What's New at BC Colleges: June 10, 2011

Message from Jim Reed - President, BC Colleges

It’s an exciting time of year for colleges and students in BC. Convocation ceremonies dot calendars throughout the province as thousands of students are recognized for their dedication and hard work. When I read about the terrific things happening throughout the college system in BC, I believe our graduates have not only received a quality education but that they leave their studies well positioned for the demands of the "real world".

All of our member colleges continue to look for ways to enhance opportunities available to students whether it's expanded international opportunities at Douglas College, a new Aircraft Maintenance Engineer program at Okanagan College that combines classroom learning with hands-on training, or a unique log scaling program at Northwest Community College designed to meet the renewed demand for skilled forestry workers in BC. It's exciting to know that the many students graduating from BC's colleges this spring will soon be employed and making a difference in BC's economy.

Congratulations to all of this year's graduates and good luck in your future.

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 To read all of this month's news please check out  "In the News".

Jim Reed
President, BC Colleges

Douglas College has been named as the first-ever recipient of the Association of Canadian Community Colleges (ACCC) Internationalization Excellence award.
Douglas College Media Release, June 7, 2011

The award, presented today at the ACCC Conference in Edmonton, is given to a college or institute that has shown leadership in internationalizing its entire institution for the benefit of its learners and community. Internationalization has become a key strategic driver for Douglas. Students from more than 40 countries now account for roughly 10 percent of the full-time student body. And every year, more than 100 Douglas students participate in overseas programs such as practicums, field schools, internships, work experience and cultural and academic exchanges in countries including China, Hungary and Uganda. Read more.

International Education Representatives Visit the North Island
North island College Media Release, June 6, 2011

North Vancouver Island was the place to be for visiting International Education (IE) representatives last week when North Island College, and the Comox Valley and Campbell River School Districts partnered to host seven representatives from Brazil, China, India, and Mauritius on a familiarization tour. The planning began this past February and culminated in a two-day tour of the Campbell River and Comox Valley regions. “Our goal was to showcase the Comox Valley and Campbell River education systems and the lifestyle our communities have to offer international students,” stated Lindsay Barks, NIC tour coordinator. Read more.

Coastal Log Scaling course trains next generation
Northwest Community College Media Release, May 31, 2011

With the steady rebirth of BC’s forestry and logging industries comes a renewed demand for skilled forestry workers, and Northwest Community College (NWCC) continues to lead the way in providing industry-specific training and certifications to meet these growing demands. Thanks to an investment in workforce training by Taan Forest Ltd. and support from other local logging companies, NWCC is offering a Coastal Log Scaling course on Haida Gwaii for the first time in its history. Eight students are enrolled in the course, which is running in Masset on weekends from May to October. The Coastal Log Scaling course prepares students for the Coastal Log Scaling exam which will be administered by the BC Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations in October 2011. This is the first time that the Log Exam has been offered on the coast since 2006. Read more.

Project Management courses coming to College of the Rockies
College of the Rockies Media Release, May 31, 2011

College of the Rockies, in partnership with Dr. Dale Christenson of the Project Management Center of Excellence Inc., will continue to deliver a number of Project Management courses starting in June, culminating with a Project Management Professional or Certified Associate in Project Management designation. The first course this year is Project Management Fundamentals on Tuesday and Wednesday, June 28 and 29 and will repeat in the Fall of 2011. These courses will be followed by a Professional Exam Preparation course on October 3 -- 7. Other advanced training will also be offered at later dates. Read more.

Okanagan College expands Aerospace program
Okanagan College Media Release, Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Students with a passion for flight have a new opportunity to work in the industry, thanks to a specialized program being launched at the Okanagan College Aerospace Campus in Kelowna. The new Aircraft Maintenance Engineer Category S (Structures) program is a 37-week full-time program starting in February that combines classroom training with hands-on training that takes students through the intricacies of inspections and repairs, with a heavy focus on fabrication. “People working in this field do things like large retro-fits – such as changing a passenger plane to a cargo plane, which means taking out the seats, installing new larger doors, and putting on a winglet system to reduce fuel usage,” said Rob Kjarsgaard, program administrator for Trades and Apprenticeship. Read more.

BC Ferries donates welding truck for trades students
Camosun College Media Release, May 27, 2011

BC Ferries is donating a used Ford F450 flat-deck truck equipped with a mobile arc welder to help train students in Camosun College’s Automechanic, Welding and Heavy Duty/Commercial Transport Mechanic programs. BC Ferries Automotive Manager Chris Clements-Currier demonstrating the mobile arc welder unit on board BC Ferries’ latest truck donation. BC Ferries Automotive Manager and Camosun alumnus Chris Clements-Currier (on deck) demonstrates the mobile arc welder unit on board BC Ferries’ latest truck donation to our Heavy Duty/Commercial Transport Mechanic, Welding and Automotive students. "BC Ferries is very supportive of education in the trades discipline so we are pleased to donate our decommissioned welding truck to Camosun College for training purposes," said Mark Collins, BC Ferries' Vice President of Engineering and Terminal Construction. "The students currently enrolled in the program today could potentially join our terminal maintenance workforce in the future." Read more.

Health Education Programs Receive Provincial Funding
Langara College Media Release, May 24, 2011

Langara College has received Provincial Government funding that will enhance its delivery of health education programs. Through a one-time funding contribution of $246,688, Langara College will renew and replace older equipment used as part of its Bachelor degree program in Nursing. Among the selection of equipment earmarked for renewal or replacement are a metabolic CART and ceiling lift, as well as Susie/Simon mannequins and anatomy models. Electric beds will also replace existing manual crank beds. "Post-secondary institutions must continue to have the right tools to educate our future health professionals to be successful health-care providers," says Naomi Yamamoto, BC Minister of Advanced Education. "This investment is about making sure students have the hands-on experience they need to be prepared for the challenges of their chosen profession." Read more.

Sunshine Village donates $50,000 to Selkirk
Selkirk Media Release, May 17, 2011

Sunshine Village Ski and Snowboard resort in Banff, Alberta, has donated $50,000 towards scholarships for students graduating from Selkirk College’s Ski Resort Operations and Management program (SROAM). The contribution is the largest single donation in the SROAM program’s 30-year history. “We are thrilled!” says Selkirk College SROAM Chair, Bob Falle. “These funds will provide incentives and support for our students for years to come.” Read more.

Students get hands-on training in latest health technology
Northern Lights College Media Release, May 15, 2011

British Columbia’s post-secondary institutions provide the province’s future health professionals with the hands-on experience they need to succeed in their chosen careers and provide the high-quality health care B.C. families deserve.  Now, thanks to a $5-million infusion from the Province, those students will continue to have access to the most cutting-edge health technology available. Lab equipment must continually be updated to reflect what is being used currently in health-care facilities. This new investment will allow 22 post-secondary institutions around B.C. to refresh their labs by replacing and renewing health equipment so students can receive all the training they will need to provide safe and high-quality care to patients across the province. Read more.

International kudos for VCC language program
Vancouver Community College Media Release, May 13, 2011

A provincial program that provides free at-home language tutoring for immigrants and refugees in small and remote B.C. communities has won an international adult education award. And there’s an important Vancouver Community College connection. The ESL Settlement Assistance Program (ESLSAP) -- run by the province -- was modeled after VCC’s ESL Homefront program, which connects English tutors with new immigrants in the Metro Vancouver region for at-home language instruction. “Homefront instructors wrote the training manual for ESLSAP and helped train the coordinators,” says Homefront instructor Colleen van Winkel. “This kind of international recognition for what we do to improve adult literacy is very exciting.” Read more.

CNC President to serve another five years
College of New Caledonia Media Release, May 11, 2011

The College of New Caledonia has renewed its employment contract with current President and Chief Executive Officer, John Bowman for a five-year term through May of 2016. Bowman has served as CNC President since August 2006. Ray Gerow, Chair of the College Board of Governors praised Bowman’s leadership in announcing the reappointment. “John’s first term as the College’s President has been very successful. Under his leadership the College has increased its enrolment, diversified its programs and services, enhanced our campus facilities across the region, and improved our overall financial sustainability,” Gerow said. “The Board is looking forward to implementing the college’s new five-year strategic plan and to our continuing progress with John at the helm.” 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.