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October 15, 2018

Two students from Lethbridge College took part in applied research projects with local businesses, one of which involved testing the efficiency of ozonized water in truck sanitization. Photo: Lethbridge College.

Work-integrated learning: a mutually beneficial experience

From October 14-20, the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) is celebrating Small Business Week 2018 with a series of events across the country to highlight Canada’s strength in entrepreneurship. Because colleges and institutes play a vital role connecting entrepreneurs with the resources they need to grow, CICan is taking this opportunity to showcase their important contributions to Canada’s entrepreneurship ecosystem!

Did you know that in 2016-2017, 65% of the almost 7,300 college and institute research partnerships with the private and non-profit sectors were with small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs)? That totals nearly 4,765 partnerships that offer invaluable resources to small businesses across the country.

Work-integrated learning, in the form of applied research projects, undertaken with local businesses not only gives college and institute students important hands-on experiences to help them find employment upon graduation, but also helps Canadian small business be more productive, competitive, and innovative. By providing partners with access to the required talent and state of the art facilities to drive innovation colleges and institutes helped develop 1,400 prototypes, 700 products, 500 processes, and 350 services, in 2016-2017 alone. For example:

  • Two students fromCollege of the North Atlanticdesigned and prototyped a custom robotic-controlled ultrasonic cutting system to provide a technology adoption solution for Chatman’s Bakery and their cookie bar.
  • A student from Collège La Cité worked with natural and organic skin-care company The Green Beaver to develop ecological methods to extract various antioxidant molecules from organic waste.
  • One student from Niagara College worked with Studio 1 Labs to develop a web-based user interface for the company’s fabric sensor technology to allow medical professionals to easily view collected data.
  • A student from Lethbridge College worked with Quarical Products Inc to help test the efficiency of ozonized water in sanitizing trucks and inhibiting the growth of E. coli.
  • A student from Okanagan College worked with Catalyst Land Development to develop a technology that would allow homeowners to safely and easily connect and disconnect electrical services and circuits.
  • A student from the Cégep de Victoriaville worked with the Chisasibi Business Service Centre to help find sustainable solutions to food issues in the community.

While nearly all of their programs include strong WIL components, colleges and institutes report that securing placements for all students, including vulnerable learners and those in rural, remote, and northern areas, is challenging. In its submission to the House of Commons Standing Committee on Finance (FINA), CICan recommended preparing youth for the jobs of tomorrow by expanding federal investments in WIL, including increased support for a matching platform for employers, students, and postsecondary institutions; increased funding to provide employers with flexible incentives, to offer specific WIL placements for vulnerable groups, and to expand WIL opportunities in non-STEM disciplines; and increased opportunities for WIL placements in the public sector.

Work-integrated learning is essential to ensuring that all Canadians are equipped with the skills they need to find employment and drive the growth of Canada’s small businesses. Read CICan’s full submission and recommendations here.

Present at CICan’s 2019 Conference!

With the theme Inclusion: A Recipe for Success, this year’s conference will take place in Niagara, ON, and reflect the region’s history as a place of freedom and inclusion – having served as a traditional place of peace for First Nations to meet and trade, a key northern terminal of the Underground Railroad, and a symbol of peace between two nations following the War of 1812. Join us, and our host Niagara College from May 5-7, 2019!

Conference presentations will be divided into six thematic streams: Leading Success, Future Ready, Student Success, Innovative Education, Entrepreneurial Approaches, andGoing Global.

Be creative in your proposals and please highlight how your session demonstrates the power of inclusion, a recipe for success!

Submit your presentations online on CICan’s website. The deadline for submissions is Friday, November 30, 2018.

For further information, please contact Gail Mulhall, Manager, Member Relations, at or (613) 746-2222 ext. 3115.

Submit a nomination for CICan’s Awards of Excellence

CICan’s Awards of Excellence recognize the extraordinary contribution of individuals to their college and institute communities and highlight the role of your institutions in social, cultural and economic development. Take this opportunity to nominate your colleagues!

Gold-level recipients will receive $1,000.00, courtesy of TD Insurance and a complimentary registration to the CICan 2019 Conference. Nominations are due by November 26, 2018.

The Awards program recognizes excellence in 8 categories: Leadership Excellence for Staff (Managerial and non-Managerial), Faculty, and Students; Internationalization; Applied Research and Innovation; Program Excellence; and Indigenous Education.

Recipients will be recognized at the CICan 2019 Conference that will take place in Niagara Falls, ON, from May 5 to 7, 2019.

Submit a nomination now!

Still time to register for CICan’s Leaders Forum

CICan Leaders Forum for college and institute presidents and CEOs will take place from November 5-6 and will engage leaders on policy priorities related to building a more inclusive and innovative Canada.

Confirmed presentations include: Essential Skills for the Future by Senator Diane Bellemare and Future of Skills and the Changing Nature of Work by the Honourable Patty Hajdu, Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour and John Stackhouse, Senior Vice-President at RBC.

Presentations and roundtable discussions will also address topics such as: International Perspectives on the Future of Colleges and InstitutesAddressing Mental Health Needs at PSE InstitutionsIndigenous Education and ReconciliationThe Role of PSE Institutions in meeting the needs for Reskilling and Upskilling;Equity, Diversity and Inclusion; and Entrepreneurship Development.

Forum participants are also invited to register for the CICan Symposium: Accelerating Innovation through Applied Research and attend the Student Innovation Showcase on the Hill. To read more and to register, visit our Events section.

CICan launches two new internship opportunities with Scotiabank

As part of CICan and Scotiabank’s Global Mobility Program, CICan is pleased to announce two new internship opportunities with Scotiabank’s Digital Factory in Mexico City.

Applications are now being accepted for a Front End Software Developer and a Graphic Designer position beginning in January 2019. The internships will include a cultural and language course offered through a Mexican post-secondary institution and will last between 12 to 16 weeks. All costs related to travel (airfare, insurance, visas) and accommodation (homestay with Mexican family) will be covered. Students will also receive a stipend of CAN$ 250 /week to cover their cost of living.

To view eligibility requirements and apply, click 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.

For more information, please contact Andrew Champagne at

The WFCP Recognizes Excellence in Professional and Technical Education and Training

On October 9, the World Federation of Colleges and Polytechnics (WFCP) presented its third Awards of Excellence, recognizing leaders in the field of professional and technical education and training. The evening, taking place during the WFCP’s bi-annual World Congress in Melbourne, featured keynotes from post-secondary education and business leaders, as well as live performances by students from Australian institutions.

Recipients, including 8 Canadian leaders and institutions, were recognized in seven categories, based on the international value of the award-winning institutions, individuals, and programs, as well as their achievements, benefits to students, and innovation. Congratulations to Northern College, Niagara College, Red River College, Mohawk College’s mHealth and eHealth Development and Innovation Centre (MEDIC), Bow Valley College, Centennial College, Durham College, and Anne Sado from George Brown College!

Congratulations to the 2018 Awards of Excellence recipient! Read more in the WFCP’s press release here.

The Enactus Canada Team from Lambton College Wins Championship of Social Innovation

Congratulations to the Enactus Canada team from Lambton College which was named Enactus World Cup 2018 Champion and awarded the Ford Better World Award of $50,000USD. The team developed Project One Seed over six years working with people living in Zambia, Africa, to achieve their goals: food security, health care, clean water, education, alternative energies, and to build a local economy.

Read the full story.

Your Students on the Prime Minister’s Youth Council

The Prime Minister’s Youth Council (PMYC) is accepting applications for the next cohort of members. Canadian youth, permanent residents and protected persons aged 16-24 years can apply. This means that your students could be the next members of the PMYC!

The application deadline is November 30, 2018.

Take part in the GARDN conference on sustainability in aviation

The Green Aviation Research & Development Network (GARDN) is pleased to be hosting is upcoming conference in Ottawa from November 13-14, 2018 with the theme Flying Sustainable.

The two-day event will involve participants in sessions on topics such as greenhouse gas reductions in aviation, sustainable aviation fuels, optimized navigation systems, technology development, and future challenges in aviation in light of clear climate targets set by the air-travel industry.

The conference will be an opportunity to learn more about innovations in aerospace sustainability and to connect with key stakeholders from the Government of Canada, research institutes and industry.

Learn more and register here.

Eureka! Moment

Did you know that Collège La Cité, last week, became the 58thsignatory to CICan’s Indigenous Education Protocol? Signatories commit to seven guiding principles on Indigenous education, including ensuring governance structures recognize and respect Indigenous peoples, implementing curriculum relevant to Indigenous learners, supporting increased understanding and reciprocity among Indigenous and non-Indigenous students, and establishing Indigenous-centred holistic services on campus. CongratulationsLa Cité! Read more about the protocol here.


Sheridan College was pleased to announce the appointment of Carol Altilia as the college’s new Vice-President, Student Experience and Enrollment Management. Altilia will assume the role effective January 14, 2019.

Yukon College was pleased to appoint Tosh Southwick to the newly created position of Vice President, Indigenous Engagement and Reconciliation. Southwick joined Yukon College in 2008 as Director of First Nations Initiatives.

Georgian College was pleased to announce that MaryLynn West-Moynes will continue to serve as President and CEO for another 5-year term until 2024. George College was also pleased to announce that Don Gordon was elected to serve as Chair of the college’s Board of Governors.


Imagine the Future

Take the Imagine the Future online quiz to share your thoughts on CICan’s new Strategic Plan.

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.