What's New at BC Colleges September 16, 2010

Message from Jim Reed - President, BC Colleges

Welcome to this month’s edition of “What’s New at BC Colleges”. The students are back!  After record enrolment lncreases last year, many colleges are once again reporting strong numbers.  In fact, records have already been broken at a number of our institutions.  “We are serving more students than ever before,” says Dr. David Ross, President of Langara College.  “Langara continues to grow and as a result we are experiencing another term of record enrolments.”

Jim Hamilton, President of Okanagan College states, “We‘re now the largest college east of the Lower Mainland and the second largest trades training institution in British Columbia. We are bigger than Okanagan University College was when it split in 2005 to become Okanagan College and UBC Okanagan.” For each of the five years since that transition, Okanagan College has outperformed provincial government targets for student spaces. So far, Okanagan College has registered 745 more students valley-wide, than it did last year at this point.

As an increasing number of British Columbians look to colleges for training and education, more and more pressure is placed on the capacity of the college system.  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 adequately fund colleges so that we can fulfill our mandate to train and educate British Columbians with the advanced skills necessary to power our economy.

Additionally, in November 2010 we will be hosting a conference themed "Advance 2010+ Creating & Powering the Future " that 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

Culinary students come out on top again in international competition

Vancouver Community College Media Release, September 15, 2010
VCC's culinary arts students recently won first place in the competition at the Aregala 2010 conference in Costa Rica. Led by alumnus and instructor Laura Sharpe, the college team placed first in the competition, ahead of teams representing seven other countries. "Unlike other competitions, the team had no knowledge of the ingredients before the competition began," says department head John-Carlo Felicella. "Our biggest challenge was figuring out how to cook regional food that we didn't even recognize."  In addition to the competition win, the students cooked a Canadian-style buffet for 400 people, and Felicella presented a lecture on Canadian cuisine for 800 culinary students.  Read more.

COTR Board elects new Board Chair and Vice-Chair

College of the Rockies Media Release,  September 14, 2010

The Board of Governors of College of the Rockies is pleased to announce the election of a new Board Chair and Vice-Chair during its regular meeting held on September 9, 2010.  Elected to the position of Chair is Alex Jensen of Cranbrook. Mr. Jensen was appointed to the College Board by the Province in September 2008. He is retired from Arrow Installations Limited where he was the founder and owner. Alex has served as President of the Line Contractors of BC and as chairperson of the Regional Transportation Advisory Committee for the East and West Kootenays. He worked for BC Hydro prior to managing Arrow Installations. Alex has been involved in the community as a coach and director of the Cranbrook/Kimberley Special Olympics and has billeted numerous exchange students and Kootenay Ice players.  Elected to the position of Vice-Chair is Cranbrook resident Orest Federko. Mr. Federko was also appointed to the College Board by the Province in September 2008. He is recently retired from the position of Regional Manager, Diagnostic Imaging, Interior Health.  Read more.

Northern Lights College works with Province to improve literacy
Alaska Highway News, September 13 2010

The Province has partnered with 64 community literacy programs to help adults read and write at higher levels.  "Literate people create strong communities and strong communities build a strong province," said Moira Stilwell, Minister for Advanced Education and Labour Market Development, in a statement Wednesday.  "The thousands of people helped through this year's programs alone will have the skills they need to be better workers, and better citizens."  Provincial funding through the Community Adult Literacy Program (CALP) of $2.4 million has been committed this year to support the programs, delivered through community groups and post secondary institutions.  A Northern Lights College representative said the program is needed in Fort St. John. Read more.

Langara Breaks Fall Enrolment Records
Langara College Media Release, September 13, 2010

Langara welcomes over 9,300 students this September, the largest Fall enrolment in the College’s history. This is reflected in more new and returning students on campus than in previous years. “We are serving more students than ever before,” said Dr. David Ross, President. “Langara continues to grow and as a result we are experiencing another term of record enrolments.”  “It is wonderful that so many people recognize that Langara’s high quality of instruction and excellent programs make it the best place for them to pursue their post-secondary education,”said Dr. Martin Gerson, Vice-President, Academic and Provost. “We continue to expand our programming to increase access and offer new opportunities to the communities we serve.” Read more.

Scholarship helps propel student to a bronze medal
Camosun College Media Release, September 10, 2010

Second-year Camosun Athletic Therapy student Trish Mara, along with rowing partner Jaclyn Halko, from the University of Western Ontario, earned a bronze medal at the annual FISU World University Championship Rowing Regatta in Szeged, Hungary, August 13-15. The pair took third in the lightweight women’s doubles event right behind Poland and Great Britain. Mara and Halko had been rowing together for only five weeks. “Rowing in the Worlds in Hungary was amazing,” says Mara. “I learned so much about racing internationally—something you can’t get when you only compete here.”  Read more.

Mir Lecture sustains Suzuki
Selkirk Media Release, September 8, 2010

David Suzuki will be engaging audiences in the West Kootenay this September with a thought-provoking talk about an elder’s vision for our sustainable future.  The Irving K. Barber lecture featuring David Suzuki is part of Selkirk College’s Mir Centre for Peace Lecture Series. The presentation is founded on his recent book THE LEGACY that is a culmination of his knowledge and wisdom and his legacy for generations to come.  “This Mir Lecture is bound to influence our very being and encourage us to take a hard look at who we are and what we are doing to our planet,” says Chair of the Mir Centre for Peace, Randy Janzen. “This is an amazing opportunity for members of our communities to be inspired and moved into action.” Read more.

North Island College welcomes students to Port Hardy Campus
North Island College Media Release, September 8, 2010

Orientation for new and returning students at the Port Hardy campus North Island College is rolling out the welcome mat on Monday, September 13th for our Orientation event at the Port Hardy campus.  New and continuing students are invited to join faculty and staff for a fun and informative evening, beginning at 4:30 pm. Assistant Registrar Darin Bellham will welcome everyone and provide an overview of the evening’s activities. Dinner will follow, after which workshops on such topics as e- learning, how to get the most from your advising appointment, and an orientation to the library will be offered. Read more.

1970-2010: Celebrating 40 years
Douglas College Media Release, September 3, 2010

Douglas College welcomed its first students in September 1970. This fall, we celebrate 40 years of curiosity, passion and success. And you're invited! Starting in September, join your fellow employees, students, alumni and other friends of Douglas at an exciting series of events. Reconnect with old classmates or teachers, browse our market places, take part in a little athletic competition, enjoy great parties and music, and most of all - celebrate! Read more.

Okanagan College student numbers keep growing; In past 5 years, college has outperformed provincial targets for student spaces
Penticton Herald, September 2, 2010

Okanagan College officials are anticipating a 25 per cent jump in enrolment at the Penticton campus when the fall semester begins next week.  Donna Lomas, regional dean for the South Okanagan, said Wednesday some 400 to 450 students in the academic programs are expected. Classes begin Sept. 7, the day after a non-instructional orientation day on Tuesday.  Lomas said with construction of the new $28-million Centre of Excellence on track for completion next March, student interest in the Penticton campus has taken off.  Strong online registration more than offset any disruption from the construction work.  Read more.

College says goodbye to president
Terrace Standard, August 31 2010

Several hundred Northwest Community College staffers, family and friends gathered Aug. 23 to say goodbye to president Stephanie Forsyth who is leaving to run a college in Winnipeg.  The event took place in the college's new longhouse and featured speeches and presentations.  "It's been a very good privilege to have known you and work with you," said Kitsumkalum elder Vera Dudoward, a Laxgibuu clan matriarch. "We wish only good things for you and your family as you approach new horizons."  College dean Dave O'Leary paid tribute to Forsyth's conversion of the college into an institution which recognized the region's First Nations population.  "You were trying to change a system. Not just in this region of northwest B. C., not just in the province, not just in the country, but in the world. And you did that through all your patience and many skills," he said. Read more.

CNC practical nursing students set to graduate
College of New Caledonia Media Release, August 31, 2010

A full class of 32 practical nursing students will graduate Friday, Sept. 3 at their annual convocation ceremony. With the event set for 2 p.m. in the college’s atrium in Prince George, this year’s class features students ranging in age from 18 to 57, who’ve spent the last 49 weeks learning skills to work in a variety of health care settings. Class valedictorian Angela Garrison said she went into nursing so she could connect with people who need help. “This has been a very trying and truly exhausting year for me, but so extremely rewarding now that I am done,” said Garrison, who succeeded in the program while raising two children.  “It was definitely one of the hardest and toughest things that I have gone through in my life. I’m happy I could show my children that with my determination and goals, that dreams can happen if you work hard and believe in yourself.” 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.