What's New at BC Colleges March 2014

Message from Jim Reed, President of BC Colleges

Last week we announced the results of a recent Economic Impact Study. This study, undertaken by Economic Modeling Specialists International (EMSI), found that in 2012-13 BC’s colleges and their students contributed $7.8 billion in income to the economy, equal to 4.2 per cent of the province’s GDP. This analysis demonstrates that colleges in BC have an effect comparable to entire industry sectors such as finance and insurance and accommodation and food services - wow! This study confirms my belief in the importance and impact of our college system. It's a huge number, but what strikes me each month as I review the news stories from each of our 11 member institutions is the significant day-to-day impact (the impact that isn't always measurable with a dollar sign) that colleges have in the more than 60 communities they serve.

In this month alone our colleges announced partnerships with other institutions to offer more and better regional services, many colleges increased the number of scholarships and grants to help ensure greater student access to post-secondary education and every institution hosted some form of community outreach. These outreach events and activities ranged from a Poetry Competition at Okanagan College, Regional Skills BC Competitions at many locations, a school supplies drive created by Douglas College students for nearby elementary schools and the Discover Careers Job and Education Fair at Northern Lights College - this is just a taste of the many activities that occurred this month. While this grass roots community outreach might not have the same "wow factor" as the $7.8 billion effect on the economy, the impact on our province, regions and communities is just as significant. I believe that the day-to-day community building activities that occur at each of our colleges, in each of the communities served, make a tremendous impact. While some of these activities cannot always be assigned a value or an economic measure, the benefits are far reaching. The examples below are but a sample of the wide array of college partnerships and activities that are intended to further the economic and social development of communities throughout B.C.

I hope you will take a few minutes to read about the accolades, projects, collaborations and announcements from our 11 member colleges during the past month. 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

Okanagan College Signs Agreement With University Of Fraser Valley
Okanagan College Media Release, March 25, 2014
Okanagan College and the University of the Fraser Valley (UFV) will be working more closely together after committing to ongoing collaboration on programming, services and other ventures that are in line with their goals and that will address the needs of the regions they serve. Read more.

CNC Gathering Place One Year Anniversary
College of New Caledonia Media Release, March 25, 2014
It has been 1 year since the Gathering Place celebrated it’s Grand Opening. To honor this event there will be a festival of workshops for students to come and learn traditional Aboriginal practices and knowledge. Read more. 

Selkirk College’s Multi-Million Dollar Capital Project Receives Boost From Columbia Basin Trust
Selkirk College Media Release, March 19, 2014
Selkirk College took a major step forward into its future with the announcement of plans for a $32 million capital project that would transform the Silver King Campus in Nelson and the Castlegar Campus into modern learning facilities. With help from a $1 million contribution by Columbia Basin Trust, the campaign to raise the funds is now officially underway. Read more.

Douglas College Pollinator Study Looks At Bees In The Garden
Douglas College Media Release, March 19, 2014
A new Douglas College study on pollinators is looking into what’s buzzing in local gardens. The college’s UNIBUG (User Network for Insect Biology in the Urban Garden) team is working with community volunteers on the research. For the study, the volunteers will place small, homemade bee houses in their gardens to attract the insects. Read more.

More Scholarships And Bursaries Available To North Island College Students this Year
North Island College Media Release, March 16, 2014
The North Island College Foundation will award $265,000 in scholarships and bursaries to NIC students this spring, helping many more students achieve their academic and career goals. The money represents a significant increase over last year and includes 20 new awards totaling more than $25,000. Read more.

Camosun Student Wins BC/Yukon Co-op Student Of The Year Award
Camosun College Media Release, March 14, 2014
Camosun College congratulates Civil Engineering Technology student Ben Lubberts, the 2013 recipient of the Co-op Student of the Year Award, presented by the Association for Co-operative Education, BC/Yukon (ACE BC). This prestigious award includes a cash prize of $500 and was based on grades, community involvement, and letters of support from an employer and the college. Read more.

VCC Director co-authors Vancouver Newcomers’ Guide
Vancouver Community College Media Release, March 9, 2014
Kory Wilson, VCC’s Director of Aboriginal Education and Community Engagement, co-authored “First Peoples: A Guide for Newcomers” for the City of Vancouver. The Guide helps new immigrants better understand Aboriginal history and culture. The 90-page guide is available online and contains information including why Vancouver is often referred to as unceded Coast Salish territory, what the Indian Act is and where to see public art by Aboriginal artists. Read more.

College of the Rockies’ Partnership Provides Funds for Research Project
College of the Rockies Media Release, March 3, 2014
College of the Rockies and the Columbia Basin Rural Development Institute (RDI) at Selkirk College have formed the RDI-College of the Rockies Applied Research Internship. The internship will provide support for a COTR student to undertake a community-based research project in the East Kootenay Region. Read more.

New Bursary Awards For NWCC Students
Northwest Community College Media release, March 3, 2014
Northwest Community College (NWCC) has received a $15,000 donation from Enbridge Northern Gateway Pipelines to establish six bursary awards for students. “Many people across northern British Columbia lack the highly technical skills that will be required to work in the growing resource sector. Addressing this labour shortage is the responsibility of everyone – industry, government and the communities themselves,” said Catherine Pennington, Senior Manager, Northern Gateway Community Benefits & Sustainability, Enbridge Northern Gateway.  Read more.

Langara’s Nursing Program Recognized With Top Review
Langara College Media Release, February 26, 2014
Langara’s faculty and staff congratulated the College’s School of Nursing this week after it was recognized with a glowing review by the College of Registered Nurses of British Columbia (CRNBC). A full review of Langara’s Bachelor of Science of Nursing Program was conducted by the CRNBC’s Education Program Review Committee in December, 2013, as part of the organization’s regular vetting schedule of the province’s nursing programs. The review was so successful that the program was awarded recognition for the next seven years – the longest period offered by the CRNBC, and a distinction reserved for exceptional programs. Read more.

Opportunity Knocks At NLC's Discover Careers Job And Education Fair
Northern Lights College Media Release, February 26, 2014
Eighteen companies and non-profit organizations participated in Discover Careers, a job and networking opportunity for students and community members, held on February 19 at the Fort St. John Campus of Northern Lights College. Hosted by NLC’s Student Recruitment department, Discover Careers was an opportunity for employers to meet potential employees, and for students and members of the community to network with potential employers, discuss career paths, and examine employment prospects. Read more.

BC Colleges is a consortium representing BC’s 11 public, community colleges serving over 160,000 students annually with campuses in more than 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.