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April 4, 2016

Colleges and institutes contribute to a healthy Canada

Whether it was for a routine check-up, an emergency or for specialized tests, chances are that you interacted with more than a few college graduates on your last trip to the doctor. From nurses to lab technicians, x-ray technologists, and paramedics, these individuals play a key role across the continuum of Canada’s healthcare system..

In fact, colleges and institutes train over 70% of healthcare providers. There are currently 125 CICan member colleges and institutes that offer 1,285 health services programs leading to a variety of credentials such as degree-level registered nurses,  Paramedicine, Personal Support Worker and Dental Hygienist.

Canada’s colleges and institutes therefore have many and various links to the health system. They play a key role in the education of health professionals but are also deeply involved in innovative health research.

According to CICan’s latest environmental scan on the state of applied research, colleges and institutes across the country currently host 111 research centres and laboratories dedicated to health-related research and addressing gaps in the Canadian healthcare sector. They include the British Columbia Institute of Technology’s Living Laboratory, which is equipped with an apartment ‘experimental studio’ and a viewing area to allow researchers to simulate real‑life situations and challenges of home care, fostering innovation in the delivery of these services.

There’s also Cégep André-Laurendeau’s Centre collegial de transfert technologique en optique-photonique (OPTECH), which is working with private partners to improve a camera that takes detailed images of eyes to detect retina problems. Or the Mohawk mHealth & eHealth Development and Innovation Centre (MEDIC) that provides testing, teaming, tooling and training services for organizations and companies in the healthcare IT sector.

These centres, and others across the country, are currently involved in over 160 applied research projects driving innovation related to health and life sciences at 59 institutions across the country. These projects involve conducting clinical trials, developing prototypes, conducting simulations and visualizations, developing new processes, and conducting evaluations of effectiveness.

College and institute are therefore key players when it comes to improving Canada’s healthcare system, by looking at care, but also process improvement and the use and development of new technology. Their resources and expertise are in growing demand, and on this World Health Day, April 7th, we celebrate all of these accomplishments and the tremendous contributions colleges and institutes make to the Canadian healthcare system

CICan welcomes budget 2016


On March 19, Minister of Finance Bill Morneau presented the first federal budget of the new liberal government. Overall, it is a positive budget for colleges and institutes, with measures that should help address some of their current priorities. Chief among them is the creation of the Post-Secondary Institutions Strategic Investment Fund, which commits $2 billion over the next three years. Coupled with the $9 billion Building Canada Fund, this will help drive a much needed renewal in college and institute infrastructure, 60% of which currently exceeds its 40-year life cycle.

CICan was also pleased to see measures to support access to education and research, including a commitment to redesign and redefine how the government supports innovation and growth.

For more information, read the CICan news release.

Justin Trudeau visits SAIT

Trudeau SAIT 03

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau took some time during a trip to Calgary last week to meet with students at SAIT Polytechnic and visit the institution’s Carpentry lab. Trudeau was in town for a roundtable on employment insurance and took this opportunity to promote the trades as a key component of Canada’s economy.

Click here for more information and for a photo gallery of the event.

Georgian College to host symposium on College-University Partnerships

The University Partnership Centre at Georgian College and the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, University of Toronto will host a symposium on College-University Partnerships on May 19th. This symposium will explore the challenges and opportunities facing colleges and universities that enter into partnerships. It will enable institutional leaders and practitioners, policy makers, funding bodies and government agencies to share experiences and learn from each other about how to develop and sustain functional college-university partnerships.

Click here for more information.

Global Best Awards 2016

The International education business Partnership Network (IPN), in collaboration with The Conference Board of Canada, has announced the opening of its call for submissions for the 2016 Global Best Awards.

The 2016 Global Best Awards celebrate partnerships among educational institutions, private businesses, and other stakeholders that boost learning and employability through collaboration. These partnerships enhance job-relevant experiential learning, leading to increased educational attainment and advanced skills development

Click here for more information.

Conference 2016 – Last chance for early registration

There are only a few days left to take advantage of the early registration rates for CICan’s 2016 Conference. The deadline for early registration is April 15 so sign up now!

This year’s conference will be held in Québec City and feature several engaging keynote speakers including Stephen Lewis of the Stephen Lewis Foundation, renowned entrepreneur Lise Watier and Dragon’s Den judge Manjit Minhas.

See the conference website for more information and to register.

Eureka! Moment

Champlain Regional College has taken an innovative approach to academic coaching by providing its students with a 24/7 online service. Offered through Smarthinking this service complements more traditional approaches, such as one-on-one counseling and peer-tutoring.


Following a comprehensive search, Medicine Hat College (MHC) has selected Dr. Sandy Vanderburgh as the new dean of science and health. Vanderburgh comes to MHC from Lethbridge College, where he served as dean of the Centre for Applied Arts and Sciences since 2008.


Art showcase

For the third year in a row, CICan is looking to showcase student talent on the walls of the association’s national office in Ottawa! The contest is open to college and institute students from across the country who can submit their artwork until Friday April 29.

Click here for more information or to submit your artwork.


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 institution News Releases and other upcoming announcements online and with our national media contacts based in Ottawa.