Update: Red Deer College to become degree-granting institution

A milestone decision for Red Deer and Central Alberta

Giving the old college try has paid off for Red Deer College.

RDC was given the green light to become a degree-granting institution Thursday.

The decision comes a week after the government gave Grande Prairie Regional College approval to pursue becoming a university.

“The day has finally come,” said RDC president Joel Ward.

Ward has lobbied for RDC to obtain polytechnic status since he started at the learning institute – about 10 years ago.

This was college’s third request to the province in the past 25 years.

Related: Waiting for an answer

“Achieving university status is the realization of a 54-year dream for our institution,” said Ward.

“The announcement today acknowledges the growth, and evolution of RDC as a mature academic institution. The significance of this day will resonate in the communities of Central Alberta for generations to come as we serve learners in new and innovative ways.”

Hundreds of community members, faculty, officials and students filled the RDC Arts Centre’s Mainstage to hear the long awaited news.

Kassandra Scholze, Students’ Association of Red Deer College, said students will no longer be forced to uproot their lives to complete their education. They will be able to stay in Central Alberta.

Red Deer Mayor Tara Veer said degree completion at RDC will not only help retain the existing population, but also attract new people to Central Alberta strengthening the local economy.

Red Deer College’s designation as a university will be a detailed, multi-year process. Work has already started, which will help speed up the process, said Ward.

“I believe it’s going to take three to five years probably for us to get to the place where we can say we’re doing everything you would expect a good university would be doing,” said Ward.

Ward said the college wants to meet all the criteria before “the light switches and the name changes.”

He said the new name will be a community decision, adding that the college will find an appropriate name at an appropriate time.

The institution will continue to work with the Campus Alberta Quality Council to ensure that all new degree programs meet provincial and national standards for quality.

Premier Rachel Notley said instead of asking why we are not going to do this, the question was, why we can do this.

She said the provincial government knows Red Deer is a growing city – the third largest city in Alberta, it is an economic centre and it makes sense for the city to be able to offer university degree granting.

Notley said the decision will help Central Albertans save money by not having to relocate for post-secondary education.


Just Posted

Update: Red Deer’s Ryan Vandervlis remains in critical condition in hospital after firepit explosion

WHL and families issue a statement on Friday night incident that injured three Lethbridge Hurricanes

“Nothing can take away the horror and the anguish,” says Amanda Lindhout’s mother

Lorinda Stewart reacts to 15-year jail sentence for daughter’s kidnapper

Amanda Lindhout kidnapper sentenced to 15 years in prison

OTTAWA — A Somalian man found guilty in the kidnapping of Amanda… Continue reading

Police suspect fire at mosque in Alberta town was deliberately set

EDSON, Alta. — RCMP in Alberta say they’re investigating an arson at… Continue reading

Indigenous protesters in Washington declare Trans Mountain won’t be built

VANCOUVER — Cedar George-Parker remembers the moment he decided to devote his… Continue reading

WATCH: Central Alberta High School Soccer League champs crowned

Lindsay Thurber girls’ team and Notre Dame boys’ team won Saturday at Edgar Park Field in Red Deer

Roll out the barrels: Christo artwork floats on London lake

LONDON — The ducks, geese and hardy cold-water swimmers in London’s Hyde… Continue reading

Just For Laughs production company promotes COO Bruce Hills to president

MONTREAL — The production company behind Montreal’s Just For Laughs comedy festival… Continue reading

Auto parts firm Magna plans electric vehicle joint ventures with Chinese company

AURORA, Ont. — Magna International Inc. says it will form two new… Continue reading

Collection featuring Group of Seven paintings donated to University of Lethbridge

LETHBRIDGE, Alta. — Margaret (Marmie) Perkins Hess spent a lifetime following her… Continue reading

5 dead as SUV chased by Border Patrol crashes in South Texas

BIG WELLS, Texas — At least five people were killed and several… Continue reading

Ramifications of a trade war: an expert look at the numbers for Canada

OTTAWA — A new analysis of escalating trade disputes involving the United… Continue reading

Deliberate spill: study launched to test crude and bitumen impact on lake life

KENORA, Ont. — Researchers were in northwestern Ontario over the weekend spilling… Continue reading

Two-spirit N.B. First Nation chief says his election points to progress

FREDERICTON — The new leader of a New Brunswick First Nation said… Continue reading

Most Read

Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $185 for 260 issues (must live in delivery area to qualify) Unlimited Digital Access 99 cents for the first four weeks and then only $15 per month Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $15 a month