Message from Jim Reed - President, BC Colleges
Each year I look forward to September and the excitement of the back-to-school experience. Our colleges have been busy welcoming new and returning students and delivering the courses and programs that students require to successfully enter the job market upon graduation.
Next week at the annual Union of British Columbia Municipalities (UBCM) many Mayors will participate in a roundtable with the Honourable Naomi Yamamoto, Minister of Advanced Education, the Honourable Pat Bell Minister of Jobs, Tourism and Innovation and a number of their MLA colleagues to discuss post-secondary education in BC. While reviewing this month's news stories from our 11 member colleges, I was struck by how many of the stories tied directly to the topics the Ministers were interested in discussing with the Mayors.
Evidence of how colleges deliver the right programs in the right places can be found at all of our colleges. Noteworthy this month is Camosun’s Women in Trades Exploration Program, a 12-week introduction to the world of trades and the careers available to skilled workers. Also, at North Island College's Aircraft Structures Technician Program, students get hands-on training to manufacture, repair and maintain aircraft structures. Plus, at Northwest Community College’s (NWCC) School of Exploration & Mining students participate in a seven-week program featuring hands-on training of employable skills for careers in exploration, mining and other resource industries, a first-of-its-kind program in northern BC. These are just a few examples of how colleges educate and train students close to home and family in every region of the province.
Our colleges are also working hard to strengthen linkages between post-secondary institutions and the economic needs of communities. Selkirk College's ongoing partnership with Canadian Timberlands produced a safety milestone for the company - 12 million trees were planted in 2011 without a recordable safety incident. This is a direct result of the introduction of Selkirk College’s “Fit to Plant” training program to its tree-planting contractors a decade ago. Also, at Okanagan College's new Centre of Excellence in Penticton, the solar energy system is the largest system developed in Western Canada. SkyFire Energy, one of Canada’s most experienced solar EPC contractors, was the project developer for the rooftop system that is designed to be energy neutral over the course of an annual operating cycle.
Finally, our colleges are continuing to promote and develop international education opportunities. College of New Caledonia is hosting a group of six college administrators from China for a two-week program focusing on leadership and professional development as part of the Vocational Education Leadership Training Program and Langara College has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with INSCOL Academy, one of India’s leading healthcare service providers, to offer the first-ever Post Graduate Certificate in Nursing Leadership and Management for International Nurses in Western Canada.
Please find below additional details about these stories and more. For a full list of this month's news please check out "In the News" at the BCColleges.ca website. As always, I welcome your feedback. You can reach me by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
President, BC Colleges
Fit to Plant Program Helps Set Safety Milestone at Canadian Timberlands
Selkirk College Media Release, September 15, 2011
Selkirk College and Weyerhaeuser Company Limited Canadian Timberlands have worked together to produce a safety milestone for the company. Canadian Timberlands has completed its tree-plant operations across B.C., Alberta, Saskatchewan and Ontario, and although more than 12 million trees were planted, not one recordable safety incident was incurred for the 2011 planting season. “This is truly a remarkable accomplishment and it is the first time in the history of Canadian Timberlands that we have achieved our goal of zero recordable incidents in this area of our business,” said Director of Canadian Timberlands, Fred Dzida. Canadian Timberlands introduced Selkirk College’s “Fit to Plant” training program to its tree-planting contractors a decade ago—initially in Princeton, B.C., and then across all of its operating units. Read more.
COTR Board elects new Board Chair and Vice-Chair
College of the Rockies Media Release, September 15, 2011
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 15, 2011. Elected to the position of Chair is Orest Federko of Cranbrook. Mr. Federko was appointed to the College Board by the Province in September 2008. Elected to the position of Vice-Chair is Richard Reinders of Cranbrook. Mr. Reinders was appointed to the College Board by the Province in June 2008. Read more.
Douglas College updates public space to make it more student-friendly
Douglas College Media Release, September 2011
Douglas College's largest public space, the New Westminster concourse, got an extensive makeover this summer to make it more engaging to students. Students said they wanted a more student-centred, friendly, comfortable place to study and spend time outside of class, and Douglas responded. Improvements include a climate-controlled lounge, stage, new flooring, comfortable chairs, work stations - which include large LCD flat monitors - planters, coloured gels over a number of windows and an HD video screen. Read more.
Students at Okanagan College benefit from solar energy system in new school year
Okanagan College Media Release, September 13, 2011
When students at Okanagan College’s new Centre of Excellence in Penticton plug in their laptops this fall, they’ll only have to look up and outside to see the source of their energy. The solar energy system at Okanagan College’s newest building is the largest system developed in Western Canada. SkyFire Energy, one of Canada’s most experienced solar EPC contractors, was the project developer for the 260 kW solar energy system which is using 1,106 Conergy P solar modules, on the rooftop of Okanagan College’s newest building on its Penticton campus. Generating about 292,500 kWh per year, the solar energy system will help the building - the Centre of Excellence in Sustainable Building Technologies and Renewable Energy Conservation – meet the goal of being energy neutral over the course of an annual operating cycle. Read more.
Camosun program introduces women to careers in the building trades
Camosun College Media Release, September 12, 2011
Camosun’s Women in Trades Exploration Program is a 12-week introduction to the world of trades, and the wide array of rewarding careers available to skilled workers. Using a hands-on approach, students will learn about practical skills and industry requirements for a variety of trades in the construction, service, manufacturing and aerospace sectors. Students will also explore how to secure employable skills and further training. Graduates of this exploration and preparation program will have the insights and experience to make informed decisions about choosing a training and career path in key trades like plumbing, electrical, carpentry, sheet metal, welding and mechanical. Graduates may seek entry into one of Camosun’s Trades Foundation training programs or seek employment with prospective trades employers. Read more.
Chinese delegates spending two weeks with CNC leadership
College of New Caledonia Media Release, September 12, 2011
CNC is hosting a group of six college administrators from China for a two-week program focusing on leadership and professional development from Sept. 11 to 24. The delegation, comprised of six vice-presidents from six different colleges, are participating in the Vocational Education Leadership Training Program where CNC has the opportunity to showcase its educational programs, administrative processes, leadership strategies and successes. A joint venture of the China Education Association for International Exchange and the Association of Canadian Community Colleges, CNC was chosen as one of five Canadian community colleges that will host a delegation from China. Read more.
School of Nursing Partners with INSCOL for Post Graduate Certificate Program
Langara College Media release, September 12, 2011
Langara College has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with INSCOL Academy, one of India’s leading healthcare service providers, to offer the first-ever Post Graduate Certificate in Nursing Leadership and Management for International Nurses in Western Canada. A signing ceremony was held on August 30th to celebrate Langara's new international partnership. “We live in a global environment and professions like nursing are changing in order to meet the needs of evolving communities,” says Ajay Patel, Division Chair, Health Sciences at Langara College. “Programs like the Post Graduate Certificate in Nursing Leadership and Management for International Nurses enable Langara to reach out to the international community for education beyond our traditional offerings and deliver new learning opportunities, experiences, and benefits to Langara students, faculty, and stakeholders.” Read more.
New funding adds health education seats
Northern Lights Media Release, September 6, 2011
Future health professionals across the province will benefit from an additional 188 student spaces to get the training they need as nurses, health care assistants and pharmacy technicians to provide the high-quality health care B.C. families deserve. One-time funding to improve access to health education programs helps to meet immediate and projected employment needs in the health-care field throughout the province. B.C.’s post-secondary system is helping to provide faster, safer and better health care for individuals and families across British Columbia by ensuring students in the health-care professions have the skills and training they need to succeed in the future. Read more.
Aircraft Structures Careers Take Off –Train Now to Meet Soaring Demand
North Island College Media Release, August 31, 2011
There’s never been a better time to train for a career in the aircraft industry. Demand for aircraft structures technicians is booming across Vancouver Island. In many cases, graduates are getting hired as fast as colleges can train them. North Island College (NIC) runs the only Transport Canada certified Aircraft Structures Technician (Aircraft Maintenance Engineer – Structures) program on the Island. In less than a year, students get hands-on training required to manufacture, repair, and maintain aircraft structures. Graduates have started careers at home in Campbell River and Victoria, or venture farther to Yellowknife and Darwin, Australia. Read more.
New grads ecstatic about experiential learning at SEM
Northwest Community College Media Release, August 24, 2011
“This program is life altering,” says Cody Joseph, a 25 year-old graduate of Northwest Community College’s (NWCC) School of Exploration & Mining. “I haven’t graduated from anything in my life, and here I am today graduating.” Joseph and 29 other students enrolled at the School of Exploration & Mining (SEM) have graduated from a first-of-its-kind program in northern BC. The Workforce Exploration Skills Training (WEST) program is a seven-week training program based at Ganokwa Camp, north of Smithers. The program features hands-on training of employable skills for careers in exploration, mining and other resource industries, and is provided at no cost to eligible participants through funding provided by the Canada-British Columbia Labour Market Agreement. Read more.
Langley mother wins free education at VCC
Vancouver Community College Media Release, August 23, 2011
Entering the Larry Crowne contest for a chance to win $5,000 toward a Continuing Studies certificate at Vancouver Community College was easy for Renee Mazzarolo. Now comes the hard part -- choosing which courses to take. Contest winner Renee Mazzarolo and 11-year-old son, Cassius, browse course options in VCC’s Continuing Studies flyer. “There are so many options,” says the 34-year-old mother from Langley, who works as a special education assistant. “I would like to improve my computer skills but I am also interested in taking courses that benefit my current line of work.” 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 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