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July 28, 2014

Association News

Colleges and Institutes Canada receives support for international activities

Colleges and Institutes Canada will receive $116,362 in support of its international activities serving Canada’s public colleges, institutes, polytechnics and cégeps. The contribution was announced on July 14 by Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of International Trade, Erin O’Toole, following a visit to Sheridan College’s Skills Training Centre in Oakville, Ontario.  It will help the Association explore opportunities that will benefit its members across the country looking for new international partnerships in countries such as China, Vietnam and Mexico, which have all been identified as priority countries.

Colleges and institutes Canada wishes to thank Sheridan College, particularly Christine Szustaczek, Director of Corporate Communications and External Relations, and Iain McNab, Dean of Applied Arts and Sciences, for their collaboration and for hosting this federal announcement.

For more information, read the news release.

GOA_Announcement 02

From left to right: Dr. Iain McNab, Dean of the Faculty of Applied Science and Technology at Sheridan College, Erin O’Toole, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of International Trade, Terence Young, Oakville MP, Cynthia Murphy, Director, Canadian Immigration and Integration Program and International Partnerships in Asia at Colleges and Institutes Canada

Minister Fast champions international cooperation in education

On July 22, the Honourable Ed Fast, Canada’s Minister of International Trade, was the keynote speaker at a joint luncheon forum in Manila, Philippines where he discussed “Building on the strong people-to-people ties between Canada and the Philippines: Bringing our trade and investments partnerships to the next level”. During his address, Minister Fast discussed internationalization at Canadian institutions, and highlighted the goal of doubling international students to Canada and the need to provide more opportunities for Canadian students to study and work overseas. Minister Fast congratulated Colleges and Institutes Canada on winning the recently announced Asian Development Bank project, TVET Management Capacity Building in Hunan, China. Rudy Sabas, Manager, Marketing and Development, International Partnerships, represented the Association at the event.

Strengthening leadership skills on Vancouver Island

Colleges and Institutes Canada hosted deans and directors from member institutions across Canada, including the North, at its National Executive Leadership Institute for potential Vice-Presidents (VPNELI) in Parksville, British Columbia earlier this month.

This popular Association learning activity provides valuable insight on the ins-and-outs of being a college Vice-President; the entrepreneurial spirit and relationships needed to be successful; and how shared-leadership contributes to Canada’s college advantage. This year’s lead faculty included Don Bureaux, President, Nova Scotia Community College; Cheryl Jensen, Vice-President, Academic, Mohawk College; Sean Kennedy, Vice-President, Student and External Relations, Niagara College; and Salvador Ferreras, Provost, Vice-President, Academic, Kwantlen Polytechnic University.

Special thanks to the executive teams of Nicola Valley Institute of Technology and Okanagan College who joined us as guest presenters, as well as to Tom Thompson, President, Olds College; Ann Buller, President, Centennial College; and Irene Hensel, Principal, Boyden Global Executive Search, for sharing their perspectives and experience.

Faculty and graduates celebrate completion of National Executive Leadership Institute for Potential Vice-Presidents in Parksville, British Columbia.

Social Finance pilot project 

The federal government’s Interdepartmental Task Force on Barriers to Social Finance has invited Colleges and Institutes Canada to present its work on the development of its innovative Social Finance pilot project which is currently underway. David Kelly, Director of Business Development and Social Finance at the association, and KPMG representatives, presented prospective legal and regulatory barriers to the development of this initiative.

The objective of the Social Finance pilot is to help determine the market viability and optimal conditions for a social finance model and to test whether pay for performance models are an effective way to increase literacy and essential skills levels. The pilot is currently being developed in partnership with Employment and Social Development Canada, four colleges from across Canada and the participation of up to 800 unemployed or displaced Canadians.

Applied Arts Magazine Awards

Earlier this month, Applied Arts magazine announced the winners of its annual international Student Awards. With a strong focus on the creative arts industries, Applied Arts is one of Canada’s most influential publications on advertising, graphic design, interactive media, photography and illustration.

Of the 212 winners, more than one-third (82) are students or recent graduates of the following Canadian colleges, institutes and cégeps: Algonquin College, Capilano University, Cégep de Sainte-Foy, Conestoga College, Sheridan College, Langara College, Mohawk College, Red River College, George Brown College, Seneca College, Dawson College, Humber College, Niagara College and College of the North Atlantic.

All will have their work displayed on the magazine’s Web site, in its year-end print edition, and at a special gala for award winners in Toronto this October. Congratulations to the winners!

Seneca College launching new Centre for Research in Student Mobility

Seneca College has established a new research centre to better understand how and why students transfer between post-secondary education programs and institutions. The first of its kind in Ontario, the Centre for Research in Student Mobility will examine student mobility at the provincial, national and international levels.

The research is expected to impact policy and program development, and to help identify improved pathways for students moving between colleges and university programs. This initiative will build upon efforts currently underway at Seneca to examine provincial performance indicator data, international student movement, and the mobility of first-generation and mature students.

Support for Georgian College expansion

City council in Orillia, Ontario voted unanimously last week to support a plan that will see Georgian College and Lakehead University form a joint partnership to expand postsecondary opportunities in Orillia, Barrie and the surrounding area. On July 21, the City of Orillia announced it had approved $5 million in funding toward an estimated $10 million, 32,000 square feet campus expansion that would enable Georgian and Lakehead to offer more than 50 degree programs to as many as 6,000 students by 2030.

The joint proposal, which has already been approved by City of Barrie and Simcoe County councils, answers a call from Ontario’s Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities (MTCU) to increase degree capacity in areas with growing demand for postsecondary education.

Did you know?

A growing number of Canadian colleges and institutes are offering bachelor degrees. Presently, there are 34 colleges across the country offering a total of 209 bachelor degrees in a wide variety of disciplines. From BCIT’s Bachelor of Business Administration to Lethbridge College’s Bachelor of Applied Science in Environmental Management, Humber College’s Bachelor in Film and Media Production or La Cité’s Bachelor in Biotechnology, there’s really nothing one can’t learn at Canadian colleges.

CEO on the Move

With many people on vacation, things have been a bit quieter around the Colleges and Institutes Canada office. It won’t last very long, but it did give me the opportunity to have an interesting discussion with Luke Condon of Deloitte Access Economics in Australia who wanted to learn more about the Canadian postsecondary system.

Australia is currently looking into ways to make Commonwealth supported places, or subsidized education, available to non-university higher education providers for bachelor level and sub-bachelor level qualifications. Deloitte Access Economics has been tasked with assisting the Australian government to determine the best way to share this funding between colleges and universities and is looking at different jurisdiction around the world for inspiration.

Seeing how a growing number of college and institutes in Canada are offering bachelor degrees, I was happy to share the Canadian perspective with Mr. Condon. It’s always a pleasure to share our successes with others and I must say it’s a bit flattering to see that people from across the world are looking to learn from our experience.

Eureka moment

“Can we get you a coffee?” It’s a strange question to ask a robot—but this is no ordinary robot. In the remote Saskatchewan communities of La Ronge and Île-à-la-Crosse, a revolutionary distance learning program is underway thanks to an innovative partnership between Northlands College and the University of Saskatchewan.

Nursing students are taught using the InTouch Health RP-7i, a robot that enables instructors hundreds of kilometers away to interact dynamically with learners in a lab setting. The result is that nursing students from northern Saskatchewan no longer have to travel south to earn a degree in their field.

Northlands College’s four-year Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree was launched two years ago to address a serious shortage of health professionals in the north of the province. Students once disadvantaged by geography are now able to train much closer to home in a familiar environment. It is the first program of its kind in Canada and the possibilities for this type of distance learning are endless and very exciting. The University of Saskatchewan has produced an excellent video about this innovative approach to nursing training at Northlands College.


Congratulations to Cheryl Jensen, the new president of Ottawa’s Algonquin College. Ms. Jensen brings a wealth of experience to her new position. She was until recently Vice-President, Academic at Mohawk College in Hamilton where she served in a number of positions and played an instrumental role in the development of many innovative projects. To celebrate her 31 years of service, the Mohawk College Foundation has established the Cheryl Jensen Scholarship for Women in Technology. Ms. Jensen will assume her new duties at Algonquin on August 25. Congratulations Cheryl!

Alex Zahavich has been appointed Vice-President of Corporate Development and Applied Research at Southern Alberta Institute of Technology (SAIT) Polytechnic. Mr. Zahavich has been in this role on an interim basis since February. Previously, he served as Director of Applied Research and Innovation Services at SAIT. Congratulations Alex!

Fanshawe College has appointed Dr. Helen Pearce as the institution’s new Dean of the Faculty of Arts, Media and Design effective July 28. Dr. Pearce first joined the College five years ago as its School of Design chair, prior to which she taught broadcasting and communications for 12 years at Camosun College. She has also worked as a radio announcer, reporter and news director in Ontario and British Columbia. Congratulations Helen!

Nova Scotia Community College’s Truro campus will welcome a new principal on August 11. Lech Krzywonos will replace Kevin Quinlan, who has served in the role for the last 13 years. Mr. Krzywonos was previously academic chair for the School of Access at Truro and he has been recognized internally and internationally for his contributions to innovative teaching and leadership in college education. Congratulations Lech!