What's New at BC Colleges: July 20, 2011

Message from Jim Reed - President, BC Colleges

Most would think of Summer as a quiet time for BC Colleges but that certainly doesn't appear to be the case this year.  Our news feed reported a large number of diverse and unique stories from all corners of the Province. In late June, Premier Christy Clark announced the Province's proposed $550K investment in marine trades training and highlighted the key role that Camosun College will play. Then later in July, the Premier awarded Dee McRae, an instructor at Northwest Community College, the 2011 Council of Federation Literacy Award, to recognize her significant contribution to improving adult literacy in B.C. While visiting China to promote international education, Minister of Advanced Education Naomi Yamamotoe, attended the graduation ceremony for the dual-degree program between Douglas College and the Heilongjiang Institute of Science and Technology (HIST). The ceremony, attended by 137 graduates, was held in Harbin, China. And, a group of very excited Vancouver Community College chefs, Junior Culinary Team Canada members, cooked a Canadian-inspired feast for William and Kate at the couple’s first dinner during their nine-day royal tour of Canada. All of this, and it's supposed to be summer break!

Please read on to learn more about how our colleges are partnering, collaborating and creating new programs to prepare British Columbians for the future. As always, I welcome your feedback. You can reach me by e-mail at The stories below are just a selection of the top stories from our member institutions, to read all of this month's news please check out  "In the News".

Jim Reed
President, BC Colleges

NWCC staffer tops in her field
Northwest Community College Media Release, July 18, 2011

Premier Christy Clark announced today that Dee McRae of Houston, B.C. is the recipient of the 2011 Council of Federation Literacy Award, to recognize her significant contribution to improving adult literacy in B.C. “On a given day, Dee can be found driving her adult students to appointments, delivering tutor training to a remote community or working on research,” said Premier Clark. “Dee’s contributions have helped improve the quality of life for many families in the Northwest, and her work reminds us all that literacy skills give people the confidence and access to information they need to help them pursue their dreams.” Overall, McRae’s commitment to literacy has contributed to a healthier and more literate society. As a dedicated instructor for adult basic education, McRae has been employed with Northwest Community College since 1994. She has also authored and presented a number of publications internationally and has published several research reports and manuals for practitioners working in northern, remote-rural Aboriginal communities. Read more.

U-Pass BC coming this September
Langara College Media Release, July 18, 2011

Starting this Fall, Langara will begin the new U-Pass BC program, which provides eligible students access to bus, SkyTrain and SeaBus services in Metro Vancouver for $30/month. Langara’s existing u-pass program, the Vancity U-Pass program, will end on August 30, 2011. Langara transitioned to the U-Pass BC system after a referendum was hosted by the Langara Students’ Union (LSU) as part of TransLink’s eligibility requirements. “We hope that these changes will inspire more students to use public transit even more. The referendum that the Union's constituents passed secures fair prices for years to come. Thank you to all the people who helped in the u-pass campaign,” says Eli Zbar, LSU Board Member At Large. Read more.

New Chair Selected for Rural Development Institute
Selkirk College Media Release, June 12, 2011

Selkirk College is happy to announce that Terri MacDonald (PhD) has been selected as the new B.C. Regional Innovation Chair in Rural Economic Development (RIC) and the Lead Researcher of the Columbia Basin Rural Development Institute (RDI). “I couldn’t be more excited to join Selkirk College and to initiate and oversee the efforts of the RDI,” says MacDonald. “I’m looking forward to supporting the needs and priorities identified by our communities through the provision of timely, applied research.” The RDI is funded by Columbia Basin Trust (CBT) and is the result of an important eight-year partnership between CBT and Selkirk College. The RIC position is funded through an endowment established under the B.C. Leading Edge Endowment Fund. Read more.

Primary Care Paramedic Program Coming to Port Alberni
North Island College Media Release, July 4, 2011

Students in the Port Alberni region no longer have to leave home to pursue their dreams of becoming a paramedic. A recently announced partnership between the Justice Institute of British Columbia (JIBC), North Island College and the City of Port Alberni will see the Justice Institute of BC and NIC collaborating to offer the Primary Care Paramedic program at NIC’s Port Alberni campus, beginning this August. Port Alberni Councillor John Douglas, a serving paramedic, recognized the potential of such a partnership and was instrumental in bringing the program to Port Alberni.  “The City’s economic development strategy includes a focus on the educational sector,” says Douglas.  “Given the importance of paramedics and other first responders to the safety and well-being of our community, such a partnership seemed to be a great fit, from both an economic and social perspective.” Read more.

Camosun to be part of Industry–led marine trades training initiative
Camosun College Media Release, June 29, 2011

Premier Christy Clark was on Camosun's Interurban campus on June 27 to announce a $550K investment by the Province for marine trades training. Camosun will be a key partner in a proposed marine trades training centre, likely to be located in the greater Esquimalt shipyard area. Camosun's President, Kathryn Laurin, expressed excitement at being involved in this training initiative, saying, "We are well known for delivering high-quality education in all areas, including skilled trades training, and for our ability to respond nimbly to our region's training needs." Read more.

CNC sees small budget surplus for 2010/11
College of New Caledonia, June 29, 2011

CNC finished last year slightly in the black, according to audited financial statements  presented at its regular Board of Governors meeting Wednesday.   The college saw a $165,605 surplus in its general operating fund for 2010/11, according to audited statements prepared by BDO Dunwoody. The surplus will be added to CNC’s rainy day fund, called the Internally Restricted Fund Balance, which will reach $2.9 million.  CNC President John Bowman said while the surplus is very small, it is much better than the roughly $200,000 shortfall that was originally predicted for the year. “Obviously we are very  thankful to our employees, who did an excellent job managing their budgets as well as for the increased operating revenues that materialized over the past year,” Bowman said.  However, Bowman cautioned the College’s fiscal challenges will likely grow in the coming years if funding and tuition revenue levels remain at the current levels or decrease, while overall costs continue to rise.  The College’s total expenditures for 2010/11 were just over $49.1 million.

VCC chefs cook Canadian-inspired feast for William and Kate
Vancouver Community College Media Release, June 28, 2011

Members of Junior Culinary Team Canada – all Vancouver Community College chefs – fly to Ottawa today for the culinary opportunity of a lifetime. They will cook a Canadian-inspired feast for William and Kate at the couple’s first dinner of a nine-day royal tour of Canada. “When I found out we’d be cooking for royalty I was at a loss for words,” says 21-year-old chef Arielle Schwab – a native of Abbotsford – who admits she’s a little nervous. “I feel like I’ve won the lottery.” The team of VCC chefs head to the nation’s capital on June 28 and will spend two full days prepping at Government House. The royal couple will be served delicacies from across the country such as Yukon Arctic char, Newfoundland and Labrador spruce tip smoked oysters, Alberta yak, Outaouais quail eggs and Salt Spring Island goat cheese. The menu items developed by Louis Charest, Executive Chef of Government House, represent different regions of Canada. Read more.

Minister of Advanced Education attends grad ceremony in China
Douglas College Media Release, June 24, 2011

The graduating class of Douglas College's dual-degree business administration program in finance celebrated yesterday at a ceremony at the Heilongjiang Institute of Science and Technology (HIST) in Harbin, China. Minister of Advanced Education Naomi Yamamoto attended the ceremony and spoke to the 137 grads. Yamamoto is in China June 16-25  to promote international education. Under the dual-degree program, students can earn the Douglas College diploma in financial services, the HIST bachelor of economics and management and the Douglas College bachelor of business administration. Students take 52 courses designed to qualify them to work as specialists in global financial markets and international banking. Twenty of the courses are taught in English. As a joint teaching initiative, 26 faculty from HIST have come to Douglas College to receive training and 12 instructors from Douglas College have taught in the program at HIST. Read more.

College of the Rockies: student success starts here
College of the Rockies Media Release, June 13, 2011

Twenty post-secondary Psychology instructors from across the province were hosted by College of the Rockies in May to discuss issues affecting student mobility among post-secondary institutions in BC.These annual articulation meetings help ensure that Psychology, and other University Studies courses taken at COTR, are equivalent to those offered at other post-secondary institutions. Articulation, according to the Oxford English Dictionary, 'is a relationship, interaction, or point of juncture, especially between two things'. Transfer credit is when one institution recognizes education completed at another. This means that students who take University Studies courses at COTR can transfer their course credits to other institutions, should they choose to do so.Dean of Articulation Dr. Marilyn Petersen noted: "The work of an Articulation Committee is key to facilitating the seamless transfer of students between post-secondary institutions. This means that students at College of the Rockies can expect to receive high quality instruction and comparable course content at a fraction of the cost offered at larger colleges and universities in the province. Read more.
PSAC establishes new award for NLC Trades students
Northern Lights College Media Release, June 10, 2011

The Petroleum Services Association of Canada (PSAC) has established a new awards program with the NLC Foundation that will benefit Trades students at Northern Lights College. The awards will be available to full-time students enrolled in the Heavy Duty/Commercial Transport TechnicianFoundation/Level 1 programs in Dawson Creek and Fort St. John, and the Millwright Foundation program, or Welding Level C programs in Dawson Creek. Award recipients will be determined by career plans, level of interest in working in the service supply and manufacturing sectors of the petroleum industry, and prior knowledge of the petroleum industry. Each applicant also must demonstrate success in his/her program. For the 2011-12 year, four awards valued at $1,500 each will be made available. Read more.

College to grant new certificate in Green Building Design
Okanagan College Media Release, June 8th, 2011

Architects, engineers, construction professionals and others interested in creating a sustainable future will soon be able to add a Certificate in Green Building Design and Construction to their credentials, thanks to a new Continuing Studies program being offered at Okanagan College. The 360-hour certificate program launches this fall and will provide students with the skills and hands-on experience to design and create sustainable buildings. The focus will be on main functions such as solar and thermal control, moisture control, indoor air quality, acoustics, aesthetics, construction waste management and cost effectiveness. Barry Brooks, an engineer by trade who has taught at both Okanagan College and UVic, will be the lead instructor for the program, pulling together a team of industry experts to provide current content. 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.