Message from Jim Reed - President, BC Colleges
Welcome to this month’s edition of “What’s New at BC Colleges”. The students are back in class and our colleges are reporting strong enrolment numbers. Scott McAlpine, President of Douglas College, announced that enrolment at Douglas College is expected to hit an all-time high. More than 11,000 students have registered including 1,100 international students. Camosun College has also seen an increase in international students reporting its largest ever intake this September, with a 27% increase over this time last year. And, Langara College reported a record-breaking new student orientation.
In addition to welcoming new students many colleges are launching new programs and new collaborations to better meet the needs of students throughout BC. Northwest Community College, Canadian Zinc Corporation, the Mine Training Society of the Northwest Territories and the Smithers Exploration Group partnered to develop a unique program to provide employment training for the minerals industry. North Island College and Pacific Coast University for Workplace Health Sciences (PCU-WHS) signed a memorandum of agreement in Port Alberni to increase collaboration between the two schools and College of the Rockies has partnered with the University of Victoria to offer the full four-year Bachelor of Education program at the Cranbrook Main Campus allowing students to earn a Bachelor of Education degree while remaining close to home.
Our colleges are also working hard to be responsive to labour market needs. For example, Selkirk College recently introduced a program that allows experienced cooks (with a minimum of 1,000 hours in a commercial kitchen) who don't have any formal training, the opportunity to enter directly into a condensed 14-week Professional Cook 2 Program. This formal training will make a significant difference in employability, job security and earnings power for students. Okanagan College is offering a series of subsidized skills training opportunities (through the Employment Skills Access program (ESA)) for local job-seekers interested in preparing to re-enter the labour force. Vancouver Community College has launched an accredited kitchen and bath design diploma program -- the only program of its kind in Canada and the College of New Caledonia has increased its Practical Nursing program to two years to meet changes in the provincial curriculum and requirements in the Canadian Practical Nurse Registration exam.
There have also been some infrastructure announcements this month. Students at North Island College campuses will benefit from improved and upgraded campus safety systems, thanks to $652,000 in capital funding from the government and trades training facilities at Northern Lights College’s campuses are being upgraded and modernized, thanks to $3.7 million in capital funding that is also part of government’s investment in public post-secondary infrastructure this year.
On the administrative front, this fall many of our colleges will present at the provincially hosted Select Standing Committee on Finance Pre-Budget Hearings. These hearings, held throughout BC, allow our colleges to communicate not only the good work that is currently being done within the system but also to impress upon Government the importance of continuing to invest in colleges so that we can fulfill our mandate to train and educate British Columbians with the advanced skills necessary to power our economy.
You can read more about what's happening at our 11 member colleges below or for a full listing of news and media from all of our member institutions, please check out our website at “In the News”.
We welcome your feedback and would be happy to hear from you. Please feel free to contact us via e-mail.
President, BC Colleges
College of the Rockies President Dr. Nicholas Rubidge Announces Retirement
College of the Rockies Media Release, September 14, 2012
College of the Rockies President and Chief Executive Officer Dr. Nicholas Rubidge announced during the September 13, 2012 regular meeting of the College Board of Governors that he will retire from his position in July of 2013. He asked the Board to begin the search for a new president, indicating he would remain in his position until July 31, 2013 unless the Board deemed it useful for him to remain longer. Rubidge informed College employees of his retirement immediately following the Board meeting. Read more.
Camosun College records largest ever international student intake
Camosun College Media Release, September 13, 2012
Camosun College has recorded its largest ever intake of international students this September, with a 27% increase over this time last year. As of September 12, Camosun had enrolled more than 578 international students from 53 countries—an increase of more than 120 students since September 2011. Geoff Wilmshurst, Director of Camosun International, attributes this dramatic increase to a sustained presence in the key markets including China, India, Brazil, Mexico and Southeast Asia. As well, Camosun has seen a significant increase in the number of international students coming from the south Vancouver Island school districts. “We introduced some key innovations to make Camosun more accessible to international students and more competitive globally,” says Wilmshurst. “By increasing the number of program spaces and implementing a 72-hour application turnaround time, for example, we are much more responsive in what is an incredibly competitive international student recruitment marketplace.” Read more.
Bachelor of Education Degree at COTR
College of the Rockies Media Release, September 12, 2012
Did you know that you can graduate with a Bachelor of Education degree without leaving the East Kootenay? College of the Rockies, in conjunction with the University of Victoria, offers the full four-year Bachelor of Education program at the Cranbrook Main Campus of College of the Rockies. East Kootenay Teacher Education Programs Coordinator, Sandi Lavery says, “This program offers Kootenay residents a unique opportunity to gain a Bachelor of Education degree while remaining close to home.” Read more.
Innovative Partnerships Lead to Customized Training for the Minerals Industry
Northwest Community College Media Release, September 12, 2012
An innovative partnership between several diverse groups has proven to be an effective model to provide employment training for the minerals industry. Northwest Community College, Canadian Zinc Corporation, the Mine Training Society of the Northwest Territories and the Smithers Exploration Group partnered to develop a unique program which concluded on August 7 and graduated eight students from the communities of Nahanni Butte, Fort Simpson and Fort Providence, Northwest Territories. The students successfully completed 5 weeks of hands-on, field based training at the Prairie Creek Mine Site, a zinc-silver-lead property owned by Canadian Zinc. The training camp was set in the spectacular Mackenzie Mountains, within the watershed of the South Nahanni River and in the traditional territory of the Deh Cho First Nations. Read more.
Aboriginal Emergency Assistance Funding Announced for Langara
Langara College Media Release, September 10, 2012
Langara College is pleased to announce it will be able to lend greater support to Aboriginal learners this coming school year, after receiving an allocation of Aboriginal Emergency Assistance funding from the provincial government. The Ministry of Advanced Education announced in June that it would be making $2 million available to BC post-secondaries to provide support for Aboriginal students experiencing short-term financial difficulties. The initiative is part of the Aboriginal Post-Secondary Education and Training Policy Framework, a renewed commitment to improve post-secondary opportunities and outcomes for First Nations, Métis and Inuit peoples. Langara will be receiving $34,300 to support learners in our Aboriginal Community. Read more.
Selkirk College Offers Unique 14-week Cook Training Program
Selkirk College Media Release, September 10, 2012
Are you a commercial cook with 1,000 hours of industry experience but no credentials?Training makes all the difference in terms of employability, job security and earnings power. Nowhere is this more true than in the burgeoning area of commercial cooking. Currently, in B.C., thousands of trained cook positions are open at resorts, hotels, restaurants, nursing care homes, hospitals, and camps serving the logging, mining, and oil and gas industries. In response to high demand, Selkirk College has introduced an opportunity to enter directly into a condensed 14-week Professional Cook 2 Program designed for people who have worked for a minimum of 1,000 hours in a commercial kitchen but who have no formal training. Read more.
VCC's culinary Olympic team visits Winnipeg
Vancouver Community College Media Release, September 7, 2012
VCC's Junior Culinary Team Canada will be in Winnipeg this week, teaming up with Red River culinary graduates to prepare a trial run of the dinner that will represent Canada at the IKA/World Culinary Olympics in October in Erfurt, Germany. Read more.
Record high enrolment sees Douglas offering more opportunities to students
Douglas College Media Release, September 5, 2012
For the third year in a row, enrolment at Douglas College is expected to hit an all-time high. More than 11,000 students - up approximately six percent from last year and almost 17 percent from 2009 - are expected to walk through the doors of the New Westminster and Coquitlam campuses for the start of classes this week. This fall's cohort will also include some 1,100 international students, about 10 percent more than last year. The number of international students enrolled at Douglas has more than doubled since 2007. "The growing popularity of Douglas doesn't come as a surprise," says Scott McAlpine, president of Douglas College. "More and more people are choosing Douglas based on the strength of our academic and career-based programs, and the quality of our teaching." Read more.
NIC and Pacific Coast University Sign Collaborative Agreement
North Island College Media Release, August 29, 2012
Officials from North Island College and Pacific Coast University for Workplace Health Sciences (PCU-WHS) signed a memorandum of agreement Tuesday, August 29th in Port Alberni to increase collaboration between the two schools. PCU-WHS is a chartered degree-granting university specializing in disability management, located in Port Alberni, and is on track to begin classroom instruction in September 2013, subject to provincial approval. The MOA would allow PCUWHS students to take prerequisite courses, known as “breadth requirements,” at NIC, and to apply existing NIC credits towards their degree program, according to NIC president, Dr. Jan Lindsay. Read more.
College offers skill development opportunities for job seekers
Okanagan College Media Release, August 29, 2012
A series of subsidized skills training opportunities for local job-seekers interested in preparing to re-enter the labour force will kick off this fall across the Okanagan College region through the Employment Skills Access program (ESA). The ESA is designed to provide affordable access to skills training for individuals who are unemployed, non-Employment Insurance clients looking to acquire new skills to meet labour market needs in a variety of industries including hospitality, tourism, business, finance and administration, to name a few. Okanagan College will offer programming to help eligible applicants build career paths into long-term employment. Read more.
CNC’s practical nursing students set to graduate
College of New Caledonia Media Release, August 28, 2012
Twenty five CNC practical nursing students are set to graduate on Friday, Aug. 31 at their annual convocation ceremony. The students will receive their parchment at 2 p.m. during the ceremony in the college’s atrium. The class features students ranging in age from 18 to 50 years old, who’ve spent the last 49 weeks learning skills to work in a variety of health care settings. This is the 11th year CNC has offered the practical nursing program, however this is the last time CNC will hold convocation ceremonies in late August. The program has now been increased to two years, due to changes in the provincial curriculum and requirements in the Canadian Practical Nurse Registration exam. Read more.
Northern Lights College upgrades facilities
Northern Lights Media Release, August 16, 2012
Trades training facilities at Northern Lights College’s campuses are being upgraded and modernized, thanks to $3.7 million in capital funding that is part of government’s investment in public post-secondary infrastructure this year. The upgrades (the bulk of which will take place at the Dawson Creek campus), will ensure electrical and operating systems – mainly in the aircraft maintenance engineering hangar – continue to provide optimal service. In addition, access to the Fort St. John campus’ trades facilities will benefit from roadway and entry improvements. The college and government also announced today how $900,337 in one-time funding – provided this spring – will be used to offer training in the region. The college expects to create seats in a variety of trades-related programs such as power engineering, mining fundamentals and oil and gas training over the coming year. Read more.