The firm Research Infosource Inc has released its list of Canada’s Top 50 Research Colleges for 2016. The list ranks Canadian colleges’ research capacity and activities by looking primarily at research income and research intensity per faculty member. Included on the list were CIEC Academic Members: Durham College, Fleming College, Humber College & the British Columbia Institute of Technology.
The British Columbia Institute of Technology’s School of Business has been granted initial accreditation by the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP). The accreditation includes a number of notes and conditions that must be met, and ACBSP will review BCIT programs every two years to ensure that the terms of the accreditation are being followed. “The accreditation process … served to validate BCIT’s unique model that focuses on industry alignment as a means of delivering high quality professional business education,” said Robin Hemmingsen, Dean of the BCIT School of Business. The accreditation applies to more than 15 programs offered at BCIT [CIEC Academic Member].
British Columbia will provide $1.2 M in funding to PSE institutions to support training for students with disabilities. The funding will be allocated to 20 institutions to develop training and resources for programs that align with the province’s Skills for Jobs Blueprint. Among the recipients will be [CIEC Academic Members] Langara College, for its Centre for Accessible Post-Secondary Education Resources (CAPER-BC), and the British Columbia Institute of Technology, for the Post-Secondary Communication Access Service (PCAS), which supports students with visual impairment or hearing loss. These facilities support public PSE institutions throughout the province. Additionally, BC will provide $9 M over three years for the Technology@Work program, which provides assistive technologies.
British Columbia’s Minister of Advanced Education Andrew Wilkinson has approved the British Columbia Institute of Technology’s application for exempt status for new undergraduate programs. The approval follows a thorough review by BC’s Degree Quality Assessment Board (DQAB). For BCIT [CIEC Member], the approval represents full recognition of the quality of its degree programs, and means there will be a more efficient process for degree approval in the future. BCIT’s Acting VP Academic Bill Dow said, “we will take full advantage of this status and we will ensure that we add programs that will further our students’ knowledge and give them the tools to succeed in their desired careers long after they leave BCIT.”
An article in the Globe and Mail looks at how Canadian colleges are working to overcome a gap between the demands of employers and the skills of recent graduates. The article notes that recent US-based surveys have found that while 75% of education providers said that graduates were adequately prepared for entry-level positions in their field, only 42% of employers and 45% of youth felt the same way. 49% of employers felt that grads had adequate written communication skills, in contrast to 63% of education providers. In response, some colleges are working to enhance their soft skills offerings, providing instruction on communication, teamwork, and problem-solving, sometimes in collaboration with employers. The British Columbia Institute of Technology [CIEC Academic Member], for example, requires that students complete a hands-on consulting project for an industry client in order to graduate. BCIT has also collaborated with SAP Canada to develop a high-school course that has students working on real-world projects and learning about teamwork and job readiness. “I firmly believe you have to simulate what is done in industry if you are going to call yourself industry-ready,” said Robin Hemmingsen, Dean of BCIT’s business school.
Several Canadian PSE institutions have been awarded Canada’s Best Diversity Employers Award, including Red River College, Ryerson University, [CIEC Academic Member] the British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT), UBC, the University of Toronto, and the University of Victoria. Employers are judged on a number of criteria, including diversity initiatives for employees from 5 areas: women, members of visible minorities, persons with disabilities, Aboriginal peoples, and LGBT peoples. “Red River College has always been proactive in their efforts to support its employees and today’s award is ongoing recognition of the work we are doing,” said Lori Grandmont, Acting VP Human Resources and Sustainability. “I want to congratulate our staff for their work on these initiatives, and for their input into continually finding new and innovative ways to strengthen our workplace.”
The British Columbia Institute of Technology [CIEC Academic Member] will soon offer a new Bachelor of Engineering degree in Mining and Mineral Resource Engineering, reportedly the first such degree in Canada. The program will offer students “a unique combination of geology, mineral exploration, and mining.” In a news release, BCIT says that this will be the only degree in Canada that combines skills such as mineral exploration geology with mine engineering. “This degree will close the knowledge gap that often exists between geologists and engineers. By leading the way in our field, BCIT is addressing a direct industry need for qualified persons with a diverse skill set,” said Robert Stevens, Associate Dean of Engineering and Natural Resources. The program is expected to launch in September.
[CIEC Academic Member] British Columbia Institute of Technology’s Bachelor of Engineering in Mechanical Engineering has received accreditation from the Canadian Engineering Accreditation Board (CEAB). The accreditation is the first that the program has received and is valid for 3 years. “The Mechanical Engineering program is very pleased to receive accreditation from CEAB and is thankful for the support received from across BCIT,” said Paul Morrison, the program’s Associate Dean. Accreditation provides the program with a recognizable standard of quality and its graduates with improved degree mobility. Graduates of the class of 2014 are now able to apply directly to register as an Engineer-in-Training rather than first writing a Fundamentals of Engineering examination. BCIT’s BEng in Electrical Engineering, meanwhile, received a 6-year reaccreditation.
The British Columbia Institute of Technology [CIEC Academic Member] has partnered with McDonald’s Canada to allow business students to gain course credits with experience gained through work placements at the company. The program follows a successful pilot in 2010, in which BCIT partnered with the Canadian military to recognize experience as course credits for soldiers returning from Afghanistan. “The pilot project turned out to be way more successful than we expected. On average, these guys outperformed the other students. Their work ethic, maturity and discipline gave them an edge,” says School of Business Program Head Kevin Wainwright. Wainwright adds that BCIT expects the program with McDonald’s to be equally successful.
TCS Insights: BCIT and McDonald’s Canada have partnered to let students to allow students earn course credits during work placements at the company. This will allow students not only to further their studies but acquire valuable work experience at the same time that will help them in their careers.
BCIT is one of British Columbia’s most popular post-secondary institutions with nearly 50,000 students enrolled. Founded in 1964, the establishment has five main campuses along with additional satellite locations across the province. They offer degrees, diplomas and certificates in an expansive variety of programs. BCIT provides students with theory based learning while working with industry to allow students to apply their knowledge both on campus and in the field. Upon graduation, students will have the skills needed to participate in the workforce immediately.