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January 11, 2016

Sixteen things to watch in 2016!

In no particular order, here are 16 developments we will be watching in 2016. Each of these will touch colleges and institutes all across the country and we can’t wait to see how each one will respond!

1.Welcoming Syrian refugees

Canada is mobilizing to welcome 25 000 Syrian refugees over the next few months and colleges and institutes are no exception. Among the many priorities of these newcomers, education is often top of mind. Whether it’s obtaining language training, equivalencies or pursuing a new credential, education is an important part of successful integration. All over Canada, colleges and institutes have shown true leadership by launching inspiring initiatives to help Syrian refugees settle in their new country. What exciting developments will 2016 bring?

2.Infrastructure funding

One of the most significant commitments of the Liberal Party during last falls’ federal election was to invest massively in infrastructure in order to stimulate the economy. Now that the new government is in power, colleges and institutes will be looking closely at how these dollars will be spent. With over 800 deferred maintenance projects valued at $1.6 Billion and more than 200 shovel-ready construction projects awaiting funding at colleges and institutes across Canada, there are plenty of smart investments to choose from. They will create jobs in the short term and expand the capacity of colleges and institutes to meet the needs of students and employers for years to come.

3.Renewing our relationship with Aboriginal peoples

The release of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission report was a significant story in 2015. The challenge for 2016 will be to implement the Commission’s recommendations and pursue the reconciliation process. As the report points out, education will play an essential role in achieving this goal. With over 40 institutions that have signed the CICan Indigenous education protocol last year, it is clear that colleges and institutes will continue to show strong leadership in this regard in the year to come.

4. Social Finance as a means to affect change

CICan is the first national association in Canada to develop a project using Social impact bonds as a tool to generate private investment for the public good with its Essential Skills Social Finance (ESSF) pilot project. This approach has already been successful in the UK – will 2016 be the year it goes mainstream here?

5.Support for innovation

During the last election, the Liberals promised to invest $200 million each year in a new innovation agenda to expand support for incubators and accelerators, as well as the emerging national network for business innovation and cluster support. They’ve also pledged to invest an additional $100 million each year in the Industrial Research Assistance Program, which helps small- and medium-sized businesses innovate in order become world leaders. Colleges and institutes have shown time and again that they play an integral role in this innovation agenda and the new funding commitment poses lots of exciting potential!

6.Green economy and Clean Technology

With the recent launch of the CICan Clean Tech Internships, college students have access to a new tool to connect with employers in the green economy. This is a sector that is sure to keep growing in 2016 given the governments’ renewed commitment to reducing green house gas emissions following the COP21 conference in Paris.

7. Collaboration across the post-secondary continuum

A growing number of colleges, institutes and universities are working together to offer collaborative programs, provide student pathways, and find innovative ways to support student success together. In fact, CICan, in partnership with Universities Canada, will soon launch a showcase of 20 exemplary partnerships and best practices. Which new approaches will we see in 2016

8. A focus on youth engagement

In 2015, Prime Minister Trudeau became the first ever PM to lead the youth portfolio. He did this to show his government’s strong commitment to Canadian youth and it will be very interesting to see what this means for the 1.5 million college and institute students in 2016.

9.The entrepreneurial advantage

With entrepreneurship programs and business incubators popping up in colleges and institutes across Canada, it’s a safe bet that a there will be a growing number of new businesses launched from these campuses. Which innovative businesses, projects and entrepreneurs will we see in 2016?

10.Getting Canadian students abroad

For years, Canada has lagged behind in terms of international student mobility with barely 3% of our students spending time overseas. Recognizing that these are valuable experiences in an increasingly globalised world, will 2016 be the year we see the federal government support Canadian students on the world stage?

11.Applied research growth

For the past 10 years, CICan has conducted regular environmental scans looking at the capacity of colleges and institutes to conduct applied research projects with industry and community partners. The numbers of projects and partnerships have been growing steadily over the years, but there is still potential for tremendous growth in this sector. Which new research areas will see growth in 2016?

12.Planning for Canada’s 150th

With Canada’s 150th anniversary fast approaching, institutions across the country will spend a good part of the year preparing for the 2017 celebrations, which happen to coincide with the 50th anniversary of the public college systems in Quebec, Ontario and Alberta. It will be a busy year!

13.New disruptive technologies

Nowadays it seems every new year brings along new technologies or innovations that quickly make their way into our lives, our workplace and even our classrooms. So what will it be in 2016? Will Facebook’s upcoming Oculus Rift bring about a virtual reality revolution? Will Apple surprise us with some new gadget we didn’t know we needed?

14.Greener campuses

For years now, colleges and institutes have been working to make their campuses more environmentally friendly. Whether it’s by improving energy efficiency, banning plastic bottles or implementing campus-wide recycling projects, colleges and institutes are constantly finding new ways to green their institutions – what’s next in 2016?

15.International development

With Education for Employment projects currently ongoing in 18 countries, and individual partnerships all over the world, colleges and institutes are committed to supporting the development of post-secondary institutions everywhere. New development opportunities, aligned to the new government, are sure to arise in the coming year!

16.More visibility in the media

The past year has seen growing public interest in topics related to skills, innovation partnerships and education for the real world. This led to many positive stories about colleges and institutes in several high profile publications, including a brand new college guide produced by Maclean’s magazine and a series of stories in l’Actualité. Which stories will be told in 2016?

CICan Leadership Development Institutes announced

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Looking to acquire leadership skills in the ever-evolving landscape of post-secondary education? CICan’s celebrated leadership institutes have been announced, and a detailed list of locations and dates is available below.

These institutes draw on the latest management concepts and experience to prepare participants to successfully lead in the college and institute system. There is an institute tailored to leaders of all levels, providing participants the opportunity to learn from distinguished college and institute managers from across the country. Stay tuned for more information, and mark your calendars with the events below!

Leadership Institute for Presidents

July 5-9, 2016 – Tigh-Na-Mara Resort, Parksville, BC

Leadership Institute for Vice-Presidents

July 10-15, 2016 – Tigh-Na-Mara Resort, Parksville, BC

Leadership Institute for Deans and Directors

July 17-22, 2016 – Kempenfelt Conference Centre (Georgian College) – Barrie ON

Leadership Institute for Managers – English

June 25-30, 2016 – Delta Lodge at Kananaskis, Kananaskis, AB

Leadership Institute for Managers – French

June 25-30, 2016 – Collège Boréal, Toronto, ON

Leadership Institute for Program Chairs

June 25-29, 2016 – New Brunswick Community College, St. Andrews-By-the-Sea, NB

Leadership Institute for International Managers

August 8-12, 2016 – St Lawrence College, Kingston, ON

Orientation for New Presidents

Oct. 5-6, 2016- CICan office, Ottawa, ON

National Influencers events

The Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) takes pride in being a world leader when it comes to equal opportunity employment and understanding the value of having a diverse workforce. Through influencer events, the Canadian Forces Recruiting Group (CFRG) hopes to educate community leaders on the opportunities available in the CAF. The next two events are intended to focus on women and visible minority groups in the Canadian Armed Forces. They are intended for leaders and influencers within those groups. Expenses are covered by CFRG for participants who are able to commit for the full duration of the events listed below.

Opportunity 1 – Gagetown, New Brunswick, 24-26 Feb 2016

Theme: Women in the Canadian Armed Forces.

Location: CFB Gagetown, NB.

Date: February 24 to 26, 2016

Opportunity 2 – Cold Lake, Alberta, March 8-11, 2016

Theme: Supporting visible minorities in the Canadian Armed Forces.

Location: CFB Cold Lake, AB.

Date: March, 8-11, 2016

If you work at a college or institute and are interested in participating, please contact Lisa Daigle, for more information. There are four spots reserved for college and institutes representatives, which will be filled on a first come first serve basis.

NSERC invites postsecondary students to participate in Science, Action! video contest

Attention students: got 60 seconds to show how your research project is creating a better future for Canadians? You could win $5,000! The National Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) is launching a new edition of its Science, Action! video contest for postsecondary students to help Canadians discover the impact of science and engineering. The contest opens on January 20, 2016.

Eureka! Moment

Grande Prairie Regional College offers an Aboriginal Student Job Shadow Program where students from the Grande Prairie area are exposed to a variety of occupations during a 6-week classroom learning/job shadow experience. What a neat way to get students to discover career prospects and connect with employers!


Kory Wilson is the new Executive Director, Aboriginal Initiatives and Partnerships at the British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT). Mrs. Wilson’s previous positions include Director, Aboriginal Education and Community Engagement at Vancouver Community College. Appointment notice

Ted Mahood is the new Vice-President, Administration and Finance at the Manitoba Institute of Trades and Technology. Mr. Mahood’s previous positions include finance and administrative roles at Toyota and Linamar.

David McMullen is the new director of student and community affairs at Cégep de Jonquière. Mr. McMullen will begin his role on January 11, 2016. Appointment notice

Nadine Le Gal is the new director general at Cégep de Saint-Jérôme. Mrs. Le Gal’s previous positions include director of continuing education at the institution. She will begin her term on February 1, 2016. Appointment notice


Jun 20 - 24th, 2021
CICan Leadership Institute for Leaders in International
Toronto, Toronto Marriott City Centre
Jun 20 - 24th, 2021
CICan Leadership Institute for Leaders in Applied Research and Innovation
Toronto, Toronto Marriott City Centre
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