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September 5, 2017

It’s back-to-school time and students are returning to campuses across the country, like SAIT‘s Heritage Hall pictured here.

Orientation Weeks kick-off at colleges and institutes!

Back to school is always an exciting time as colleges and institutes welcome faculty, staff, and students back to campus and back to their academic routines!

But for many students, this is their first time in a campus setting, and as exciting as it is, we know that it can also be a stressful time. Colleges and institutes work hard to provide a unique, diverse, and welcoming atmosphere for first-time and returning students alike by offering a range of services to help them settle in.

Orientation Week is designed to give students all the information they need to get settled – from campus maps and meal plans, to information about clubs and health services – and, being the forward-thinkers that they are, colleges and institutes have embraced innovative ways to do this!

BCIT for example – as part of its Kick Start orientation events – provides news students with a Wayfinding Guide to help them identify and locate the types of welcome services available. On top of that, the BCIT blog provides a unique platform for student bloggers – and vloggers – to share their own experiences of their programs, projects and campus life with new and current students.

This type of campus and community interaction is one of the strengths of the college and institute system – where students, staff, and faculty are deeply linked to each other and to their communities. Yukon College, for example, also gave students a unique community experience during their O-Week activities by inviting local Yukoners to share their own stories with the goal of opening students up to new perspectives.

New perspectives are especially important in creating a welcoming atmosphere on campus, where students come from a wide range of backgrounds. Colleges and institutes work to ensure that students from all walks of life are welcomed into the campus community. For example:

These types of services and support systems – not only during orientation week, but throughout the whole year – make college and institute campuses across the country among the most unique, diverse, and welcoming communities in which to pursue post-secondary education.

For students entering colleges and institutes across Canada, orientation week is an exciting time to get to know your new school, classmates and dorm mates and will certainly be an unforgettable experience!

The start of a new school year is also an important time to reflect on the risks associated with alcohol and drug consumption. Health Canada has put together a series of tips, videos, posters, and other downloadable resources to share with students, faculty, and volunteers with the goal of raising awareness and helping to prevent opioid overdoses – both during orientation week and for the rest of the year.

Be sure to explore Health Canada’s online Opioids Toolkit and stay safe!

We hope you enjoy your welcome-back activities and look forward to continuing a discussion about all things college and institute related throughout the coming year!

Member News

Federal Government announces launch of new Student Work-Integrated Learning Program

On Monday, August 28, 2017, Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour, the Honourable Patty Hajdu announced the launch of a new federal Student Work-Integrated Learning Program (SWILP), which will help ensure that Canadian college and institute students are equipped with the skills and hands-on work experience needed to find meaningful employment in their chosen fields through 10,000 additional paid student work placements in key industries over the next four years.

The minister revealed that the $73-million investment in SWILP, originally announced as part of the Government of Canada’s 2016 Budget, will create 60,000 student work placements over five years, with extra incentives for employers to hire students in underrepresented groups, including first-year students, women in male-dominated industries, Indigenous students, and people with disabilities.

Monday’s announcement was the first of five scheduled across the country targeting the biotech, aerospace, environment, IT, and information and communications technology sectors.

Read more about the program here.

Gain valuable experience with Meltwater in the Classroom

MW Logo

Take advantage of this unique offer for college and institute students! Meltwater, a company that specializes in media-monitoring and business-intelligence software is looking to expand brand awareness in Canada and your classes and students can benefit.

Over the past year, Meltwater representatives have been working with post-secondary institutions in the Greater Toronto Area, visiting classrooms to demonstrate the platform for students, and providing free access for the duration of the semester. Building on this success of, Meltwater is looking to expand its offer to colleges and institutes across the country.

The goal is to provide students in Public Relations and Communications programs with useful tips and hands-on experience using Meltwater, a service to which many of their future employers subscribe.

If you are a college and institute faculty member, professor, or program coordinator, interested in taking advantage of this offer, use this link to confirm your interest and set up an account for Meltwater in the Classroom.

For more information, contact Daniel Viron, Marketing & PR Field Manager at Meltwater.

CICan becomes CAIE’s 37th Associate Member


CICan is pleased to become the Conference of the Americas on International Education (CAIE)’s 37th associate member and its fifth member in Canada, the host country of CAIE’s next edition, which will take place from October 11-13, 2017, in Montreal.

“We are thrilled to partner with CAIE and to continue to reflect together on the future of post-secondary education in the Americas,” said Denise Amyot, President and CEO of CICan. “The Canadian colleges and institutes that we represent are leaders in employment-oriented education and have a rich history in international collaboration. As such, they have contributed over the years to the construction of common spaces for dialogue promoting the exchange of best practices to improve the delivery of post-secondary education throughout the world.”

Both CAIE and CICan are happy to be working together. This partnership will assist both entities in continuing to develop mechanisms for the diffusion of learning and experience related to the internationalization of higher education and to encourage the development of important life-skills and capacities.

To read more, view the full press release here.

Eureka! Moment

Did you know that the Cégep de Saint-Jérôme offers Canada’s only program in Transformation of Composite Materials? Students learn about these materials – made from both high resistance fibres and resins – and how they contribute to development in the aerospace, automobile, and civil construction sectors. To deliver this program, the cegep works closely with the College Centre for the Transfer of Technology (CCTT) on its campus, the Composite Development Centre of Quebec (CDCQ). Cool!


Seneca College was pleased to announce that David Agnew has been renewed for a third term as the college’s President. His term will continue until June 2023.

Bow Valley College was pleased to announce the appointment of a new Vice President, Academic. Dr. Misheck Mwaba assumed the role after a long career in post-secondary education, including positions at Niagara College and Algonquin College.

Mohawk College was pleased to welcome two new Deans. David Santi joined the college as Dean of Engineering Technology after in the manufacturing and energy sectors, and Wayne Ostermaier took on the role of Dean of Skilled Trades & Apprenticeship after serving as the college’s Associate Dean, Construction and Building Systems.

Vancouver Island University also welcomed a new Dean of Management. Dr. Suzanne Flannigan joined the university with an extensive background in higher education and leadership.


Canada’s 150th Anniversary! 

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

A new crowdfunding platform 

Crowdfunding options are available for students looking to launch creative ideas to give back to their communities through fundmy150. Read more 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.