What's New at BC Colleges: January 13, 2010

Message from Jim Reed - President, BC Colleges

Welcome to the second edition of "What's New at BC Colleges".  This report is designed to provide information about BC's 11 public, post-secondary colleges.  With close to 70 campuses in communities throughout British Columbia it is our goal to work together with government, industry and other organizations to build stronger communities throughout the province. Every day colleges are creating new opportunities for people by providing a broad range of high quality and relevant education and training programs critical to the social and economic health of our Province.  In this issue of "What's New at BC Colleges" you can read about recent initiatives from BC's colleges such as a partnership to assist First Nations trades training at North Island College and a new ESL learning centre created through a partnership with Vancouver Community College and the Vancouver Public Library.

If you are interested in receiving the report you can sign-up directly on our website.  We welcome your feedback and would be happy to hear from you.  Please feel free to e-mail us at
Jim Reed
President, BC Colleges

The 9th annual World Community Film Festival
Langara College Event Update, Jan 12, 2010

CoDevelopment Canada and Langara College present the 9th annual World Community Film Festival.  The film festival, which runs at, and is in partnership with, Langara College, brings together organizations and individuals who are committed to social justice issues. The festival also hosts the 4th annual Langara Student Film Festival. Read more.

Aboriginal ancestry to be recognized as qualification at CNC
College of New Caledonia Media Release, Jan 8, 2010

CNC has received approval from the B.C. Human Rights Tribunal to implement a special program allowing the college to recognize Aboriginal ancestry as a bona fide employment qualification for specific positions. The three areas where Aboriginal ancestry can be identified as a qualification are: employees providing direct operational, instructional or administrative service to primarily Aboriginal students; employees instructing courses where content is primarily Aboriginal and employees offering services and/or programs funded through Aboriginal-specific funding services. “CNC has demonstrated to Aboriginal communities, especially students, that they are committed to collaborative and equitable partnerships that benefit both partners,” said Marlene Erickson, CNC’s Manager of Aboriginal Student Services and Senior Policy Advisor for Aboriginal Education and Services. Read more.

Culinary Arts pilot project on Haida Gwaii a success story
Northwest Community College Media Release, Jan 8, 2010

Northwest Community College’s (NWCC) continued relationship with Old Massett Village Council enabled a first year Culinary Arts Program and Level 2 Professional Cook program to be offered in the community of Old Massett from November 2008 to December 2009. Prior to classes starting in 2008, NWCC worked with the community to help redesign the kitchen in the Old Massett Community Hall. Renovations took place over the summer and into the fall with NWCC students being the first cooks in the new kitchen starting January 2009. Darlene Godfrey was the instructor and she stayed in Old Massett over the summer 2009 and supervised students so they could obtain apprentice hours toward Red Seal certification. Read more.

North Island College is excited to announce that construction has begun on its new Trades Training facility at the Comox Valley campus.
North Island College Media Release, Jan 6, 2010

Excavators began their work to prepare the building site on January 4th, 2010. Construction of the 2,152 square metres, or 23,164 square feet, facility is scheduled to be complete and ready for occupancy by the end of the year, with classes scheduled to begin January 2011. The skills development and trades training centre will house carpentry and multi-purpose workshops, a covered open work area, washroom and offices, and three trades training classrooms, with an additional unfinished space that can remain flexible for future expansion. Read more.

New ESL Learning Centre opens in Mt. Pleasant for adult learners
Vancouver Community College Media Release, Jan 6, 2010

VCC is opening an ESL Learning Centre at the new library in Mt. Pleasant on Monday, Jan. 11. Through a partnership with the Vancouver Public Library, VCC provides adult ESL learners with a free drop-in program supported by tutors who assess and help students with their self-study lessons. The new Mt. Pleasant community centre, 1 Kingsway, replaces the previous 35-year-old facility, where VCC had offered its ESL Learning Centre services since the 1980s. The newly built 30,750 square foot community centre houses a library, community centre and day care. Read more.

College of the Rockies Granted Education Quality Assurance designation
College of the Rockies Media Release, Jan 5, 2010

The British Columbia Council for International Education (BCCIE) has accepted College of the Rockies as a member in good standing of Canada’s first and only provincial seal of quality for post-secondary education – the Education Quality Assurance (EQA) program. EQA This Education Quality Assurance logo has been developed for BC post-secondary institutions meeting the government's criteria for delivering quality education. EQA is a quality assurance designation that identifies and promotes public and private post-secondary institutions that have met or exceeded government-recognized quality assurance standards and consumer protection mechanisms. It is a voluntary designation available to BC public and private post-secondary institutions and is administered on the government's behalf by BCCIE. The Ministry of Advanced Education and Labour Market Development sets all EQA policies, including eligibility requirements for EQA. Read more.

Selkirk International Impacts Economy
Selkirk College Media Release, Jan 5, 2010

Selkirk College International students, Mariko Inoue, Yamei Yang and Haruka Yuge of Japan, are enjoying their post-secondary experience at the Castlegar Campus. Recently, the Honourable Stockwell Day, Minister of International Trade, released an important study that demonstrates how international students contribute significantly to Canada’s economy. The report, The Economic Impact of International Education in Canada2, contains some remarkable numbers, beginning with $6.5 billion—the total amount spent by the 178,000 international students in Canada last year. This figure is greater than the values of the export of coal and coniferous lumber—two of our traditionally largest export sectors. Read more.

2009: a very busy year at NLC
Dawson Creek Daily News, Tue Dec 29  2009 

More than $10 million in funding from the Knowledge Infrastructure Program for two construction projects at the Dawson Creek Campus have highlighted one of the busiest years at Northern Lights College in its 34-year history. NLC received $2.5 million in April, followed by an additional $7.8 million in August in separate joint announcements by the Federal and Provincial governments. Read more.

Award-winning Culinary arts student hits the shelves with debut cookbook
Okanagan College Media Release, Dec 22, 2009

Second-year Okanagan College Culinary Arts Apprentice David Colombe has a new challenge – marketing his debut cookbook, Colombe’s Cooking in Your Kitchen. The affable fan of great cooking and local ingredients came to media attention this year when he won grand prize in the Florida Tomato Committee’s 20th Annual Best of the Best Recipe Contest for his creation, Fire Roasted Florida Tomato Gumbo soup. The $2,000 in prize money from that contest fueled his next endeavour – publishing a cookbook. Now, the book’s a reality and he’s engaged in marketing it when he’s not toiling at one of the best restaurants in the Okanagan, RauDZ and taking classes toward his Red Seal certification. (And, as if that’s not enough, Colombe also contributes his time and expertise to the Community Kitchen program in Vernon that supports individuals to use their resources more effectively t feed their families on a limited budget.) Read more.

Video contest a double-win for student
Camosun Media Release, Dec 21, 2009

Camosun College continuing education student, Patrick O’Keeffe, produced award-winning videos two years in a row. O’Keeffe graduated from Camosun’s Web Design certificate program last year. His vision and skills earned him third place in the 2008 inaugural MyCamosun video contest. Late this fall, O’Keeffe was named third prize winner ($250 cash prize) for MyCamosun 2009.In the 2008 video, O’Keeffe focused on his personal experience as a 40-year-old returning to school, and what that felt like. This year, he trained his camera on others, to create a video that reflects a myriad of Camosun experiences. Read more.

An embarrassingly simply solution: Hire youth; With lack of volunteers from firms, Vanoc officials came up with idea of taking on post-secondary students and getting companies to sponsor them
The Vancouver Sun, Sat 19 Dec 2009 

Faced with a cash crunch last summer, Vancouver's Olympic organizers begged the B.C. government and corporations to lend them more staff. But with the recession, everybody's stretched and Vanoc didn't come close to borrowing the 1,500 employees it needs. That posed a huge problem, especially for Gord Macatee, who's in charge of public-sector secondments. Seven weeks ago, he came up with a solution. " I woke up at 3 a.m. and bumped my head on the ceiling with the thought that the Games are about youth and they're once in a lifetime, so why don't we get students?"  Read more.

NWCC helps unemployed workers access training
NWCC News Release, Dec 17, 2009

By easing access to post-secondary training, a new program at Northwest Community College (NWCC),the Employment Skills Access (ESA) program, aims to help unemployed individuals enter or return to the workforce. The program will provide tuition for eligible participants to take any course or program at NWCC that begins before March 31, 2010 and finishes by August 31, 2010. Examples include pre-requisite courses needed for other programs; trades foundation and apprenticeship programs such as carpentry and welding; university credit courses such as early childhood education and business administration; and Continuing Education & Industry Training courses such as Prospector Training, Occupational First Aid, and Wilderness Guiding and Wrangling.  Read more.

Partnership helps First Nations students learn trades
Comox Valley Echo,Dec 15  2009 

A new partnership is helping 16 First Nations students from Comox and Campbell River get an education at North Island College. Those students are enrolled in the Residential Building Maintenance Worker program, which focuses on eight trades -- carpentry, electrical, roofing, drywall finishing, floor laying, plumbing, refrigeration mechanics and painting. "The students are dedicated, hard workers who are learning through hands-on experience,"said instructor Bill Lucas. "It's a tough program with rigorous exams and I believe these students are up to the challenge." The initiative is a partnership between BC Hydro, the BC Construction Association, North Island Collage and five local First Nations. Read more.

More than $12,000 in tuition credits up for grabs in talent contest
Douglas College Website, Dec 14, 2009 

Douglas College is giving three local students the chance to win $4,000 each in tuition credits as part of Doug’s Got Talent, a video talent contest launched this month. Current and future Douglas students are invited to create a two-minute video of their talent for the chance to win one of the three top prizes of a year’s tuition, plus other prizes. “Douglas students are diverse, talented and hard-working. Their desire to succeed, their passion and their curiosity inspire everyone who teaches and works here,” says Scott McAlpine, President of Douglas College.“The Doug’s Got Talent video contest puts these talented students front and centre. "  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.