What's New at BC Colleges: February 28, 2013

Message from Jim Reed - President, BC Colleges

It's been a busy month at BC Colleges. As you may already know, we launched a new website earlier this week.  The new site is designed to give more prominence to the important role BC’s 11 public colleges play to educate and train British Columbians and help BC avoid a predicted skills gap. The new website features an “info-graphic” video called “Mind the Skills Gap that explains how the combination of an aging workforce and a growing knowledge based economy will result in labour shortages unless we prepare our workforce appropriately.

In addition to the new "info-graphic" video we've also added a "Quick Facts" graphic that gives an overview of the important role colleges play in terms of preparing a highly skilled workforce, building strong communities, enhancing BC's competitive advantage and providing and excellent return on investment.

We have also implemented a combined college news feed. If you want to know what is happening at colleges throughout BC, this is the place to look. This feed compiles all of the top media articles from all 11 colleges on a timely basis.

Many of the other enhancements are behind the scenes upgrades to help us better communicate with our members, stakeholders and people interested in post-secondary education in BC.

Below are links to some of the top news articles from this month. Read on to learn more about the projects, collaborations and announcements from our 11 member colleges during February. For a full list of this month's news,  please check out  "In the News" on the BC Colleges website. As always, I welcome your feedback, you can reach me by e-mail.

Jim Reed, President BC Colleges

Vancouver Sun Opinion: There’s more to an education than just getting a job
By Scott McAlpine, President of Douglas College.
Special to The Vancouver Sun February 25, 2013
If you’ve been following the news lately, it would be easy to believe that post-secondary education has become a battleground where universities, colleges and technical institutes fight among each other for increasingly scarce public dollars to educate more students in alignment with each institution’s particular field of expertise. Read more.

CNC dental students treating patients with cancer
College of New Caledonia Media Release, February 25, 2013
CNC is teaming up with the B.C. Cancer Agency for the North to provide dental care for patients diagnosed with head and neck cancers. Patients will receive a referral to the college’s dental clinic prior to the start of their cancer treatment to ensure their mouths are free of any infections. The dental care is mandatory before patients can receive cancer treatment. Read more.

College of the Rockies Signs Engineering Program Agreement with UVIC
College of the Rockies Media Release, February 25, 2013
College of the Rockies signed an engineering program block transfer agreement with the University of Victoria on February 20, 2013, which allows students who complete COTR’s one-year full-time engineering certificate program to block transfer all of their COTR year one credits to UVIC and be on a level playing field with UVIC students for entry into year two of UVIC’s engineering program. Read more.

New Equipment for Skills Training at North Island College
North Island College Media Release, February 25, 2013
The government of B.C. is investing more than $662,000 in new skills training equipment at North Island College. The funding is part of a $17-million province wide Skills and Training Plan investment to support public post-secondary institutions to upgrade equipment and put the latest tools in the hands of B.C. students. Read more.

Colleges now more than ever are key drivers in regional economic development
Kathryn Laurin, President Camosun College / Times Colonist Op Ed, February 20, 2013
The recent release of the research universities’ report B.C. Labour Market Profile highlighted the significant role of B.C.’s post-secondary system in shaping the prosperity and quality of life for all in our province. Using government data, the report identified an alarming prediction of a talent and skills shortage that will affect the provincial economy as early as 2016 and carry on well into 2020. Over the next three to seven years, there will be more than one million jobs opening, 78 per cent of which will require a post-secondary education. Of those available jobs, about 43 per cent will require a college education and 35 per cent a university education. Read more.

VCC: A fulfilling career
Vancouver Community College Media Release, February 18, 2013
If you’re naturally friendly, super-organized, and love meeting new people, an administrative career in the dental care industry might be perfect for you. “At Vancouver Community College, I learned the necessary skills to be an effective administrator and front end representative in a dental office,” says Deepti Saini, graduate of VCC’s five-month, full-time dental reception coordinator program. “And it was because of VCC, I got a job after my very first interview.” Read more.

Students invite Aboriginal spirituality into Okanagan College
Okanagan College Media Release, February 14, 2013
When a stressed-out student walked in the doors of the Aboriginal Student Services Centre at Okanagan College in Kelowna, Dale Shackelly knew just what the young woman needed. “I asked if they had smudge here,” said Shackelly, herself a student and member of the Nooaitch Indian Band. But when she discovered there was none to be had, Shackelly began a quest to bring more Aboriginal culture and spirituality into the College. Read more.

Selkirk College: Lemon Creek Archaeology Field School
Selkirk College Media Release, February 12, 2013
Offering evidence of a First Nation community dating back to 1000 B.C., a site located at Slocan Narrows near Lemon Creek has been the focus of intense archeological research for more than a decade. For the last four years it has also served as the location for an innovative archeological field school. Co-Directed by Hamilton College Assistant Professor of Anthropology Nathan Goodale, the program is located at what is known as the Slocan Narrows Pithouse Village. Read more.

Spectra donation benefits NLC Wind Turbine students
Northern Lights College Media Release, February 4, 2013
“Spectra Energy endeavors to be the partner of choice and actively supports communities we work in and around, Morrison said. “Education and workforce development are key areas to develop as they contribute greatly to the overall long-term health and well being of the community. Read more.

NWCC: Seabridge Gold contributes $100,000 towards trades training in northwestern British Columbia
Northwest College Media Release, February 4, 2013
Seabridge Gold Inc. is proud to announce a $100,000 donation to Northwest Community College (NWCC). This contribution will assist in delivery of trades training to northwestern British Columbia, in which Seabridge’s proposed KSM project is located. Seabridge presented the cheque to Northwest Community College at a reception held at the Association for Mineral Exploration British Columbia’s Mineral Exploration Roundup Conference 2013 in Vancouver, B.C. on January 29. Read more.

Langara School of Nursing Named “School of the Year.”
Langara College Media Release, January 30, 2013
Langara College is pleased to announce that the Langara School of Nursing has been named “School of the Year” at the Canadian Nursing Students’ Association (CNSA) national conference. Langara was chosen in recognition of their contribution to the CNSA by hosting the largest CNSA Western/Prairie Regional in history within 10 months of joining the association. In addition to the honour, student delegates representing the College won their bid to host the 2014 CNSA national conference in Vancouver. Both awards were announced at January’s CNSA conference in Halifax, Nova Scotia, where Langara was represented by dedicated nursing students Kefa White and Sandy Gum. Read more.

BC Colleges is a consortium representing BC’s 11 public, community colleges serving almost 200,000 students annually with campuses in over 60 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 .