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January 28, 2019

Join Canada’s mental health conversation

This Wednesday, January 30th is Bell Let’s Talk Day – a national day to engage in conversation about Canada’s mental health. Since 2010, Bell Let’s Talk has been promoting awareness and action on mental health with a strategy built on four key pillars: fighting stigma, improving access to care, supporting world-class research, and leading by example in workplace mental health.

On Bell Let’s Talk Day, for every text, mobile and long-distance call made on the Bell network, tweet using #BellLetsTalk, social media video view, or use of the Bell Let’s Talk Facebook frame or Snapchat filter, Bell will contribute five cents more to Canadian mental health programs.

CICan is proud to join the conversation on Bell Let’s Talk Day for many reasons. As educators in communities all across Canada, colleges and institutes are uniquely positioned to engage students, of all ages, educators, and vulnerable individuals on their campuses in the mental-health conversation. Colleges and institutes have long been leaders in offering culturally relevant support services to ensure student success. Mental health support is no different. For example Red River College’s Healthy Minds Heathy College initiative engages the entire college community in fostering a welcoming and supportive environment; and connects Selkirk College students with resources to support wellbeing.

Our members are also training current and future mental health workers with a variety of tailored, flexible, and unique programs. For example:

  • The Mental Health Recovery & Promotion program offered by Nova Scotia Community College helps students develop the knowledge, skills and experience to help influence and change the way we think about mental illness, recovery and promotion of well-being;
  • Yukon College offers a short 3-day course in Mental Health First Aid Canada for Northern Peoples reflecting the experience of Indigenous and northern populations;
  • The one-year online Psychosocial Rehabilitation (PSR) diploma program offered by Douglas College provides mental health practitioners looking to upgrade their skills with knowledge and competencies in PSR practices;
  • Native Education College’s Family & Community Counselling diploma program teaches students how to best support families overcoming barriers in child welfare, substance abuse, and other traumatic situations; and,
  • The Cégep de Victoriaville’s Attestation d’études collégiales (AEC) “Intervenir en santé mentaleoffers mental health workers a flexible part-time option to further their studies and deepen their understanding of mental health intervention.

Using differing approaches, these programs ensure that individuals providing mental health services are equipped with tailored skills to support their communities, all across the country.

On another front, the Mental Health Commission of Canada (MHCC), in partnership with CICan and Universities Canada, is encouraging groups to inform the content of a new Standard for Psychological Health and Safety for Post-Secondary Students. The standard will build on existing mental health strategies, national frameworks, and promising practices and create a consistent evidence-informed approach that any post-secondary institution across the country can implement. MHCC is currently offering tools and small amounts of funding to assist community organizations and groups to engage in the project. The application deadline is February 18th.

As leaders in mental health-related programming, this is an opportunity for colleges and institutes to work with partners in their communities to contribute to this important conversation!

With this in mind, download the Bell Let’s Talk toolkit to begin your own conversation about mental health at home, school or in the workplace, and also learn more about the five simple ways to end stigma.

Join us as we work together to break down the stigma that surrounds mental illness!

Access to innovation spurs regional diversification and growth

By: Dr. Mehdi Sheikhzadeh, Executive Dean, Applied Research & Innovation, Lambton College

This article is part of the new Applied PeR$pectives series.

Colleges play a critical role in providing necessary support for the cluster development that allows communities to persist and thrive.

Cluster development is essential for community survival and development. It can help diversify industry to ensure communities are not overly reliant on one sector, while creating an ecosystem that simultaneously stimulates the growth of Canadian SMEs and attracts international players to the area. A case study of the Sarnia-Lambton region highlights both the necessity of thinking long-term about regional cluster development, and the active part that colleges play in cluster building through efforts such as providing infrastructure, bringing together partners, and providing research and development (R&D) for SMEs.

Read more.

Applied PeR$pectives is part of a new initiative by R$ and Colleges and Institute Canada (CICan) to highlight the key role that colleges and institutes are playing in building Canada’s innovation capacity. Read more here.

Register now: CICan’s Leadership Institutes!

Registration is open for CICan’s renowned Leadership Institutes! Our Leadership Institutes draw on the latest management concepts and experience to prepare participants to successfully lead in the college and institute system and contribute to institutional succession planning by looking at the competencies required to lead effectively in institutions of all sizes and the skills necessary to lead at a higher level.

The following institutes will be offered from June 22-27, 2019 in Victoria, BC:

The CICan Leadership Institute for Presidents and Directors General (English) will also be offered from July 2-7, 2019 in Wallace, NS (held once every two years).

Don’t miss this opportunity to interact with colleagues from across the country and become part of a networking group to facilitate further engagement and learning! Register now.

Last chance to register for the National Symposium on Continuing Education!

CICan and the Fédération des cégeps are pleased to be hosting “Training and the Labour Market – Always Evolving,” in Montreal, QC, from February 28 to March 1st, 2019!

This National Symposium on Continuing Education will engage participants on how to better respond to changes in the labour market and to the needs of a diversified student body, including new immigrants, international students, Indigenous populations, and other under-represented groups.

Meet our first keynote: John Stackhouse! As Senior Vice-President, Office of the CEO, Royal Bank of Canada, Stackhouse advises the executive leadership on emerging trends in Canada’s economy, providing insights grounded in his travels across the country and around the world. His work focuses on technological change and innovation, examining how to successfully navigate the new economy so more people can thrive in the age of disruption. Don’t miss this event!

Be sure to book your travel and accommodation at the Hotel Omni Mont-Royal now – CICan’s room reservation block ends today!

CIIP signs new four-year agreement with IRCC for continued pre-arrival services

Last week, CICan was thrilled to welcome the Honourable Ahmed Hussen, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship to its offices in Ottawa to announce the renewal of the Canadian Immigrant Integration Program (CIIP) as one of 16 providers to offer future Canadians services as part of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada’s (IRCC) renewed pre-arrival program.

This new phase of CIIP represents an $18-million investment over four years and builds on CIIP’s past success in pre-arrival support services – since its inception in 2007, the program has served over 48,000 newcomers destined to all parts of Canada.

CIIP (also known as Planning for Canada) connects newcomers with a variety of services and supports, including those offered by colleges and institutes, to accelerate their integration into communities and in the workplace. To this end, under the new Contribution Agreement with IRCC, CIIP will continue to operate field offices in India and the Philippines and will deliver online programs worldwide.

View the full press release for more information.

Call for Talent: CICan’s 2019 Art Showcase

CICan is looking to showcase student talent on the walls of the association’s national office at the Chateau Laurier in Ottawa! For the 6th annual CICan Art Showcase, we invite students from colleges and institutes across the country to submit their artwork.

There will be a winner in each of the following categories:

  • printmaking;
  • textile, mixed media, or sculpture;
  • photography;
  • digital Illustration or animation;
  • painting; and,

Each winner will receive a monetary prize of $350!

The winning artwork will be displayed at the CICan offices and will receive recognition on CICan’s website and in various association publications. The final voting will take place during CICan’s annual conference, May 5 – 7 in Niagara Falls! The deadline for submissions is March 15, 2019.

Visit our website for more information and to submit your artwork!

Conference 2019: meet keynote Tarana Burke!

Join us at CICan 2019 Conference in Niagara Falls for the opportunity to hear from Civil Rights Activist Tarana Burke!

Best known for founding the #MeToo Movement, Burke has dedicated her life to social justice work and giving strength to those who have experienced sexual trauma or harassment and has been honoured as one of TIME magazine’s Silence Breakers in 2017 and 100 Most Influential People of 2018. On stage, Burke provides insight into the current state of sexual assault and harassment allegations; addresses pressing issues of respect, dignity, and power dynamics in schools, workplaces, and politics; and shines a light on the stories of survivors and voices that continue to be marginalized. Don’t miss Tarana Burke at CICan 2019!

CICan’s annual conference is the largest event of its kind in Canada and gathers post-secondary education leaders from across the country and around the world to network, share best practices, and be inspired as we envision together the future of colleges and institutes.

Join us, and our host Niagara College from May 5-7, 2019! Register now!

Save 10% on travel with Air Canada, West Jet or Via Rail Canada. Book your accommodation before March 15 to take advantage of the room block rate.

Canadian students wanted for unique internship opportunities in Mexico City!

CICan recognizes the multiple benefits of international mobility and is committed to empowering the next generation of Canadians with the skills, experience, and tools they need to become successful global citizens. With the support of Scotiabank as part of the joint Global Mobility Program, we are pleased to announce two new internship opportunities with Scotiabank’s Digital Factory in Mexico City.

Two fully funded internships are now available to Canadian and permanent resident students from CICan member institutions! Applications are now being accepted for a Front-End Software Developer and a Graphic Designer position beginning in May 2019.

View eligibility requirements and apply here.

The Global Mobility Program offers Canadian students the opportunity to travel, study and work overseas to acquire international and intercultural skills and experiences that benefit their career, their employer, their community and Canadian society. Hear it from last year’s interns!

For more information, please contact Andrew Champagne at

A new partnership for BC Colleges!

On January 14, BC Colleges (BCC) announced a new partnership with the Vietnam Association of Community Colleges (VACC) to promote the two-way flow of students and teachers between British Columbia and Vietnam, and to advance the international education interests of both organizations!

Based on a shared commitment to strengthen relationships between institutions in BC and Vietnam, the three-year agreement will help facilitate the cultural, academic, and business exchange of educational institutions and foster bi-lateral student and teacher mobility programs.

The Memorandum of Understanding was signed by Colin Ewart, President of BCC, and Dr. Pham Tiet Khanh of VACC, during a joint conference on the next generation of international academic partnerships, hosted by the British Columbia Council for International Education (BCCIE) and VACC in Huế, Vietnam.

For more information, view BCC’s press release.

Leadership Development in Dakar

On January 15 and 16, during the Private Sector Growth through Education for Employment (PSG-EFE) annual forum, under the theme “Strong Leadership to promote the emergence of professional and technical training” (Un leadership fort pour piloter le changement vers l’émergence de la formation professionnelle et technique), the CICan Leadership Development Program delegation was in Dakar, Senegal, to provide training to directors of Senegalese PSG-EFE partner institutions in the technical and vocational education and training sector.

Through this workshop and with the support of the PSG-EFE project, Senegalese institutions were able to improve their offer of training and to become leaders in their technical specialties. Institutional directors now position themselves as committed leaders engaged in developing human capital within businesses and the larger community in order to contribute to Senegal’s growth. This first workshop in Senegal offered practical tools, productive exchanges and stimulating discussion among participants.

To date, the PSG-EFE project has developed 34 training programs in partnership with Canadian colleges and in collaboration with Senegalese businesses in the industrial, agricultural, construction and new technology sectors in 14 different institutions.

Click here for pictures from the event.

Eureka! Moment

Did you know that the Collège Shawinigan was recently awarded the Quebec Institute of Public Administration’s (IAPQ) Award of Excellence in Education for its long-distance program designed for municipal wastewater operators? This is the college’s second time winning in the past five years, having been recognized for its High-Performance Teaching Lab in Nursing in 2015. Congratulations! View the press release here.


Cégep Garneau was pleased to announce a new Director General. Patricia Poirier, who has worked with the cégep since 2008, assumed her new role in January 2019.

Grande Prairie Regional College (GPRC) was pleased to announce the appointment of Dr. Tim Heath as the college’s new Vice-President, Academics and Research. Heath has more than 15 years of experience in post-secondary leadership and previously attended GPRC for two years between 1976 and 1978!

Yukon College was pleased to welcome a new Director of Finance & Administration. Luzelle Nagel will join the college with a strong background in public-sector accounting and non-traditional revenues.


Conference 2019

Join us in Niagara Falls for CICan’s annual conference! Register now.

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.