What's New at BC Colleges: September 2014

Message from Jim Reed, President of BC Colleges

Welcome to the September edition of “What’s New at BC Colleges”. I realize this is not a typical back-to-school year for many K-12 students and their parents, but it is definitely back to class for our colleges. I would like to welcome all of 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 know for a fact that all of the college educators and administrators are working extremely hard to ensure that you receive an education that not only transforms your life, but also prepares you for a successful future. Good luck.

Behind the scenes, our colleges are working hard to ensure that the supply of highly skilled and educated graduates matches the demand of the labour market and addresses the key objectives of the BC Government's BC's Skills for Jobs Blueprint.  During September and October many of our colleges will present their plans at one of 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, the economic impact of the college system (over $7.8 Billion!) and highlight the need for stable, ongoing funding for the college system. This stable funding is key to ensuring that our colleges can educate British Columbians with the advanced skills and educations necessary to deliver on the objectives set out in the BC Skills For Jobs Blueprint. I will present from a college system perspective on October 14th.

I hope you will take a few minutes to read 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

Salmon Arm Man Upgrades To A New Career At Okanagan College
Okanagan College Media Release, September 4, 2014
Okanagan College offered Mike Pogson an opportunity to retrain for a rewarding career in health care at a price he couldn’t refuse.
Pogson, who lives in Salmon Arm, completed nine upgrading courses to qualify for entry into the practical nursing diploma program in 2011.The upgrading courses were tuition-free.
“When I found out I could get the prerequisites to get into the nursing program for free, it made going back to school a much more affordable option,” he says. Read more.

New Bursary For Mature Douglas College Students
Douglas College Media Release, September 4, 2014
There’s good news for mature students at Douglas College (Officially, that’s anyone 25 years or older). The Douglas College Foundation and the Douglas Students’ Union have partnered to create a new bursary. The $1,000 annual Douglas Students’ Union Mature Student Bursary is available just in time for the start of the 2014/2015 school year. It was created with an initial $20,000 endowment from the students’ union, which was matched 50 percent by the Douglas College Foundation, for a total of $30,000. Read more.

Camosun College And SFU Partner To Offer The SFU Master Of Education In Victoria
Camosun College Media Release, September 3, 2014
Camosun College announces that the second offering of the SFU M.Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction will start at Camosun in Summer 2015. Learn more about this exciting program at an information session September 10 at Camosun College. Program advisors Dr. Larry Johnson and Dr. Tom Roemer, and students from the first cohort of the program, will be available to answer questions. The Master of Education (Curriculum and Instruction) is intended for post-secondary educators and allows participants to critically examine current curriculum and instructional/research theories as the basis for examining their own professional practices for self-understanding and practical change. Read more.

Vancouver Community College Welcomes New International Students
Vancouver Community College Media Release, September 2, 2014
New international students participated in orientation on either August 28 or 29, depending on their programs. Students received information about people and resources available to them at VCC and in Vancouver. Topics included: cultural adjustment, important immigration documents, VCC services and support, staying safe and healthy, and Campus tours were led by returning VCC international student volunteers. Read more.

Orientation Day Kicks Off College Year At North Island College Port Alberni Campus
North Island College Media Release, August 31, 2014
On Tuesday, September 2, North Island College will roll out the welcome mat to host a full program of Orientation Day events for hundreds of students attending college at Port Alberni campus this fall. An annual tradition at NIC, Orientation Day is often a student’s first introduction to the people, places, and resources on campus that will make their year a success. Students   can locate classrooms, meet instructors, visit the library and bookstore, and get started with confidence. Returning students will have the chance to reconnect with classmates and instructors, buy course materials, and find out what’s new at NIC. Read more.

NWCC Training Program Supports Aboriginal Learners And BC’s Mineral Exploration Industry
Northwest Community College Media Release, August 7, 2014
A new and unique program is responding to industry needs and helping to better prepare Aboriginal learners for work in the mineral exploration, mining and natural resources fields. Northwest Community College’s School of Exploration & Mining (NWCC SEM) delivered a pilot Mining Exploration & Natural Resource Field Assistant program in Smithers, BC July 7-24, 2014 in partnership with the Association for Mineral Exploration British Columbia (AME BC). AME BC is recognized as an expert in aboriginal and community engagement for the world-leading mineral exploration and development sector based in BC. Read more.

Selkirk College and Métis Nation British Columbia Strengthen Bond
Selkirk College Media Release, August 7, 2014
Strengthening an important relationship, Selkirk College and Métis Nation British Columbia sign protocol which aims at improved levels of participation and success for Métis learners. The signing of a new protocol with Métis Nation British Columbia will enable Selkirk College to build on its dedication to better supporting Aboriginal learners and respecting their cultures. Read more.

More LNG Trades Training Seats At College Of The Rockies
College of the Rockies Media Release, August 1, 2014
As part of B.C.’s Skills for Jobs Blueprint, the College of the Rockies will receive funding for an additional 32 training spaces to increase access and help reduce waitlists for trades critical to the Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) and other industries. The allocation is part of the $6.8 million announced earlier today to create 1,424 foundation and apprenticeship seats at 14 public post-secondary institutions throughout British Columbia. The College of the Rockies will receive a total of $164,000 including $144,000 to support the additional seats that will be available as early as September 2014 and $20,000 in operating and equipment funding to support delivery of training programs. Read more.

Langara College Board Of Governors Welcomes New Member And Elects New Chair
Langara College Media Release, August 1, 2014
Langara College is pleased to welcome David Bowra to his new position as Chair of the Langara College Board of Governors, effective August 1, 2014. Mr. Bowra, who has served on the board since 2011, is the President of the Bowra Group, a Vancouver-based boutique financial advisory service. He is a chartered accountant and trustee in bankruptcy with more than 30 years of experience with major international accounting firms. David is the Vice Chair of the Professional Conduct Committee of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of BC, a member of the Institute of Corporate Directors, and a member of the Insolvency Institute of Canada. He has an economics degree from University College Cardiff, South Wales. Read more.

Additional 75 LNG trades training seats for Northern Lights College
Northern Lights College Media Release, July 31, 2014
As part of B.C.’s Skills for Jobs Blueprint, Northern Lights College (NLC) will receive funding for an additional 75 training spaces to increase access and help reduce waitlists for trades critical to the Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) industry and in-demand trades. The allocation is part of the $6.8 million announced earlier today to create 1,424 foundation and apprenticeship seats at 14 public post-secondary institutions throughout British Columbia. Read more.

CNC Students And Grads Contributed $201 Million To Economy Last Year
College of New Caledonia Media Release, July 10, 2014
CNC students and alumni contributed $201.7 million to the regional economy in 2012/13, according to a report commissioned by BC Colleges. The report by Economic Modeling Specialists International (EMSI) states the CNC region received approximately $ 57.9 million in added income in 2012/ 13 due to the operations of CNC and the spending of out–of–region students, while former students generated another $143.8 million in added income through their higher earnings and the increased productivity of their employers. The report shows that CNC graduates from diploma programs in 2012/13 will earn about $1.3 million during their working lifetime, which is a bout $442,000 more than their friends who only have a high school diploma. 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.