ACCC responded to recent media articles that painted colleges in a less than favourable light:
Toronto Star Business Columnist David Olive’s Don’t fear the education revolution column stated that the community college system “has lately sought to grow by poaching on universities with degree programs of their own. These empires are financed by the taxpayer, and promote jack-of-all-trades schools rather than centres of specialized excellence.” We responded “… the cheap shot at our college system does not bear scrutiny. To suggest that college degree programs constitute “poaching from universities” is nonsense. Colleges offer degrees where industry has a requirement. A degree in Global Positioning System applications is offered because the forestry sector needed it. A degree in logistics supports this rapidly expanding industry. Other examples include supply chain management, medical radiation, and security.”
The Globe and Mail’s Editorial Reforms to Canada Experience Class are sensiblecommented: “Another area of concern is the quality of education offered by some community colleges operating in Canada, which aim to take advantage of the higher tuition fees international students pay.” We challenged these negative comments, adding “Canada’s public colleges function under quality standards set by provincial governments. Third-party surveys report high satisfaction for students and employers. Placement rates range from 85 to 95 per cent within six months of graduation; increasingly, university graduates enroll in colleges for education focused on employment. International students are welcome. As pointed out, some will remain because Canada affords opportunities. Given Canada’s demographic deficit, we are fortunate to have them.”
Conference of UASnet in Braganza, Portugal
As Chair of the World Federation of Colleges and Polytechnics, I participated in the second conference of Europe’s association of universities of applied sciences or UASnet. Like Canada, some European countries have established a “binary system of higher education.” In addition to the “traditional universities” they have a second set of institutions focused on employment success, engagement with employers, access, internationalization, and applied research with SMEs. Most confer a range of credentials including bachelors’ degrees. They are called variously polytechnics, colleges, institutes of technology and universities of applied sciences and are found in Portugal, Netherlands, France, Finland, Denmark, Germany, Switzerland, Lithuania, Flanders, Estonia and Ireland. We have much in common with these institutions.
A Reference Guide and an Environmental Scan developed under the Health Canada-funded Canadian Educational Standards for Personal Care Providers applied research project are now available on the ACCC website. A Steering Committee representing the related professions, educators, regulators, employers from public and private sectors, and provincial education and health ministry representatives guided the development of the Standards. The Standards are intended for voluntary adoption and will offer a framework for curriculum development.
Friend-raising and Fundraising Symposium
The Friend-raising and Fundraising Symposium will include sessions on: relationship building, engaging alumni, senior management leadership, roles of college and foundation boards, philanthropic trends, and fundraising mechanisms. Registrants will benefit from the insights of Ginette Sheehy, Director General, Cégep John Abbott College; Jim Madder, President, Confederation College; Dan Patterson, President, Niagara College; and Jim Hamilton, President, Okanagan College. Featured speakers include: Stephen Faul, Vice-President, Strategic Communications & Business Development, Imagine Canada; Mark Hazlett, Executive Director, Canadian Council for the Advancement of Education (CCAE); Matt Barr, Fundraising Innovation Consultant at hjc and faculty for Humber College’s Fundraising and Volunteer Management post-graduate certificate program; Karen Wilson, Senior VP, KCI (Ketchum Canada); and Paul Charette, Chair of the Board, Bird Construction and Member, ACCC Board. Click here for the full agenda and to register. The Symposium will take place October 29-30 at the Sheraton on the Falls in Niagara Falls, Ontario.