What's New at BC Colleges - September 16, 2013

Message from Jim Reed – President, BC Colleges

Welcome to the September edition of “What’s New at BC Colleges”. I realize it still feels like summer in many parts of BC but it's definitely back to class for our colleges.  I would like to welcome all the new and returning students to college life. I hope your experience is wonderful, that you learn a tremendous amount and that you discover your passion.

I would also like to welcome David Walls, the new President and CEO at the College of the Rockies.  Also joining College of the Rockies are new Board Chair, David Handy, and new Board Vice-Chair, Ken Hoeppner. Additionally, Ron Rice is joining Camosun College as a new Board member and Marilyn Pattison as the new Chair. Welcome everyone.  I look forward to working with all of you.

In addition to welcoming new and returning students, many colleges are launching new programs and new collaborations to better meet the needs of students and prepare British Columbians with the right education and training necessary to continue to close the skills gap throughout the province. A Mining Training Partnership has launched in the North, Okanagan College has created a program specifically for women in trades, Langara College has partnered with UNBC to offer an MBA program, College of the Rockies has signed transfer agreements with two BC universities allowing COTR students to transfer into year three of Bachelor Degree programs and Vancouver Community College has signed an MOU with BCIT to build research capacity at both institutions. And, all of this has happened in the last 30 days!

On the administrative front, many of our colleges will present later this month at the provincially hosted Select Standing Committee on Finance Pre-Budget Hearings.  These hearings, held throughout BC, allow our colleges to communicate the good work occurring within the system and to highlight how important stable, ongoing funding is to training and educating British Columbians with the advanced skills necessary to power our economy. I will present from a college system perspective on September 26th.

Read on to learn more 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

Student Project Showcase: Mechanical Engineering Technology
Camosun College Media Release, September 13, 2013

A better cup of coffee, smoother filming of the evening news, more impact in a rugby scrum, reduced labour costs for farm harvests, affordable close-ups for extreme sports…these are a few of the ways technology can make a difference, thanks to the ingenuity of this year's graduating class in Mechanical Engineering Technology at Camosun College. Nine student teams have been busy over the summer designing, building, testing and perfecting their final projects. Read more.Mining Training Partnership: Northwest Community College, School District and Industry Partners Team Up to Address Skills Shortages with Innovative Environmental Monitor Program

Northwest Community College Media Release, September 11, 2013
In a partnership made possible with funding from the BC Mining HR Task Force, Northwest Community College’s School of Exploration and Mining; School District 54; Imperial Metals Corporation; the Ministry of Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation; the Office of the Wet’suwet’en; and the Smithers Exploration Group, will offer a pilot delivery of the dual credit Environmental Monitor Assistant Program (EMAP) in Smithers starting this September. Read more.

Douglas College invites community to forums in New Westminster and Coquitlam
Douglas College Media Release, September 5, 2013
Douglas College is inviting the public to community engagement forums this month to gather ideas about how it can maintain and build strong relationships with local organizations. 
The forums take place in Room 3011 at the Coquitlam campus, 1250 Pinetree Way, Sept. 23, 4-6pm and in the Aboriginal Gathering Place at the New Westminster campus, 700 Royal Ave., Sept. 24, 4-6pm. "This is really a listening exercise. We want to hear the thoughts and opinions of leaders in the business, corporate, government and non-profit sectors as well as other community members," says Hazel Postma, associate vice president, External Relations, at Douglas College. Read more.

CNC Sacred Smudging Ceremony
College of New Caledonia Media Release, September 5, 2013
The Aboriginal Resource Centre (The ARC) would like to welcome all students and faculty to experience the "Sacred Smudging Ceremony" held outside the ARC every morning at 9:30am. We strive to promote our cultural values through daily practice of "Ceremonial Smudging". Read more.

College of the Rockies Signs New Transfer Agreements in Preparation for Fall Semester
College of the Rockies Media Release, September 3, 2013
College of the Rockies has signed transfer agreements with two BC universities allowing COTR students to transfer into year three of Bachelor Degree programs. Students with an interest in writing will benefit from an agreement with Kwantlen Polytechnic University. Those who complete an Associate of Arts, Journalism/Writing pathway degree at COTR will be eligible for third-year admission to KPU’s Bachelor of Arts in Creative Writing provided they have successfully completed all KPU third year admission requirements. Read about more transfer agreements.

Northern Lights College Energy House achieves LEED® Platinum certification
Northern Lights College Media Release, August 30, 2013
The Centre of Excellence for Clean Energy Technology (Energy House) at the Dawson Creek Campus of Northern Lights College has achieved LEED® Platinum certification by the Canada Green Building Council. With the certification, Energy House becomes one of only a few dozen LEED Platinum buildings in the New Construction and Major Renovation category in Canada. Read more.

Micheline Marr Follows Her Passion for Archaeology at Selkirk
Selkirk College Media Release, August 22, 2013
Local student, Micheline Marr, is passionate about history and the outdoors and has always been interested in archaeology. This summer, she followed those passions and enroled as the only Selkirk student in the Lemon Creek Archaeology Field School in South Slocan. The field school, operated by New York’s Hamilton College for both Selkirk and Hamilton College students, is a six week intensive program where students study archaeological excavation techniques, ethnography, linguistics, and oral traditions of the interior Pacific Northwest and Upper Columbia River. “Archaeology has always been an interest of mine so it’s always attracted me,” said Micheline. Read more.

Okanagan College offers program geared to women interested in careers in the skilled trades
Okanagan College Media Release, August 21, 2013
Women in the Shuswap region are being invited to take the first steps towards rewarding and fulfilling careers in the building trades at the Salmon Arm campus of Okanagan College this September. With sponsorship assistance made possible by the Canada-BC Labour Market Agreement these women will be able to attend the course for free. Read more.

Flavour supports NIC Students
North Island College Media Release, August 20, 2013
Ajinkya Chodankar, otherwise known as AJ, moved from Mumbai, India to attend NIC’s Culinary Arts program in Campbell River only six months ago. It didn’t take him long to realize that life on Vancouver Island is very different from life in a huge metropolis, but already he feels right at home. Having completed his Professional Cook Level 1 training, AJ will continue on with Level 2 this fall and he’s very much looking forward to being a part of Flavour: the North Island’s Gourmet Picnic, “I can’t wait to be a part of this huge, fun gathering of so many people who are passionate about the same things I am.” Read more.

UNBC MBA Program Opens at Langara
Langara College Media Release, August 18, 2013
The University of Northern British Columbia’s Master of Business Administration Program held its first class in Vancouver at Langara today. The program has opened at the College following an agreement with UNBC to make Langara’s 100 West 49th Avenue campus the Vancouver base for the northern institution’s MBA. A group of 19 professionals make up the first cohort of the program, who will spend the next 21 months working towards their degrees. Read more.

VCC: A new partnership with BCIT
Vancouver Community College Media Release, August 12, 2013
In an effort to develop and build research capacity at both institutions, Vancouver Community College and BCIT have entered into an agreement centered on applied research and research services cooperation. This Memorandum of Understanding between VCC and BCIT will ensure increased opportunities and resources for both students, and faculty, to enter into research collaborations and exchanges, and will provide a platform for innovation, specifically in the fields of science and technology. 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.