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May 29, 2017

Pictured: Patrick Gargano, professor of Information Technology – Cybersecurity at La Cité.

The possibilities and risks of an expanded digital landscape

Technology has revolutionized how we organize our lives in the Digital Age – paying bills, running errands, and getting around have never been easier; but it is important to remember that new technology comes with new challenges. Over the past year, many of Canada’s cyber-stakeholders have taken steps to ensure that Canada remains prepared for tomorrow’s cyber challenges.

Through a series of public consultations on Canada’s evolving cyber security landscape in the fall of 2016, Minister of Public Safety Ralph Goodale’s January 2017 “Cyber Review Consultations Report” identified key areas for action in maintaining and expanding Canada’s cyber-preparedness – including increasing public education and awareness, as well as improving training for cyber security professionals.

As in other industries, colleges and institutes have been quick to adapt to change in the digital realm, and have found ways to expand learning beyond the typical classroom by embracing new technologies. From free online open textbooks at Kwantlen Polytechnic, and gamified online courses for teaching Differential Calculus at College of the Rockies; to an online information hub for current and prospective students at Humber College, and an app to share Indigenous histories from a BCIT grad, colleges and institutes are helping to ensure that digital literacy is incorporated in all areas of programming and that all Canadians are equipped with the digital skills they need to succeed.

While the possibilities for innovative new ways of sharing information are endless in the digital world, protection of information and cyber-risk management must also be top of mind – especially in light of last week’s global ransomware attack. Colleges and institutes have a strong history of leadership in training for careers of the future, and this area is no different.

Training IT professionals is an important part of defending networks from cyber risks. Fanshawe College’s three-year Advanced Diploma in Cyber Security provides students with skills necessary for IT-career fields such as information security, ethics, and network management/analysis; and Lambton College’s Cyber Security & Computer Forensics program teaches system design, ethical hacking, and countermeasures to minimize risk. The Collège communautaire du Nouveau-Brunswick’s Cyber Security Boot Camp also keeps students up to date on the most recent skills for data protection; while the Attestation d’études collégiales (AEC) in Cyber Investigation (Cyberenquête) from Cégep Garneau teaches students to detect infractions, resolve cybercrimes, and document an individual’s virtual imprint. The Information Technology – Cybersecurity program from La Cité also allows IT graduates to re-specialize in cybersecurity to meet the needs of a modern digital landscape, and finally, in May 2017, Saskatchewan Polytechnic hosted Think IT, an IT-career showcase of mobile app development, game development and other IT fields for high-school students.

Another important part of training for digital careers involves incorporating digital skills into forensic investigation. BCIT’s Bachelor of Technology in Forensic Investigation (Computer Crime Option) teaches tactics in investigating and uncovering evidence of illegal activity conducted via computer, as well as legal hacking; while JIBC offers two graduate certificates in Intelligence Analysis & Tactical Criminal Analysis – organized with the help of experts from Public Safety and various police departments – which teach students to investigate Big Data for evidence of international crime.

In a rapidly changing landscape, graduates must be equipped with up-to-date skills in order to remain competitive and to ensure the security of Canadians and their data in the Digital Age. Colleges and institutes are playing a key role in keeping Canada modern and safe.

Member News

CICan director recognized in Senegal


We are pleased to announce that Marie-Josée Fortin, CICan’s Director of International Partnerships, has been awarded the National Order of the Lion, Senegal’s highest distinction, for her involvement in Vocational Education and Training development in the country. The Minister of Vocational Training, Apprenticeship, and Artisanry, Mamadou Talla, presented her with the medal on May 19th while on mission in Senegal.

Congratulations to Marie-Josée Fortin for receiving this honour and for all of her hard work in Senegal!

Crowdfunding opportunities on campus

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fundmy150, CICan’s student crowdfunding platform is ready and accepting submissions!

We know your students are overflowing with ideas; fundmy150 is a chance to support these creative ideas while giving back to the community. With fundmy150, students can raise modest resources the need to grow their projects and get new ones off the ground through crowdfunding – like an arts and crafts program that needs a bit of money for supplies, or a student-designed adult coloring book with printing costs.

We need your help to get students – and student associations – involved! Be sure to go to our media kit and take advantage of the resources we have made available. Download and print this poster and post it on your campus bulletin boards. Share these banners on social media.

With your help, we can give students the boost they need to make a difference in their communities! Get involved!

Canadian colleges and institutes support education for employment in Kenya


Colleges and Institutes Canada (CICan) is pleased to announce that 17 member institutions have been selected to take part in the new Kenya Education for Employment Program (KEFEP). The selected institutions will work with partners to provide increased economic opportunities for new graduates from technical and vocational education and training (TVET) institutions in Kenya.

Canadian colleges and institutes will be involved in eight projects with their Kenyan counterparts that will focus on a variety of sectors, including civil engineering, agriculture, mechatronics and renewable energy.

The participating Canadian colleges and institutes are: Algonquin College, Bow Valley College, Camosun College, Cégep Saint‐Jean‐sur‐Richelieu, Champlain College, Collège Communautaire du Nouveau-Brunswick, College of the North Atlantic, College of the Rockies, Durham College, the Fisheries and Marine Institute of Memorial University, Humber College, New Brunswick Community College, Nova Scotia Community College, Olds College, Selkirk College, Seneca and Vancouver Island university (VIU).

For more information about the KEFEP program, click here.

CICan identified as official partner of BHER

The Business/Higher Education Roundtable (BHER) is a national forum that brings together leaders of some of the country’s top universities, colleges, and businesses to tackle Canada’s talent and research challenges. CICan is pleased to announce that it has recently been identified as an official partner among four national associations to provide advice, guidance, coordination, and in-kind contributions as well as to inform its members.

As technological change and competition for talent are raising skill requirements and changing expectations for new grads, BHER enables businesses and institutions to work together to improve opportunities for young Canadians.

Six college and institute presidents are currently represented by BHER: Anne Sado from George Brown College, Cheryl Jensen from Algonquin College, Kathy Kinloch from BCIT, Don Bureaux from Nova Scotia Community College, David Ross from SAIT, Larry Rosia from Saskatchewan Polytechnic, and Karen Barnes from Yukon College. Other members include six presidents of universities and 12 Chairs or CEOs or large companies.

For more information about BHER, visit, and watch this introductory video.

Eureka! Moment

Did you know that Collège Montmorency recently hosted four days of practical workshops for 113 high school students? The goal of the Option M project is to stimulate secondary students’ scientific curiosity. Cool! For more information, click here.


Olds College had the pleasure of welcoming a new Board Chair. Leona Staples will take over as Chair of Olds College’s Board of Governors after having served as a member of the Board for two terms. Over her career, Staples has been an active member of the agriculture business and innovation sector.

John Abbott College was also pleased to announce the appointment of Gordon Brown as the college’s new Academic Dean, effective August 1, 2017. Brown comes from a long academic career at Champlain College.


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.

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.