What's New at BC Colleges: June 21, 2010

Message from Jim Reed - President, BC Colleges

It’s the end of the school year and, like many college graduates throughout the Province, we’re in the mood to celebrate.  BC Colleges wants to celebrate our current college students, our graduates, our alumni, our instructors and, of course, our 11 member institutions located in almost 70 communities throughout BC.

So, in this month’s “What’s New at BC Colleges” we’re doing something a bit different.  We’ve selected one story from each college to showcase the amazing things that are happening in the college system in British Columbia. This is truly just a sample.  There were many more stories to choose from.

Below, learn about the College of the Rockies announcing it's first degree - a Bachelor of Business Administration in Sustainable Business Practices degree commencing September 7, 2010.  Find out how Vancouver Community College's junior chef team won the honour of representing Canada in the 2012 World Culinary Olympics in Erfurt, Germany. Read about how Northwest Community College’s School of Exploration & Mining's (SEM) Reclamation and Prospecting Program (RAP) won the Partnership category of the 2009/2010 Premier’s Innovation and Excellence Awards.  And learn how Anna Winters, who had been out of school for more than 20 years, just graduated from Douglas College's Health Care Support Worker Certificate program as the recipient of the Lieutenant Governor's Silver Medal.

These are among the many proud accomplishments of our graduates and colleges that we want to share with you in this edition of "What's New at BC Colleges"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


College of the Rockies Announces its First Degree
College of the Rockies Media Release, June 16, 2010

College of the Rockies is celebrating its 35th anniversary this year. What better achievement could it obtain than approval from the Degree Quality Assessment Board of British Columbia and the Ministry of Advanced Education and Labour Market Development to be able to confer its first, very own College of the Rockies’ degree. Becoming a degree-granting post-secondary institution is not an easy task. There are many standards, evaluations and criteria to meet, and the process takes years. This is why COTR is proud to announce its Bachelor of Business Administration in Sustainable Business Practices degree commencing September 7, 2010.  MLA Bill Bennett said, "I congratulate College of the Rockies on behalf of the people of the East Kootenay. It's a major step for a post-secondary institution to be able to confer its own degree and I'm hopeful this is just the first of many." Read more.

Douglas College Grad wins provincial recognition
Douglas College Media Release, June 16, 2010

When Anna Winters made the fateful decision to return to school, she packed a lot of anxiety along with her books."I was terrified on the first day of classes," Winters recalls. "I'd been out of school for more than 20 years and I wasn't sure I could do it."She clearly got the hang of it; on June 3, Winters graduated from Douglas College's Health Care Support Worker Certificate program as the recipient of the Lieutenant Governor's Silver Medal. This prestigious medal is awarded on behalf of the Honourable Lieutenant Governor of British Columbia. The winner must be a student who has achieved high standing in a vocational or career program of less than two years duration, and who has contributed in a positive way to the college or community. Winters finished her program with an overall Grade Point Average of 4.23 out of a possible 4.33.The medal caps off an eventful year for the Coquitlam resident, starting with her decision to return to school.  Read more.

Camosun plumbing apprentice wins national gold!
Camosun College Media Release, June 11, 2010

Congratulations to Landon Martin, the new national champion plumbing apprentice! Martin is a fourth year plumbing apprentice with plumbing and heating contractor, M. Griffin Ltd. and has been attending Camosun College for his required technical training each year.  This is the second year in a row for a Camosun apprentice to take the top Canadian title. Camosun apprentice Alasdair Reid won the title in 2009.  To qualify for the national competition, hosted by the, United Association in Canada, (UA) Martin first had to win the Western Regional competition held in Edmonton April 21-23, 2010. The national competition was then held June 1-3, again in Edmonton, where he defeated the two top apprentices from the central and eastern regions.  Read more.

VCC to represent Canada at the 2012 World Culinary Olympics
Vancouver Community College Media Release, June 10, 2010

Weeks of jangled nerves, sacrificed sleep, and hours in the kitchen.  It all paid off for VCC's junior chef team earlier this month when it won the honour of representing Canada in the 2012 World Culinary Olympics in Erfurt, Germany.  Coached by Tobias MacDonald, VCC instructor and head chef at Ladner's La Belle Auberge, the group beat out teams from Nova Scotia, PEI and Quebec to win the competition to become Youth Team Canada at the Canadian Culinary Federation's national convention.  "This is an incredible achievement for the entire culinary arts department at VCC, and is yet another testament of their passion, skill and talent," says Jonathan Rouse, dean of VCC's school of hospitality. "I am so proud of our junior culinary team and know they will do extremely well representing Canada at the international level."  Read more.

NIC Employee Receives National Honour
North Island College Media Release, June 7, 2010

Albert Balbon, North Island College’s Supervisor of Distributed Learning, was awarded the 2009-2010 Association of Canadian Community College’s (ACCC) Bronze Staff Excellence Award on Sunday, June 6th at the ACCC National Conference in Niagara Falls, Ontario. The ACCC's Staff Excellence Award recognizes individual staff members who have made an exceptional contribution within their institution and within the community it serves. It rewards employees who define excellence in their job performance, their influence, and ultimately their commitment to student learning. Kevin Walters, Director, Information Technology Services was instrumental in nominating Balbon for this award.  “The application process was extensive,” Walters remarks.  “But what struck me in putting it together were the testimonials from the staff, faculty and students Albert has worked with.  How many there were and how quickly people responded to our request for comments is the real testament of Albert’s impact and commitment to the college. It was truly amazing and really speaks to what he has accomplished here.” Read more.

LV Rogers student takes gold ... again!
Selkirk College Media Release, June 4, 2010

Brendin Zozman brought home a gold medal from the national Skills Canada Competition held in Waterloo, Ontario, from May 22-23. He took first place in the secondary school category for electrical wiring. In April Brendin also won the gold at the Skills Canada BC Competition in Abbotsford.  Brendin will be graduating from LV Rogers this year and is currently enrolled in the Transitions to Trades (Electrical) program at Selkirk College. Read more.

NWCC Mining Program Wins Premier’s Award
Northwest Community College Media Release, June 1, 2010

BC’s Premier has joined the list of people to recognize and celebrate the accomplishments of Northwest Community College’s School of Exploration & Mining (SEM). On May 26, Gordon Campbell declared SEM’s Reclamation and Prospecting Program (RAP) winner of the Partnership category of the 2009/2010 Premier’s Innovation and Excellence Awards.  “Tonight’s ceremony recognizes public service employees whose contributions and accomplishments benefit all British Columbians,” says Premier Campbell in a news release from the Office of the Premier. “These employees think big, have achieved exceptional results, and have made a positive difference not just in their communities but across the province.”  The Ministry of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources led the partnership behind SEM’s RAP program. The partnership included a strong federal presence from Human Resources and Skills Development Canada, the provincial Ministry of Agriculture and Lands and Ministry of Advanced Education and Labour Market Development, First Nations, SEM's industry partner Smithers Exploration Group, and companies such as Huckleberry Mines. Read more.

Brian Jungen receives Honorary Degree from NLC
NLC Media Release, June 1, 2010

Brian Jungen, one of the world’s most provocative and successful contemporary artists, has received an Honorary Associate of Arts Degree from Northern Lights College.  The Degree, in recognition of Jungen’s distinguished contributions to international art and culture, was conferred by Board of Governors chair Wendy Normandeau and NLC president Jean Valgardson during Convocation ceremonies on May 28 at the Stonebridge Hotel in Fort St. John.  Jungen has been acclaimed for producing evocative work that transforms ubiquitous consumer items into inventive sculptural forms, often linking his First Nations heritage to political and social issues. A major exhibition, Strange Comfort, organized by the National Museum of the American Indian, is currently on display until August in Washington, D.C.  Jungen was born in Fort St. John to a Canadian father and a Dunne-za mother. He is a member of the Doig River First Nation, and now lives and works in Vancouver.  Read more.

Langara Nursing Program receives Outstanding Partnership Award
Langara College Media Release, June 1, 2010

The Langara Nursing Program received the 2010 Outstanding Partnership Award from the Canadian Diabetes Association on May 15, 2010 at the Vancouver Coastal Regional Annual Meeting.  This award is presented to a partner who has worked with and contributed significantly to a Canadian Diabetes program or initiative that has had an impact on people with diabetes at the regional level. The Langara Nursing Program has partnered with the Canadian Diabetes Association, Vancouver Coastal Region since January 2008 to assist the Association in leading the fight against diabetes.  “The Association and the Langara Student Nursing Program has accomplished excellence in the work of education, awareness, advocacy and community development,” said Ivanka Lupenec, Pacific Area Leader, Public Programs, Services and Education, Canadian Diabetes Association. “It is always a pleasure and an honour to work in this partnership with the College and its students, and to gain new ground in helping people with diabetes live healthy lives while we work to find a cure.” Read more.

Students give CNC an A in survey
College of New Caledonia Media Release, May 19, 2010

CNC exceeds the provincial average in 19 out of 20 indicators when it comes to students’ satisfaction with their programs and skill development, according to survey results from the provincial government published on  Students also ranked CNC above the provincial average in overall satisfaction with studies and their main reason for enrolment being met, states the annual B.C. Diploma, Associate Degree, and Certificate Student Outcomes (DACSO) Survey.  “Meeting students’ needs is the reason we’re here, so it’s very gratifying that they have ranked us so high, again,” said Randall Heidt, CNC communications manager. “The only area where we were below the provincial average was computer use, but when you take program mix into consideration it turns out we are actually above the provincial average, according to our students.”  CNC exceeded the provincial average in the “Overall Satisfaction” category of main reason for enrolling met, scoring 3.36 out of 4, compared to the provincial average of 3.31; The college also scored 3.40 out of 4 for overall satisfaction with studies, compared to 3.34 provincially. Read more.

SIFE Okanagan exits nationals with more hardware than any other team in the nation
Okanagan Media Release, May 14, 2010

The competition was fierce, the presentations nearly flawless, and after two intense days at the SIFE National challenge in Calgary, Okanagan College is bringing home seven national awards – more than any of the other 53 teams in attendance. Okanagan College’s Green Team won first place in the country after presenting to a panel of industry experts on a variety of community-minded sustainable projects that included partnerships with the Kelowna and Vernon Chamber of Commerce and Glenmore Elementary. The efforts of Kelowna’s Sattu Dhaliwal, Kevin Slater and Braydon Ouellet and Vernon team members Graham Moir and Megan Annand solidified the reputation of the fledgling team from Okanagan College as one of Canada’s top performing business institutions. Green Team captain Sattu Dhaliwal said the win is a direct reflection of the support Okanagan College business students receive from their school and their 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 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.