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June 11, 2014

June 9, 2014

Moncton Tragedy

The entire team at Colleges and Institutes Canada would like to express our most sincere condolences to the families of the three RCMP officers who were killed in the line of duty last week in Moncton and to all those who have been affected by this terrible incident.

Our thoughts go out to the families, friends and colleagues of Constables Fabrice Georges Gevaudan, Douglas James Larche and Dave Ross. Mr. Ross graduated from the Police Foundations program at La Cité, with honours, in 2007.

To honour their memory, La Cité will keep its flags at half-mast until sunset on the day of the funerals or memorial service.

Inside ACCC Becomes Perspectives

Welcome to the new Colleges and Institutes Canada newsletter: your news source to stay up to date on what’s happening across the Canadian colleges and institutes network!

Following our rebranding process, it was only natural that we also change the name of our weekly newsletter. Starting this week, Inside ACCC will be called Perspectives. This bilingual name will apply to both the French and English versions of the newsletter.

Every week, we will share the perspectives of colleges and institutes on a variety of issues affecting post-secondary education. We will also continue to keep you up to date on our activities, as well as the visits of our President and CEO, Denise Amyot and her Eureka moment.

CEO on the Move

This week was very busy as I visited colleges in BC, Ontario and the Montérégie region in Quebec. I was very pleased to visit Loyalist College on June 5th, where I was invited to address graduating students from the Schools of Biosciences, Building Sciences and Justice Studies.

I had the great honour of being presented with an Honorary Diploma in Applied Arts and Technology.

I also had the pleasure of visiting two campuses of Kwantlen Polytechnic University in Surrey and in Richmond, B.C. Thanks again to their dynamic president Dr. Alan Davis and his team for showing me their specialized programs, including fascinating creations by their product design students and the fashion group.

I was quite impressed by their four year Fashion Design program. You should have seen the winners of last fashion show! They even have a new program for technological clothing! Wow! Soon we will not need iPhones or Blackberries but just the right clothing!

Kwantlen also has the only Interior Design program in Western Canada accredited by the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (CIDA).

I cannot wait to go back to see the new Chip and Shannon Wilson School of Design. The design process for the building of the new school has been very open to allow students and faculty to provide feedback. I have no doubt the final product will be a new gem for this campus.

I would like to thank our colleagues at the Cégep Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu who also showed me their facilities this week. They were the first cégep to offer Interior Design training in Quebec outside of Montreal. They train 22 to 24 new students each year who must all prepare a professional portfolio at the end of their program.

I also had another incredible visit with the executive team at BCIT and had the pleasure of visiting three of their campuses to get a better sense of what the institution is up to. They have many inspiring activities on the go and are very engaged in research. Did you know that BCIT has three Research Chairs and offers four Masters (2 in partnership with universities and 2 on their own)? BCIT also undertakes fascinating work at its Centre for Energy Education and Research where I learned about their focus development and training efforts around liquid natural gas (LNG) and about their cogeneration steam turbine generator. Talk about hot research!

Head over to my Twitter feed (@damyot) to see some great pictures and highlights from these visits!

Eureka! Moment

Loyalist College has used online simulations to teach its students since 2006, and was the first Canadian college to do so. The use of simulations to train future Canadian Border Services Agents has replaced job placements, which were the norm prior to 9-11.

The College created through its Infinite Spaces, a proprietary very detailed online environment, based on a border crossing in Lansdowne, Ontario, duplicating it and the Border Services Officer (BSO) Booths through the use of photographs, Google Maps and more. Impressive! Not only was the physical work environment copied, but also the scenarios that a BSO might encounter. Vehicles were created with doors, trunk and glove box that could be opened to search, and a database includes images of license plates that appear in the simulation on the vehicle, and the computer monitor inside the booth.

What a fun and innovative way to practice the various tasks required of border security agents, including vehicle searches and interviews. Watch the YouTube video.

This approach is not only popular with students, but it has also helped them improve their test scores, especially in the area of interview skills. In fact, grades improved 37% over a two-year period after the implementation of the virtual border simulation.

The simulation program was so successful that Loyalist has developed other applications for the nursing programs, Natural sciences- Ecowalk (to identify fungal specimen) , Orientation on Campus, Survey, etc. And many more are in development. It gives a high degree of competence and confidence when students apply their learning and teachers can supplement their teaching for areas more difficult to learn.

This approach also offloads the preliminary learning in the simulator and gives more time in the specialized lab to maximize learning.

Applied Research Survey

Colleges and Institutes Canada has launched the 2013-14 National Survey of College and Institute Applied Research. The data and information gathered through this survey over the last five years confirm the growth of college and institute capacity to support SMEs and social innovation in communities.  There are more institutions involved in applied research, building capacity to administer research projects in response to the needs of business, industry and community partners, and engaging faculty, staff and students in the applied research enterprise.  This survey allows us to provide factual evidence of the outcomes of college/institute applied research, which is critical for federal decision-making, policy change and increased federal investment.

Your institution’s response to the survey will contribute to moving the college/institute applied research agenda forward.  The survey is available online at  Please submit your completed survey by June 27, 2014.

Quebec Cégeps please note that Réseau Trans-tech will be providing data regarding the activities of all the College Centres for the Transfer of Technology (CCTT).  However, we would greatly appreciate receiving data about your institution’s other non-CCTT research activities and centres.

Staying “Ahead of the Curve”

Colleges and Institutes Canada attended on your behalf a conference hosted by Microsoft Canada and the Canadian Chamber of Commerce with key decision-makers, Boston Consulting Group representatives, entrepreneurs, and policy-makers, to discuss and exchange views on the Microsoft-commissioned economic impact report “Ahead of the Curve: Lessons on Technology and Growth from Small Business Leaders”.  The report’s findings echo our own applied research studies – identifying small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) as an engine of growth for the economy.

Conference Wrap Up

Thanks again to all those who took part in this year’s Annual Conference for making it such a rousing success. In total, more than 700 people, including over 50 international delegates from 20 different countries, attended the three day event in Ottawa and participated in the 62 workshops that were offered by members, partners and Colleges and Institutes Canada staff.

This was also our most social event to date. Our members certainly proved that they had mastered the art of social media. No less than 2,308 tweets were sent using our hashtag #ACCC14. That’s an average of 768 tweets per day.

Congratulations again to Fanshawe College President Peter Devlin, who was our top tweeter during the Conference.

International Education Leadership Academy | August 11 to 15, 2014 | Montebello, QC

Is internationalization a core mandate of your institution? Are you working to reconcile the recruitment of international students with international opportunities for Canadian students? Is participating in international development worthwhile? How do you internationalize programs and institutional culture?

Join us for our first International Education Leadership Academy to address these issues!

In consideration of the unique challenges colleges and institutes face to internationalize their institutions, we are offering this opportunity for International program directors to advance their skills in international leadership and development. Building on 20 years of experience with Academies for Presidents, Vice-Presidents and Deans, lessons learned have been combined with a practical approach, focusing on building skills over the longer term with a meaningful mentorship project. Participants will return to their colleges with an action plan to immediately improve their area of responsibility and personal performance with a group of mentors and the support of colleagues.


Congratulations to Dr. Jeff Zabudsky, President and CEO of Sheridan College, and to Roger Sylvestre, Director General of Cégep de Saint-Hyacinthe, on the renewal of their terms.

Congratulations to George Melville on his appointment as Chancellor of Kwantlen Polytechnic University (KPU), effective October 2014.  Dr. Melville is Chairman and owner of Boston Pizza International, and knows the institution well through the roles of a KPU parent, a KPU board member and, most recently, an honorary KPU degree recipient.

Congratulations to Marie-France Bélanger, Director General of Cégep de Sherbrooke, who was named Chair of the Board of the Fédération des cégeps.

Congratulations to Christine Heavens, Northern College’s new Executive Director, Community, Business Development, and Employment Services.  She brings extensive experience and knowledge to her new role through her previous positions as the College’s Academic Manager of Trades and Technology and Director of Works and Operations for the Township of Black River-Matheson.

Congratulations to Roya Abouzia on her appointment as Vice President Academic, Cégep Heritage College, effective August 4.  She is currently Program Coordinator at Champlain Regional College’s Lennoxville Campus and has over 20 years experience in post-secondary education..

Congratulations to Don Duclos, who has been appointed Registrar at Confederation College, effective mid-June. Duclos was most recently the Senior Manager, Academic Quality Assurance at the College, and is also a graduate of Confederation’s Computer Programmer Analyst Program.

Congratulations to the Canadian Culinary Federation (CCFCC)’s Honour Society Inductee and Chef of the Year Doug Overes.  Chef Overes is Chair of Lethbridge College’s Culinary program, and the youngest chef to be inducted into the society which honours and recognizes leadership, professional excellence, lifetime commitment and significant contributions to the culinary profession. The Chef of the Year award is bestowed upon the chef who best exemplifies the organization’s goals of professionalism, dedication to the craft of cooking and efforts to promote and encourage success in the industry. Overes graduated from Lethbridge’s Professional Cooking program in 1987 – another great college success story!

Congratulations to Mike Gillespie, the new Dean of Medicine Hat College’s Division of Science and Health, effective July 14.  He will be leaving his position of associate dean at the State University of New York to return to Canada.  He has also previously held professorships and administrative positions in various institutions in the U.S., United Kingdom and Morocco.

Congratulations to Robert Champagne on his appointment as the new Director of Continuing Education and Business Services at Cégep de Trois-Rivières, effective August 4.  Champagne will replace Gilles Champoux, who is retiring from the College.

Send Your News

Did you know? The Association shares exciting member announcements, news or innovations and information-of-note on our new Facebook page and on Twitter. Members can send their News Releases to Colleges and Institutes Canada at which Communications will curate and share online. We also love to receive your high-quality photos, but do remember to include any necessary cut-line, description or credit information. No blurry or pixelated selfies, please (unless you’re over on Instagram).  😉

Did You Know?

Did you know that people from across Canada lined up for four days in a NAIT hallway to get a registration ticket for NAIT’s crane and hoisting equipment operator program? Some brought what they considered essential:  food, lawn chair, iPad, headphones.  Those most prepared brought an air mattress and a good sense of humour. It was a bit of a surprise for NAIT administrators, who are used to a queue starting on Wednesday for a Friday registration. The apprentices all recognize that obtaining journeyman certificates was key to advancing their careers, and considered the wait to be short-term pain for long-term gain.

Thanks to our corporate partner