College Beat: Help shape RDC’s future name and brand

At Red Deer College, things are in full swing as we undertake extensive behind-the-scenes work to transition to a university. But while this is happening, we are also looking to reach out and connect with community members from across central Alberta.

Your feedback is a very important part of our journey to become a university. Our communities helped us before, when we were asking for the Government’s approval to achieve university status, and now we would love to get your help again as we look to envision the new name and new brand for our university.

Renaming and rebranding is an in-depth, multi-faceted process, and David Roberts, RDC’s Director of Marketing & Communications, is providing integral leadership for this project. We have also engaged the collaborative expertise of a brand strategy and research firm, Stormy Lake Consulting, along with a marketing agency, Will, to help guide our work.

Right now, we’re at the first stage of this process, which means we are looking for community feedback. Throughout November and early December, we are hosting seven community sessions where we invite people to have a voice in our university journey. People from across central Alberta are welcome, whether you are a student, potential student, parent, alumni, community member, partner or a faculty or staff member at RDC.

The community feedback sessions will be energetic, fun and collaborative. Participants will answer questions and participate in exercises – some which may be a little surprising – but all of which are designed to use an indirect approach to unlock people’s creative potential. And this creativity is exactly what we’re looking for. The information you provide will help us to understand what RDC means to you, what you think it means to central Alberta, and what you hope for its future.

So far, we have held two sessions in Red Deer, and the remaining sessions will be held in Red Deer and across central Alberta. Full details are available at rdc.ab.ca/community session, and the dates and locations include:

l November 28 – RDC Main Campus

l December 3 – Ponoka Civic Centre

l December 4 – Stettler Learning Centre

l December 5 – Drumheller Community Learning Society

l December 6 – Rocky Mountain House, RDC Confluence Campus

The feedback we gather will help us to get a sense of what our name could be and, perhaps even more importantly, what our brand will look like. As our team of experts has articulated so well, the brand model we will be developing will align and enhance the vision we have boldly defined on why we exist and what we uniquely promise. This will further support how we will deliver on that promise with consistency and, as a result, how all of these elements will create the reputation for our new university.

When we can articulate our reason for being, which will come in part through all the feedback we’re gathering, then we can honour both the collective legacy of our past and our aspirations for the future. These pieces will inform all of the elements of our brand, from our name to our visual identity to countless other areas.

When we consider the institution that RDC will become, it is truly unique. We will be a comprehensive regional teaching university, and we understand there are only a handful of other institutions with this model across Canada. We will offer a range of credentials, from apprenticeships to undergraduate degrees, and the 100+ programs we offer will be grounded in applied learning opportunities. We believe this unique model will fulfill the needs of students from our central Alberta region and beyond.

Red Deer College is on an incredible journey. As we undertake the intriguing process of envisioning our new brand and new name, we welcome your input. This is your College, and it will be your university. We are so excited to celebrate our history and share our future with you.

Shelley Ralston is Vice President Corporate at Red Deer College.

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