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December 6, 2013

Inside ACCC | President's Update

December 6, 2013

CEO on the Move

From last week’s mission to India, I travelled to Beijing, China to speak at the Knowledge Sharing Platform Sustainable Vocational Training event on the Skills Challenge in Asia and Beyond, at the invitation of the Asian Development Bank. I was also able to reach out to representatives from a number of Asian countries attending the forum.

From the tropical temperatures of Mumbai, India (35°C), to the chill of Beijing, China (0°C), I squeezed in a quick visit to Langara College in between flights, meeting with Roy Daykin, President and CEO; Dr. Ian Humphreys, Vice-President, Enrolment and Business Development; and Barry J. Coulson, Associate VP, Administration and Finance.  A quick tour of their facilities, and I was back at the airport for a flight to the deep freeze of winter in Saskatoon (-25°C, but felt like -35°C).  It may be cold outside, but my welcome was warm indeed!

I met with the Saskatchewan Indian Institute of Technologies (SIIT) management team and toured the SIIT Saskatoon campus. SIIT has seven Industrial Career Centres in the province, offering services such as links to employment, technical training, job coaching, driver license training, career planning, academic upgrading, career counselling, safety training (CSTS), and indenturing apprentices.

At the Saskatchewan Institute of Applied Science and Technology (SIAST), I met with President and CEO Larry Rosia.  In response to the rapid growth experienced by Saskatchewan industry, SIAST recently opened a new training centre for plumbing, featuring three classrooms and shop space for their popular plumbing and pipefitting programs.  Their 2-year power engineering technology program is so popular that despite running it on three separate shifts (until 4 a.m.), it is not sufficient to meet the demands of students and industry.

I attended the Association of Saskatchewan Regional Colleges meeting on December 5, where I shared perspectives on the national agenda, advocacy priorities and services and opportunities for ACCC members.

In next week’s CEO on the Move, I’ll be reporting on my visits to Cégep Édouard-Montpetit, Cégep Marie-Victorin, Cégep de Sherbrooke and more.  I wonder what Mother Nature will have in store for me!

OECD Programme for International Student Assessment

Canadian results of the recent OECD Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) report have received significant media attention across broadcast, print, and online media. The PISA report assessed the competencies of 15-year-olds in reading, mathematics and science in 65 countries and economies.  Canada’s ranking declined slightly, but was still strong overall.  Math scores, the focus of the 2012 PISA report, show that Canada placed 13th overall in mathematics, down three spots from 2009 and six spots from 2006.

Of particular interest to the post-secondary audience was the panel discussion from The National’s The Bottom Line.  The panel discussed the economic future of what was referred to as “Generation Screwed.”  The information included background/statistics on today’s youth, the number of young people still living with their parents, average age of marriage, first child, statistics on unemployment and student debt. One of the panelists, Patricia Croft, made some very pointed comments about why to choose either college or university, and made the case for trades, apprenticeship programs, mentioning the system in Germany.


Congratulations to Anne Sado, President of George Brown College, on being named one of Canada’s Top 100 Most Powerful Women in the Public Sector Leaders category by the Women’s Executive Network (WXN). Under her leadership, the college has more than doubled in size and has become one of Canada’s most diversified colleges.  The Canada’s Most Powerful Women: Top 100 Awards is Canada’s most recognizable award for the country’s highest achieving female leaders in the private, public and not-for-profit sectors.

Congratulations to Benoit Pagé, who was named Director General of Collège Ahuntsic, effective January 2014. After having held teaching positions in several Cégeps, Pagé joined the College in 2001 as Assistant Director of Programmes and Professional Development, before taking on the role of Academic Dean three years ago.  He is known for his creativity, his openness and commitment to high standards.

Congratulations to Heather Jackson, who was appointed Manager of Communications and Marketing at College of the Rockies, effective December 2. Jackson has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Applied Communications from Royal Roads University, and has worked at College of the Rockies for 14 years, most recently as Web Marketing Specialist.


The Call for Presentations and Recommendations for the 2014ACCC Annual Conference is now open for submissions. If you are interested in submitting a presentation(s) and/or a recommendation(s), please complete the online form by Monday, January 13, 2014.

Nomination packages are now available for the 2013-2014 ACCC Awards of Excellence. Gold, silver and bronze awards will be presented in six categories: staff excellence, program excellence, student leadership excellence, teaching excellence, leadership excellence and internationalization excellence. The deadline to submit nominations is 11:59 p.m., Monday, January 27, 2014.

Eureka! Moment

When I visited Cégep de Matane in October, I was fascinated by their research project on virtual paleontology in partnership with Université du Québec à Rimouski, Centre de développement et de recherche en imagerie numérique (CDRIN) and Parc national de Miguasha.  The project is creating 3D models of fossilized fish through the use of different types of digital imagery, fossil restoration, and the animation of the 3D models using the anatomical biomechanical constraints, bringing to “life” organisms long extinct.

Did You Know?

Fanshawe College’s Centre for Applied Transportation Technologies (CATT) has received Honorable Mention in the Buildings category of the London 2013 Urban Design Awards, in recognition of architectural excellence and contribution to the public realm/quality of place.  Opened in April 2011, the CATT accommodates 1,500 students who are seeking job-ready credentials in trades and technologies that support the transportation industry. The facility has state-of-the-art equipment and learning tools, and a variety of exciting green innovations: a 48,000 square foot green roof, storm water reclamation, solar-powered GPS tracking skylights for natural day-lighting in the shops and other environmental/sustainability initiatives and materials.


Last week’s Did You Know was about therapy dogs being used on campus to help students unwind and cope with post-secondary stress.  As it turns out, therapy dogs are a popular student service – available at exam time, and in a few cases, all year long. Kudos to Red River College, University of the Fraser Valley, Sault College, Loyalist College, Keyano College, Georgian College for offering this service (and others that we may have missed).

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