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December 12, 2016

2016, A Year in Review

What a year! For Colleges and Institutes Canada (CICan) and our members, 2016 has been a year of growth, success, and weighing in on emerging national priorities. We have seen lots of amazing work featured in Maclean’s, the Globe and Mail, and Canadian School Counsellor Magazine, and we’ve also gathered some of our 2016 highlights in this, our final newsletter of the year, to celebrate!


A frenzy of consultations

A first order of business for the new federal government this year was to launch an extensive nation-wide consultation process on many topics, and CICan was pleased to lead submissions, in consultation with our members. In addition to the federal government’s Pre-Budget Consultations, we submitted recommendations to Canada’s Innovation Agenda; consultations on Immigration, Official Languages, Space Research and Innovation, and Clean Technology; as well as reviews of International Assistance, and Fundamental Science – the key position of each being that through partnered innovation and inclusive education, colleges and institutes are the educators of choice to provide Canadians with the skills, training, and experience needed to build an innovation-ready workforce and drive inclusive economic growth. CICan also presented to both the Standing Committee on Finance (FINA) and the Standing Committee on Industry, Science and Technology (INDU) to further advance these advocacy priorities.


Big investments in infrastructure

Building on the release of CICan’s national study on the infrastructure and equipment needs of colleges and institutes in February, we were thrilled to see the federal government recognize the urgent need for investment via the establishment of the $2 billion Post-Secondary Institutions Strategic Investment Fund (SIF). To date, over 30 member institutions have benefitted from the Fund, which allocates money toward the construction of new – or the enhancement of existing – facilities, enabling colleges and institutes to continue to lead the way in sustainability, skills training, and innovation, while responding to business and industry need.


A commitment to reconciliation

With the release of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s report, Indigenous education came into the national spotlight this past year. Colleges and institutes all across the country have a long history of working with Indigenous communities to indigenize curriculum and increase understanding and reciprocity among Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples. This is achieved by making Indigenous cultures more visible on campuses, and building on strong partnerships in support of self-determination. This year we saw the launch of many new programs as well as the opening of new Indigenous cultural facilities and gathering spaces, solidifying the commitment of college and institute in this area. CICan’s Indigenous Education Protocol – which now has a total of 47 signatories – drew renewed attention while CICan also committed to inclusion in education by signing the World Federation of Colleges and Polytechnics’ (WFCP) Vitória Declaration, largely modelled on CICan’s own protocol.


Welcoming newcomers

Since November 2015, Canada has welcomed more than 35,000 Syrian refugees and received widespread international praise for its commitment to not only resettling, but also successfully integrating refugees into the workforce and community. Given their community focus, colleges and institutes have been longstanding players in helping newcomers to Canada find their feet. CICan members have responded in full force to resettlement needs, launching ambitious language training programs to help newcomers, offering community projects to provide health and social services, and incorporating teaching methods that help new students acclimatize to cultural differences upon arrival. And, after many months of advocacy, CICan was also pleased to see recent changes to the Canada Express Entry Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) which allow international students at Canadian colleges and institutes to transition to permanent residency more easily. Planning for Canada, CICan’s pre-departure program administered jointly through the Canadian Immigrant Integration Program (CIIP) and Canadian Orientation Abroad (COA), similarly celebrated an important milestone this year, marking its first anniversary, and earning praise from John McCallum, Minister of Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship.


Action on climate change

As world leaders discussed the need for action on climate change, the Government of Canada affirmed its commitment by signing and ratifying The Paris Agreement and announcing a plan to implement a pan-Canadian approach to carbon pricing by 2018. Similarly, many CICan members solidified their leadership in this area by committing to ambitious plans to reduce their institutional carbon footprint and minimize harmful emissions, while also providing environmentally-focused research and training programs, and operating sustainable, local agricultural projects. Several members even received government funding for projects to upgrade facilities in order to make them more energy efficient and environmentally sustainable, or to build new facilities focused on green technologies and innovation; and, CICan’s Clean Technology submission included several examples of the green skills and clean-tech research and development projects led by colleges and institutes across Canada. CICan’s Clean-Tech Internship program also reached an important milestone, surpassing the 100-internship mark, helping employers and recent graduates stimulate clean job growth and reduce Canada’s impact on climate change.


Growth in international partnerships

As Canada has worked to strengthen its diplomatic ties around the world, CICan was pleased to host several international delegations to build and strengthen partnerships between Canadian and international post-secondary institutions. Specifically, CICan hosted a delegation of Chinese college and university presidents and vice-presidents as part of the implementation of a new PathPro program aimed at promoting educational collaboration. CICan was also proud to launch a new Education for Employment (EFE) program in Kenya, new partnerships in CICan’s Skills Training for Employment in Mozambique (STEM) program, and a new Canada Express study program in Vietnam.


Added value for members

This past year, CICan worked hard to launch several new resources to showcase our members to a national and international audience. A new Member Profiles section provides information about enrolment, programs, and community impact for each of our members; a searchable Degrees and Post-Graduate Programs Database allows prospective students to browse 508 Bachelor degrees, 31 Masters degrees, and 729 post-graduate programs on offer; a searchable Applied Research Showcase, shines a spotlight on the leading-edge projects undertaken by members to the benefit of local communities and industry partners; and a new section of unique collaboration stories between colleges and institutes, and universities showcases the many different ways post-secondary institutions collaborate across the country. Adding to the suite of reports launched this year, CICan released a new EMSI Report on the impact of Canada’s colleges and institutes on the national economy during an iPoliticsLive event in October, detailing the contributions of colleges and institutes both to national economic growth and to individual career development.

Another exciting piece of news this year was the launch of Maclean’s magazine’s first-ever College Guide. While Maclean’s has long been publishing a Guide to Canadian Universities, CICan was thrilled to work with Maclean’s to finally get all the great stories from colleges and institutes to readers across the country. Take a look here!


With 2016 and these important moments soon behind us, we are looking forward to everything that colleges and institutes will accomplish in the coming year, and beyond!

Member News

Canada and British Columbia invest in infrastructure renewal at Vancouver Island University

Toronto colleges and universities lead the way in addressing mental health challenges on campus

Seneca College signs Memorandums of Understanding (MoU) with postsecondary institutions in Japan and South Korea

Upcoming exhibit at Vancouver Art Gallery to feature artists with ties to Emily Carr University of Art & Design

Kwantlen Polytechnic University (KPU) launches online platform to perform lab activities with specialized equipment from North Island College’s Remote Web-Based Science Laboratory (RWSL)

Art Gallery of Ontario partners with Canadian Film Centre (CFC) and Seneca College on virtual reality art exhibit

SAIT receives $1-million donation to expand machining lab at the institute’s School of Manufacturing and Automation

Alberta College of Art & Design (ACAD) receives prestigious designation from the National Association of Schools of Art & Design (NASAD)

Saskatchewan Polytechnic collaborative Bachelor of Science in Nursing program receives provincial and federal accreditation

Seneca College becomes first in Canada to receive CPA Accreditation

Le Cégep de Trois-Rivières participe au colloque Éducation / Entrepreneuriat, qui a connu un grand succès

Des employés du Cégep Édouard-Montpetit et du Centre de transfert en aérospatiale (CTA) collaborent pour l’achat d’équipement spécialisé dans le cadre du projet ÉPE en Bolivie

Le Cégep de Victoriaville annonce un nouveau projet de sensibilisation de la communauté collégiale aux sujets du consentement sexuel et de la violence faite aux femmes

Les étudiants du Collège Shawinigan participent à une simulation d’explosion, faite en partenariat avec les pompiers de la Ville de Shawinigan

Le projet SLAquaponie du Cégep de Rimouski reçoit 50 000 $ du Fonds communautaire Aviva

Planning for Canada celebrates one-year anniversary!

On December 1, 2016, Planning for Canada celebrated its first anniversary, topping off a year filled with innovative approaches to improving immigrant pre-arrival services, strengthening and expanding partnerships, and raising the profile of pre-arrival services across Canada and abroad.

Over the past year, the ground-breaking pre-arrival initiative managed to increase the involvement of pre-arrival service providers at the national policy level, raise awareness of the benefits or pre-arrival services through an increased online presence, participate in pilot projects to expedite the credential assessment process, and host its first Consultative Conference in September 2016 with over 70 participants.

During the conference, Planning for Canada was thrilled to receive public support from the Honorable John McCallum, Minister of Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship, voicing his opinion on the value of pre-arrival services.

“All Canadians want immigrants to be well received, well integrated in Canada,” he said. “Pre-arrival services do a fantastic job helping immigrants prepare themselves for Canada and Planning for Canada is at the forefront of such services.”

Watch the video here for the complete interview. The minister also made visits to CIIP offices in the Philippines and India.

Funded by Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC), Planning for Canada is administered jointly by the Canadian Immigrant Integration Program (CIIP) and Canadian Orientation Abroad (COA). While CIIP is managed by Colleges and Institutes Canada (CICan), COA is managed by the International Organization for Migration (IOM).

Having trained over 5,790 participants in more than 70 countries, Planning for Canada is looking forward to delivering world-class pre-arrival services, and helping newcomers successfully integrate into Canadian workplaces and communities for years to come!

Call for input to the Government of Canada’s Expert Panel on Youth Employment


Do you have ideas on how to improve youth employment? The Government of Canada recently launched an Expert Panel on Youth Employment to assess the barriers facing young people in finding and keeping jobs, and examine innovative practices that might help youth find meaningful employment. The Panel’s findings will help the Government decide how to invest in youth employment.

CICan members can get involved both from the perspective of students, and from the perspective of service providers, who work on a daily basis with young people in urban, rural, remote, and Indigenous communities.

There are many ways for students, staff, and faculty to get involved!

Your views, expertise, and experience are critical to inform the Panel’s recommendations, which will be released in March 2017.

The Canada-China Scholars’ Exchange Program (CCSEP) launches call for 2017-2018 applicants

Global Affairs Canada and the Chinese Ministry of Education are once again offering scholarships for Canadians to study and research at participating Chinese institutions through the Canada-China Scholars’ Exchange Program (CCSEP).

The program will award 20 bilateral government scholarships for studies, research, or language studies to Canadian students at the college, undergraduate and graduate levels; Canadian faculty members or research staff at a postsecondary institution in Canada; and eligible Canadian mid-career professionals.

Applicants must complete online application forms from both the Canadian Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development (DFATD), and the China Scholarship Council (CSC). Both are available here.

For full program details, visit CCSEP’s website. All inquiries should be directed by email to the Canadian Bureau for International Education (CBIE) here.

The deadline for applications is March 6, 2017.

Mark’s Commercial brings back its Student Discount Program


Mark’s Commercial, Colleges and Institutes Canada’s (CICan) corporate partner, is excited to announce the return of its Student Discount Program for the winter semester.

After a successful fall discount program, students in trades, hospitality, and healthcare programs at CICan member institutions will once again be able to benefit from a 20% discount on pre-selected products for their programs of study.

CICan members can reach out to a Mark’s Commercial representative for a PDF voucher which can then be distributed to students looking to take advantage of the savings!

The limited time offer will run from December 30, 2016 to February 6, 2017.

To take advantage of this great programs, or for more information, contact Mark’s Commercial by email at

Colleges and institutes participate in ESDC ASETS consultations

On December 5, 2016, over 35 participants from 27 colleges and institutes, representing all provinces and territories, participated in federal consultations on the Aboriginal Skills and Employment Training Strategy (ASETS).  Convened by CICan and led by Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC), the consultations are in response to a Budget 2016 commitment to engage with key stakeholders on the renewal and expansion of the program. The current ASETS program has been in place since 2010, with the goal to “Increase Indigenous participation in the Canadian labour market, ensuring that First Nations, Métis and Inuit are engaged in sustainable, meaningful employment.”

The consultations focused around three themes:

  • partnership between ASETS and academic institutions;
  • scope of programming; and
  • measuring success.

Issues raised included the need for increased ASETS funding to provide wrap-around student supports beyond the program of study and a case-management approach.  There was agreement that new metrics of success are required, since the number of participants who move into employment does not adequately reflect success, given the barriers that many Indigenous learners have to overcome.

To date, ESDC has consulted with ASETS Agreement Holders and academic institutions.  They will shortly be consulting with industry stakeholders.  ESDC’s goal is to roll-out the renewed ASETS program in 2018.

New Ontario initiative opens doors for youth and industry


A new youth and industry initiative from the Information and Communications Technology Council (ICTC) aims to address challenges surrounding the adoption of new technologies faced by Ontario’s small businesses. Funded by the Government of Ontario, the Small Business Digitization Initiative (SBDI) connects youth and small businesses in a 24-week training program that uniquely matches each participant with a small business, applying in-class theory to solve real business challenges. The mutually beneficial program provides youth with critical training, while supporting the growth of small businesses and innovation.

The initiative is open to small and medium-sized businesses in Ontario looking to adopt new technologies, and Ontario youth aged 20-29 with a minimum of 2 years post-secondary training, or equivalent work experience.

For more information – including a short video about the project – and student and employer application forms, click here.

ICTC is currently partnered with colleges in Ottawa and North Bay, and looking for establish more college and institute partnerships across the province. Contact ICTC by email for information on how colleges and institutes can partner on this exciting initiative!

Notice: Please note that Perspectives will not be published during the holidays, and will resume bi-weekly publication on January 9, 2017. Happy holidays!

Eureka! Moment

Did you know that almost every program at St. Clair College incorporates ways for students to give back to their communities while honing their skills? Construction, Engineering, and Technology students are involved in building homes with Habitat for Humanity; Fashion Design students make clothes for people in homeless shelters; Esthetician students raise money to buy food and toys for the underprivileged; Electrical Engineering students bring light to dog-walking parks; and Accounting students do tax returns for seniors, etc. Way to go St. Clair College!


Fanshawe College was pleased to announce the appointment of Jennifer Ruz to the position of Vice President, Finance and Administration. Ruz will begin her new role effective February 6, 2017, after having served Ontario Power Generation (OPG) for the past eleven years.


Canada’s 150th Anniversary! 

Submissions for CICan’s Canada 150 project are ongoing. Check out our Canada 150 website for more details.

CICan’s Leadership Institutes 

Registration is live for CICan’s 2017 Leadership Institutes. Click here to register.

CICan’s Awards of Excellence 

The deadline for nominations for CICan’s Awards of Excellence is approaching. Nominations will be open until January 12, 2017. For more information click here.

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.