What's New at BC Colleges October 2014

Message from Jim Reed, President of BC Colleges

Welcome to the October edition of “What’s New at BC Colleges”. During the past few months I have been working with our member colleges on the budget proposal for the Select Standing Committee (SSC) on Finance. The SSC is appointed by the Legislative Assembly of British Columbia and is tasked with obtaining public input on the Provincial budget. Many of our 11 member institutions presented to the SSC during a series of province-wide public consultations held during the past two months. This provided the Committee with a good understanding of the regional challenges and opportunities facing BC’s colleges. The proposal, submitted at the end of last week on behalf of the overall system, focused on system-wide issues facing colleges and on how colleges as a whole can contribute to the health, well-being and economic prosperity of British Columbia.

The specifics of the presentation can be found here.  Some of the key points of the proposal include;

• The pivotal role BC's colleges play in developing the highly skilled and educated workforce required for British Columbia to be competitive globally and build a strong and vibrant economy here at home.
• The BC college system will continue to look for new and different ways to build capacity through partnerships and collaboration with government, industry, K-12 and labour to meet the economic objectives of the province.
• BC’s colleges provide programming for 53 of BC’s top 70 in demand occupations, including nurses, carpenters, social and community service workers, financial auditors & accountants, welders, steamfitters and chefs.
• A multi-year investment plan is critical for our colleges to build the required capacity and align programming to the objectives set out in the Blueprint.
• BC’s colleges can provide a head-start to hands-on learning through a collaborative transition strategy.
• The need to build stronger partnerships with industry and labour via a Learning Partnership Fund as well as a greater provincial focus on applied research and innovation.
• The need to shift education and training to better match jobs in demand.
• And finally, the excellent return offered by BC's colleges. Colleges and college graduates contribute $7.8 billion annually to the provincial economy.

I hope you will take a few minutes to read our submission to better understand the challenges and opportunities facing the college system. 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

CNC Researching Biomass Energy Alternative For Purden Ski Resort
College of New Caledonia Media Release, October 16, 2014
The College of New Caledonia is collaborating with Purden Lake and Ski Resorts Ltd. to find ways to reduce the resort’s dependence on diesel fuel to generate their power needs. Inspiration for the project grew out of Instructor Byron Poppleton’s long time interest in exploring alternative energy sources. He teaches Power Engineering in the School of Trades & Technologies. This fall, students in his 4th Class Power Engineering course will help conduct research on energy efficient and carbon - neutral fuel sources. Read more.

RBC Donates $12,000 To Douglas College Institute Of Urban Ecology
Douglas College Media Release, October 16, 2014
Douglas College has received a $12,000 donation from RBC that will support educational programming for youth and community members around ecological and environmental issues. The RBC Foundation funds will go towards two major programs run by Douglas College’s Institute of Urban Ecology: the Environmental Education Workshops and the User Network for Insect Biology in the Urban Garden (UNIBUG). Read more.

NWCC Delivers Field Assistant Training In Nunavut
NWCC Media Release, October 14, 2014
The remote delivery of a new training program in Nunavut is responding to Canada-wide industry needs to equip Aboriginal workers with a transferable skill-set in the natural resource sector. Following on the heels of the success of the pilot program this July, Northwest Community College School of Exploration & Mining (NWCC SEM) customized its Natural Resource Field Assistant program and delivered it in Kugluktuk, Nunavut September 10-30, 2014 in partnership with The Kitikmeot Inuit Association (KIA), The Mine Training Society of the Northwest Territories (MTS), and the Canadian High Artic Research Station (CHARS). Read more.

Rural Pre-Medicine Program Students Off To Great Start
Selkirk College Media Release, October 4, 2014
As the first Selkirk College Rural Pre-Medicine Program cohort got down the serious business of working towards entry into medical school, they received a special visit by a group of physicians and health care professionals who are solidly behind the innovative new program and those embarking on the pathway. Read more.

Auto Sector Support Vital To Successful $2.5 Million Launch Of Campaign To Revamp Okanagan College’s Trades Training Complex
Okanagan College Media Release, October 2, 2014
The Okanagan College Foundation campaign to raise funds for a new Trades Training Complex at the Kelowna campus has kicked off with donations from 43 donors totaling $2.5 million – a significant portion of that coming from Kelowna area car dealerships. Local car dealerships have collectively provided $610,000; a sizable donation that includes $10,000 from the Kelowna Auto Dealers Association. Another $845,000 has come from industry leaders in the auto, welding, construction, plumbing, mechanical, and electrical sectors. Read more.

$1.5M Helps Learners With Disabilities Access Skills Training
Northern Lights College Media Release, October 1, 2014
As part of B.C.’s Skills for Jobs Blueprint, 20 public post-secondary institutions have each received $75,000 in one-time funding to help learners with disabilities access training programs for high-demand job skills. “Our priority is to make sure relevant post-secondary education and training programs are accessible to all British Columbians,” said Advanced Education Minister Amrik Virk. “This targeted funding totaling $1.5 million will assist our post-secondary institutions to help persons with disabilities develop job skills that are aligned with B.C.’s labour market.” The funding, which comes from the Skills Development Employment Benefit, will help the 20 institutions develop and pilot innovative training programs for learners with disabilities. Read more.

Vancouver Community Fashion Show 2014
Vancouver Community College Media Release, October 1, 2014
Another exciting Fiat Mode fashion arts gala is now complete. Congratulations to all graduates on your hard work and breathtaking collections. Read more.

College Of The Rockies Welding Apprentice Attending National Conference
College of the Rockies Media Release, September 29, 2014
College of the Rockies’ welding apprenticeship student, Tarren Gayse, has been chosen to attend the Canadian Welding Association’s (CWA) CanWeld Conference taking place September 28 to October 1 in Vancouver. Trades program coordinator, Tim Ross, was contacted by CWA Director, Dan Tadic, with the offer to sponsor eligible College of the Rockies students to attend. Ross chose Gayse, a Level 3 apprentice, because of the skill as a pipe welder he has demonstrated and because of his experience working in Northern BC. Read more.

A New Name, A New Purpose
Camosun College Media Release, September 29, 2014
With traditional drumming, singing, dancing, and food, Camosun unveiled its new name and purpose for Aboriginal education: Eyēʔ Sqȃ'lewen – Centre for Indigenous Education and Community Connections. More than 200 guests of all ages - including children from Camosun's daycare centre and respected First Nations elders from local community - witnessed the beautiful ceremony held September 26 in Na'tsa'maht, Camosun's Aboriginal Gathering Place at Lansdowne campus. "Eyēʔ Sqȃ'lewen - pronounced Eye. Sh-KWAW-leh-win - is a term offered to the college by Lkwungen Elder Elmer George," explains Indigenous Education Co-Leader Janice Simcoe. "It references 'good heart, good mind, good feelings' – the experiences we want students to have during their journey here." Read more.

Local Food Project Ready To Advance
North Island College Media Release, September 29, 2014
Earlier this year, Comox resident Sandra Hamilton wondered what it would take for local farmers to supply local food to large, public institutions in the region. Today, North Island College is delighted to announce that it has been selected by The J.W. McConnell Family Foundation, as one of ten projects nation-wide, to advance sustainable food procurement on campus and to build the capacity of local producers to supply large institutions in the Comox Valley, including health care institutions. This project will be part of a national learning group working together to advance sustainable food purchasing in public institutions. Read more.

Langara College Launches Post-Degree Diploma In Applied Planning
Langara College Media Release, September 18, 2014
Langara saw the successful launch of the new Post-Degree Diploma in Applied Planning in August. After two years of research and development to ensure this program meets the needs of the market, this program has attracted a lot of interest, which is reflected in the enrolment of 27 students for its first cohort in the Fall term of 2014. There is already strong interest in next year’s intake as well. These students come from a variety of backgrounds, and include five International students. Many have degrees in Geography, Engineering, Planning, Biology, and Criminology. 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.