College Beat: Developing leaders always worth the investment

When I consider the value of post-secondary education, one of the often-overlooked things that comes to mind is the essential work we do to help develop the leaders of tomorrow. Across our programs, students are challenged to learn and consider how the over-arching skills of communications and interpersonal relations will impact their lives. And these aren’t just buzz words. When we think about what makes effective, respected and strong leaders, these human skills are often some of the first aspects that come to mind.

Red Deer College is helping to develop this next generation of leaders across our programs. In the Bachelor of Applied Arts in Film, Theatre, and Live Entertainment, students learn communications, business and entrepreneurial skills, in addition to storytelling and directing. They learn from instructors and professionally practicing artists. And this is important, because it involves collaborating with and being mentored by people who are leaders in their professions. Students are inspired and they aspire to do more in their careers, which is very motivating.

We also develop leaders by immersing students in professional settings. This happens in practicums and work integrated learning opportunities, and a unique example has just started at Westpark Middle School, thanks to our partnership with the Red Deer Public School District. In the newly opened school, RDC has a dedicated classroom that provides Bachelor of Education and Educational Assistant students with real-time learning in an authentic setting. Students apply their learning and practice their skills while interacting with students and staff at the school.

Preparing students for the future begins long before post-secondary, and I don’t think it’s ever too soon to be talking about leadership. At RDC, we have partnerships with local School Divisions to provide educational pathways for students of all ages. A great example of this is School Within a College, where high school students take dual credit Automotive Service Technician or Welding programs at RDC. When they graduate from this program, they’re already a step ahead, as they may receive credit toward the first year of their Apprenticeship program, and they have valuable employment skills that industry is looking for.

For younger students, Reading College, led by the Foundation for Red Deer Public Schools, is a transformative opportunity for Grade 2 students to develop and improve their literacy skills. Through our partnership, we welcome these students to RDC each summer, where they learn, grow and become familiar with a college environment. There’s such comfort for students to be in a place like this when they’re young, because that makes the transition easier when it’s time to enter post-secondary.

These examples highlight our partnerships, which are essential as we help to develop leaders. Our collaboration with School Divisions, Indigenous communities, businesses, the City of Red Deer, Red Deer County, the Red Deer Chamber of Commerce, local municipalities and many other organizations helps to facilitate a strong and vibrant region for students and for citizens of central Alberta. This community collaboration was evident to me from when I first learned about Red Deer College, and I’m looking forward to expanding on the strides that have already been made as we plan for the future.

Another area I’m very passionate about is developing leaders within the College. The strength of our institution is in the people, and I believe we need to provide leadership training, particularly in the middle-management areas, to engage people at the strategic level. By supporting leadership development within our organization, we’re supporting our students and communities. But it goes even deeper than that. We can all be change-makers, and by investing in people, we’re helping to make their futures brighter and to improve the entirety of society in Alberta.

In recognizing the importance of our leaders, I would like to thank three of our outgoing Board of Governors members – Morris Flewwelling, Dianne Macauley and Karin Melnyk – for their valuable contributions and their dedication to Red Deer College. I also welcome our new Board members, including Chair, Guy Pelletier, along with Kristen Korhonen and Julie Oliver, and I look forward to working with them as we continue the important work for RDC’s future.

As we look to the future, I’m encouraged by the opportunities we will have to educate even more students and develop even more leaders. We’ve served students well in the past, and we’ll be able to serve them even better as Red Deer University.

Dr. Peter Nunoda is Red Deer College’s President

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Red Deer area residents who were quarantined on cruise ship near Japan back in Canada

Central Alberta residents are safe and test negative for coronavirus

Alberta doctors getting ready for court fight against new pay, benefits deal

EDMONTON — The head of the Alberta Medical Association says it’s preparing… Continue reading

Eyes on police after Trudeau orders blockades torn down, injunctions enforced

All eyes are on Canadian police forces now that Prime Minister Justin… Continue reading

Ontario Tories hold annual policy convention amid union protests

NIAGARA FALLS, Ont. — Labour activists plan to hold a demonstration outside… Continue reading

SARS lessons help Canada prep for COVID-19, but hospital capacity a worry

OTTAWA — Canadian medical experts say the country’s already overstretched emergency rooms… Continue reading

Fashion Fridays: The 8 best quality online stores! Shop the ultimate sales

Kim XO, helps to keep you looking good on Fashion Fridays on the Black Press Media Network

Your community calendar

Feb. 19 A Liberation of Holland event is being held at the… Continue reading

Saskatchewan’s chief coroner warns public after fatal drug overdoses in Regina

REGINA — Two deaths and dozens of drug overdoses in Regina have… Continue reading

A champion, again: Humphries wins 3rd women’s bobsled title

Kaillie Humphries of the U.S. is a bobsled champion again, winning her… Continue reading

Canada’s Kingsbury finishes first in moguls for 62nd World Cup victory

TAZAWAKO, Japan — Canada’s Mikael Kingsbury earned his 62nd World Cup victory… Continue reading

Cruise-ship evacuees arrive for quarantine in Canada as first Wuhan evacuees let go

OTTAWA — A plane carrying 129 Canadians and their families who have… Continue reading

Trudeau says rail blockades have to end

TORONTO — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Friday indigenous barricades that are… Continue reading

HIV-themed ‘Friends’ edit pulled after copyright claim from Warner Bros.

TORONTO — A Toronto-based HIV-AIDS hospital has pulled an edited “Friends” episode… Continue reading

Spurgeon records hat trick to lead Wild to 5-3 victory over Oilers

Wild 5 Oilers 3 EDMONTON — Jared Spurgeon scored three goals as… Continue reading

Most Read