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August 11, 2014

Association News

ISTEP gives boost to skills training in Tanzania

On August 5, in the Tanzanian capital of Dar es Salaam, Colleges and Institutes Canada agreed to move forward with plans to implement the Improving Skills Training for Employment Program (ISTEP) in collaboration with Tanzania’s Ministry of Education and Vocational Training.

This $13 million Education for Employment (EFE) program, funded by Canada’s Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development, will build capacity within Tanzania’s technical and vocational training institutions to deliver effective skills training programs and support economic opportunities across the mining, oil, gas and tourism sectors.

Read the full release here.

New staff in place for STEM Mozambique

Colleges and Institutes Canada is pleased to welcome three new staff members who will be working in support of the STEM Mozambique program: Camille Khoury, Alexandre Stephens and Stéphane Labrecque.

Camille begins his new role as Senior Program Officer and will be based full-time in Ottawa. He comes to us on exchange from the Government of Canada after having served for two years as Second Secretary (Development) at the High Commission of Canada to Mozambique. During that time, he also served as our contact person for the development of the STEM Mozambique program.

Alexandre assumes a full-time role in Maputo as the STEM Mozambique program’s Senior Technical Advisor. Before joining the Association, Alex worked closely with us as a consultant. From 2009 to 2012, he also established and directed the Centre for Workplace Skills.

Last but not least, Stéphane Labrecque will serve as the program’s Special Technical Co-ordinator. In this capacity, he will be working part-time from Mozambique where he will collaborate with Alex and Camille and share his expertise as a specialist in the extractive sector and related vocational and technical training. Stéphane is an expert on the mining industry and has managed international projects including some in Mozambique for EFE. He has also held several positions at Cégep de l’Abitibi-Témiscamingue.


Photo: (from left to right) Alexander Stephens, Stéphane Labrecque, Marie-Josée Fortin and Camille Khoury.

Maclean’s Magazine turning to colleges  

The Association strives to earn its members as much media coverage and public attention as possible. We are particularly pleased to see our efforts generating progress at the regional and national levels with Maclean’s Magazine, an influential player in the post-secondary sector.

This summer, the Communications team at Colleges and Institutes Canada has been coordinating information submissions for a second Maclean’s western colleges feature. It’s expected to hit western newsstands on October 2 and will look at applied research; links with employers; and college impacts across forestry, oil and gas, fisheries, agriculture and agri-food and more.

Through our ongoing engagement, Maclean’s says they are “broadening our scope to include more on colleges and other institutes aside from universities.” In fact, we have just been made aware of plans for a 20-30-page colleges section as part of a special magazine that’s expected out October 20. The Association will coordinate with Maclean’s and update members with more information once it is available.

PM announces funding for skills training at Northlands College

On July 30, Prime Minister Stephen Harper visited Northlands College in La Ronge, Saskatchewan to announce federal funds for skills training to support the province’s growing mining sector. The investment will create the Northlands College Mine School and help acquire and house new heavy equipment simulators. The Mine School will also feature lab facilities enabling staff and students to conduct mining research in conjunction with the Saskatchewan Institute of Applied Science and Technology (SIAST) and the University of Saskatchewan.

Read the Prime Minister’s release here.

BC government invests $6.8 million to reduce student wait times

 The government of British Columbia is investing $6.8 million in 14 of the province’s post-secondary institutions to ensure trades students have access to more training seats. Announced July 31 at Vancouver Island University in Nanaimo, the funding is part of BC’s Skills for Jobs Blueprint to increase spaces and reduce wait times for training in trades that support critical sectors of the economy.

The funding is expected to create approximately 1,424 foundation and apprenticeship seats at the following institutions: BCIT, Camosun College, College of New Caledonia, College of the Rockies, Kwantlen Polytechnic University, North Island College, Northern Lights College, Northwest Community College, Nicola Valley Institute of Technology, Selkirk College, University of the Fraser Valley, Vancouver Community College and Vancouver Island University. (See links for institutional news releases).

Selkirk PR_Province Bolsters Trades Funding

Medicine Hat College delivers skills training to Aboriginal students

Medicine Hat College (MHC) Continuing Studies has announced it is partnering this fall with SAAMIS Aboriginal Employment and Training Association to deliver a twenty week pre-trades program at no cost to Aboriginal students, including First Nations and Metis. Now in its second year, the program begins October 6 and provides hands-on experience and an introduction to various trades, including carpentry, electrical, pipefitting and welding.

For more information, the full release is here.

GM Canada puts NBCC students in the driver’s seat

Students in the Automotive Technician program at New Brunswick Community College (NBCC) who dream of working on the latest vehicles are in luck again this year! GM Canada has donated a 2014 Chevy Cruze and tools to the program so that students can gain an understanding through hands-on experience with the state-of-the-art technology powering today’s vehicles. The donation is the third of its kind in two years from GM Canada and adds to the fleet of 50 vehicles intended for pre-employment and apprentice students at NBCC.

Photo (left to right): Greg Curwin, Department Head, Motive Power and Electrical Moncton; Terry Dempsey, VP Academic Development, Denise Amyot, President and CEO of Colleges and Institutes Canada; Catherine Black, Regional Director,  Moncton Campus; Eric Leblanc, District Manager, Eastern Region GMC; Mary Butler, VP College and Community Development; Cindy Sheppard, Donor Development and Fundraising Coordinator.

Photo (left to right): Greg Curwin, Department Head, Motive Power and Electrical Moncton; Terry Dempsey, VP Academic Development, Denise Amyot, President and CEO of Colleges and Institutes Canada; Catherine Black, Regional Director, Moncton Campus; Eric Leblanc, District Manager, Eastern Region GMC; Mary Butler, VP College and Community Development; Cindy Sheppard, Donor Development and Fundraising Coordinator.

Northern Ontario colleges look south for Study North

Six northern Ontario colleges are working together to attract more students to study in the north of the province. Calling their approach Study North, the colleges want to encourage students from the Greater Toronto Area and southern Ontario to study at northern institutions in order to make the best use of excess capacity in their institutions. This three-year project involves Collège Boréal, Cambrian College, Canadore College, Confederation College, Northern College and Sault College. We look forward to seeing the campaign!

Professors from China find inspiration at Sheridan College

Sheridan College’s Oakville Campus recently played host to 24 professors from Chengdu University of Information Technology, based in Sichuan province in central China. The professors attended a three-week academy to learn about Sheridan College’s approach to teaching with the aim of implementing best practices at their university.

During their time at the college, the delegates were fully immersed in campus life and their busy schedule included program and curriculum design, experiential learning, teaching methods for integrated curricula, lab construction, and strategies for improving higher education. Following a commencement ceremony to mark the completion of the academy, Sheridan President Dr. Jeff Zabudsky and Jia He, Dean of Computer Studies at CUIT, signed a Memorandum of Understanding to promote future collaboration and exchanges between the two institutions.

Read more about the exchange here.

cuit group photo

New residence construction underway at Northern College

Northern College hosted a groundbreaking ceremony on July 28 to mark the start of construction on its Haileybury Campus residence. The new 4-storey residence will feature 16 apartment-style units and accommodate 64 students in total. Construction is expected to be completed a year from now in August 2015.

Read the full release here.

NorthernCollegeBtpj2_iCUAAg_Bd.jpg large

Cégep Garneau signs agreement with les Musées de la civilisation

On August 6, Cégep Garneau signed a five-year framework agreement with les Musées de la civilisation à Québec and the Centre de démonstration en sciences physiques (CDSP). In brief, the partners are aiming to develop new projects that involve scientific mediation while experts at each of the institutions mutually benefit from sharing expertise. In a release last week, Cégep Garneau’s Director General Denise Trudeau said: “I am very proud of our partnership with Les Musées de la civilization, whichcontributes directly to the development of Quebec’s scientific culture through a combination of the arts and sciences.”

Canada First Research Excellence Fund

Colleges and Institutes Canada has contributed to Industry Canada’s consultation process on the design and implementation of the Canada First Research Excellence Fund (CFREF). The Association is pleased that the Fund will be open to all post-secondary institutions.

In our recommendations to Industry Canada, we emphasized the need for a dedicated college/institute envelope within CFREF—representing 10% of the total fund—and that CFREF build on lessons learned and successes of the Tri-Council College and Community Innovation Program. Our submission also highlighted the importance of strengthening research partnerships between colleges, universities, businesses and communities.

Submission for Budget 2015 pre-budget consultations

The Colleges and Institutes Canada submission for Budget 2015 pre-budget consultations was sent on August 6, 2014 to the House of Commons Standing Committee on Finance. Our recommendations fall under two main themes:

1)      maximizing the skills and labour market participation of all Canadians, and
2)      increasing Canada’s competitiveness through innovation.

A copy of the submission will be sent to all member CEOs in the coming week.

Did you know?

Fanshawe College is doing its part to interest young girls in technology by offering an introduction-to-technology summer camp. Fanshawe will host twenty girls in grades 5-8 over a five-day period to teach them about bridge building, robots, DNA extraction, circuit boards, metalworking and more. It would be fascinating to catch up with this group in 10 years to see where this 2014 technology camp leads them!

Eureka! moment

What would you do if your college was situated in one of the sunniest places in British Columbia? If you were College of the Rockies (COTR) President and CEO, David Walls, you’d be tapping into the province’s expanding solar energy industry.

Thanks to recent provincial investments in trades capital funding, COTR has been expanding its offerings to include solar technology in some of its programs and the move is beginning to pay off. The College is partnering with the soon to be completed SunMine in nearby Kimberley—precisely the kind of opportunity the college has been seeking to engage its students in hands-on learning.

When completed, the community-owned SunMine will be the largest solar facility west of Ontario. Boasting some 4,000 solar modules mounted on 96 solar trackers and producing 1.05 megawatts of energy, the new solar farm will be perfectly positioned to take advantage of the East Kootenay town’s 2,151 annual sunshine hours.

Send us your news!

One of our main goals at Colleges and Institutes Canada is to champion and share the innovations and awesomeness of our members. You can help! We want to hear about your new applied research, industry and community partnerships, international education, important financial investments and more.

Add to your media mailing lists! We’ll share member institutions’ news releases and other upcoming announcements online and with our national media contacts based in Ottawa.


Christopher Hahn assumed the position of Acting Dean at Algonquin College’s Perth Campus on August 5, 2014. Previously, Mr. Hahn has served as Chair of Construction Trades and Building System’s at Algonquin’s Ottawa campus since 2010. He also has more than 20 years of experience in multiple employment sectors and leadership roles. Congratulations Chris!

Bill Best assumed his new role last week as President of Cambrian College. Mr. Best has worked in post-secondary education for more than two decades and served in a number of positions at New Brunswick Community College, including Executive Director, Interim President and several vice-president roles. Congratulations Bill! (Follow Bill on Twitter at @cambrianprez).

Don Gnatiuk, President and CEO of Grande Prairie Regional College, has been named as the new Board Chair of eCampus Alberta, a consortium of 26 Alberta post-secondary institutions dedicated to greater access to high-quality online learning opportunities. Mr. Gnatiuk replaces Sharon Carry, President and CEO of Bow Valley College, who served with distinction as Chair since July 1, 2012 and who will continue to serve on the eCampus Alberta Executive Committee. Congratulations Don! (Follow Don on Twitter at @GPRCPrez).

David Bowra has been appointed Chair by the Board of Governors of Langara College, effective August 1. Mr. Bowra has served on the board since 2011. A chartered accountant, he brings more than 30 years of experience to the table with major international accounting firms. Mr. Bowra is replacing outgoing Chair and long-serving member Anne Lippert, who has chaired the board since 2012. Thank you Anne for your dedication to post-secondary education, and congratulations David on your new role.

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