What's New at BC Colleges: October 18, 2010

Message from Jim Reed - President, BC Colleges

Welcome to this month’s edition of “What’s New at BC Colleges”. This was a busy month for our member colleges.  The students have settled  back into their classes and our colleges have been very busy both inside and outside of the classroom.

On the building front, Okanagan College's Centre of Excellence in Sustainable Building Technologies and Renewable Energy Conservation will be the first building in the province to use pine-beetle kill wood in its construction clearly demonstrating that environmental and economic sustainability can go hand-in-hand.  And, the College of the Rockies broke ground on a new aboriginal gathering place that will be built by the college's trades training students.

On the enrolment front, College of New Caledonia is pleased to report an increase in full-time students this year. This was achieved after hitting an enrolment record in 2009/10.  And, Douglas College announced that their enrolment reached an all time high this fall.

Our colleges continue to be active in their communities, as an example Vancouver Community College's heavy duty and commercial transport students recently helped the Vancouver Police Department inspect unsafe commercial vehicles in Vancouver.  Partnerships continues to flourish with North island College signing a bilateral agreement with Emily Carr University of Art + Design and Camosun College teaming up with the Pacific Institute for Sport Excellence (PISE) to rally support for the first-ever National Sports Day in Canada!

As I announced last month, we're also busy preparing for a conference themed "Advance 2010+ Creating & Powering the Future".  This conference, planned for early November 2010, will take an in-depth look at the future of colleges in BC and how we can best serve the needs of British Columbians.

We welcome your feedback and would be happy to hear from you.  Please feel free to e-mail us at  For a full listing of news and media from all of our member institutions, please check out our website at “In the News”.

Jim Reed
President, BC Colleges

Vancouver photography student wins international award
Vancouver Sun October 14, 2010

A 22-year-old Vancouver photography student has won an international contest for a black-and-white still he took of a piece of equipment at TRIUMF, Canada's national laboratory for particle and nuclear physics at University of B.C.  When Mikey Enriquez, a recent graduate of Langara College, heard that TRIUMF was opening its doors to competing amateur photographers in the summer, he jumped at the chance.  "I was a bit of a science nerd in high school. Before I got into photography I was planning to go into sciences but then I took a class in Grade 11 and I found my calling," he said. Read more.

Gorman Bros. Lumber Ltd. donation carries a pine message about sustainability
Okanagan College Media Release, October 13, 2010

A donation of pine boards from Gorman Bros. Lumber to Okanagan College’s Centre of Excellence is driving home the messages of sustainability and stimulus.  A truck left Gorman’s in West Kelowna this morning carrying a donated shipment of tongue-and-groove pine boards to Penticton for the College’s Centre of Excellence in Sustainable Building Technologies and Renewable Energy Conservation. “This wood comes from beetle-infested forests in the Okanagan,” explained Ross Gorman, one of the founders of Gorman Bros. “It meets the specific requirements of the College’s ambitious efforts to create one of North America’s greenest buildings, and we’re proud to support that.” “Our company and employees share a significant belief in sustainable forest practices,” says Gorman Sales Manager Cameron Cook. Read more.

VCC students help Vancouver Police inspect unsafe commercial vehicles
Vancouver Community College Media Release, October 13, 2010

Heavy duty and commercial transport students from Vancouver Community College worked with the Vancouver Police Department's traffic enforcement and commercial vehicle team to randomly inspect commercial vehicles this week.  Inspections were conducted to ensure truck drivers and the public are safe when travelling on the road. The inspections also provided a valuable learning experience for VCC students who will be future commercial vehicle inspectors or mechanics.  Officers focused on trucks that are in an obvious state of disrepair and flagged them in for further inspection. Mechanical deficiencies, load security, braking and steering systems and bald tires are a few of the areas inspectors targeted.  "Thousands of commercial vehicles travel our roads every day. The consequences can be life-threatening any time there is a serious collision, but the chances of a fatality when a truck is involved are much greater," says Vancouver Police Department traffic services section acting inspector Shayne Apostoliuk. "We are pleased to be able to partner with Vancouver Community College to help make our roads safer for today and tomorrow." Read more.

NWCC interim president appointed
Northwest Community College Media Release, October 13, 2010

Northwest Community College's (NWCC) Board of Governors has appointed Cathay Sousa to the position of interim president of the College. Sousa, the College’s Vice-President of Finance & Administration, will remain in the interim role until a permanent candidate is chosen.  NWCC's Board of Governors selected the Geldart Consulting Group Inc. to conduct the presidential search services. A constituency-based selection committee hopes to secure a new president for NWCC by January 2011.

Mir Centre exceeds endowment target
Selkirk College Media Release, October 7, 2010

Selkirk College’s Mir Centre for Peace Speaker Series Endowment has exceeded its target of $200,000, thanks to the generosity and support of community members, organizations and companies.  Selkirk President Marilyn Luscombe made the public announcement at the Irving K. Barber Mir lecture featuring David Suzuki on September 22, 2010, and at a private donor reception that occurred prior to the event. Read more.

Enrolment at Douglas hits new record
Douglas College Media Release, October 1, 2010

Enrolment at Douglas College has hit an all-time high.  This fall more than 10,000 students – up five percent from last year – walked through the doors at the New Westminster and David Lam campuses. "The increase in students indicates changing educational needs," said Scott McAlpine, President of Douglas College. "Getting an education is no longer something you do once in your life. As more and more people return to school to upgrade their skills and knowledge, education is becoming a lifelong process." This is the first time enrolment at the college has surpassed the 10,000 mark. The previous record for enrolment was 9,825, reached in Fall 2002. Read more.

College of the Rockies Breaks Ground for Gathering Place
Ministry of Advanced Education and Labour Market Development, September 28, 2010

Aboriginal students at the College of the Rockies will have a chance to create their own lasting legacy in the form of a new gathering place built by COTR’s trades training students, announced Bill Bennett, MLA for Kootenay East.  The Province is investing $450,000 in the gathering place, which will be constructed primarily by the college’s training programs. Students will gain invaluable hands-on training as they work on the project, learning construction-related skills such as framing, plumbing, and electrical trades. Members of the Ktunaxa Nation blessed the site before today’s official groundbreaking.  “The Province is committed to supporting post-secondary education for all our citizens. Development of supportive learning environments like the new Aboriginal gathering place will increase participation and educational success. That benefits our whole community,” said Bennett. “Projects like this gathering place show what can – and will – be achieved when a committed group of people come together with a common goal.” Read more.

CNC sees increase in full-time students
College of New Caledonia Media Release, September 24, 2010

The College of New Caledonia has seen an increase in the number of full-time students this September, board members heard during their meeting Friday, which was held at the Vanderhoof campus.  CNC saw a 5.4% increase in full-time students this year to 1,695 at the Prince George campus, up from 1,608 during the same period last year.  “While we saw an increase of 87 full-time students, we saw a decrease of 85 part-time students, so our overall numbers for Prince George were only up two students to 2,474 in 2010,” said Randall Heidt, Associate Director of Communications and Development. “We are very pleased to see an increase in the number of full-time students this year, especially considering we set an enrolment record last year. Almost all of our programs are at capacity, so we really can’t see the huge gains we saw last year because there are very few seats open.” Read more.

NIC signs Bilateral Agreement with Emily Carr University of Art + Design
North Island College Media Release, September 22, 2010

North Island College and Emily Carr University have signed a bilateral agreement effective Sep. 1, 2010 to allow students even greater access to the learning opportunities offered by each institution.  Since 2005, North Island College and Emily Carr University of Art + Design have collaboratively offered a Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) at the Comox Valley campus of North Island College. This program was developed to recognize the thriving arts and cultural communities in the North Island region and the long history of strong relationships between the two institutions.  This new agreement represents a commitment from both institutions to strengthen and grow their partnership. From the success of the collaborative BFA program, ideas for other educational and service collaborations have emerged. This agreement will allow a committee to explore those ideas and develop collaborative programs, services and activities between the two institutions. Read more.

Camosun and PISE team up to support Sports Day in Canada
Camosun Media Release, September 17, 2010

This week, Camosun College and the Pacific Institute for Sport Excellence (PISE) have teamed up to show their team colours and rally support for the first-ever national Sports Day in Canada!  Presented by CBC SPORTS, PacticipACTION and True Sport, Sports Day in Canada is a national celebration of sport at all levels in communities across the country. Local organizations, schools and clubs are hosting open houses, try-it days, competitions and tournaments in the week leading up to Saturday, September 18.  In Victoria, PISE's 2nd Annual Open House event on September 16 was part of the celebration and featured tours of the facility's fitness centres, sport education classrooms, sport science labs, regeneration room, double gymnasium, all weather field and LifeMark Sport Medicine clinic as well as demos on fitness equipment, athlete testing and fitness classes and the opportunity to catch a preview of the 2010-11 Camosun College Chargers men's and women's basketball and volleyball teams.  Read more.



BC Colleges is a consortium representing BC’s 11 public, community colleges serving almost 250,000 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.