communities. 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 colleges offer a comprehensive range of programs from university studies and baccalaureate degrees to career, technical and trades education. All 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 information, visit our website .