(Advocate file photo).

Central Albertans can help shape RDC’s new identity

Public input sessions held this month at main campus

Will the new name for Red Deer College be Red Deer University? Central Alberta University? Or something else entirely?

Area residents are invited to weigh in on what the facility currently known as Red Deer College should be titled in future, as it fulfills its new mandate and becomes a university.

“As we transition, we want the public to help us define who RDC is as a… learning centre,” said David Roberts, RDC’s director of marketing and communications.

Although the college is creating more university-level courses, it also doesn’t want to lose the hands-on learning reputation it’s gained for technology and trades programs, added Roberts.

“We are looking at honouring the past as we consider who we will become.”

Related: Home-grown education, business degrees are the next goal

RDC president Joel Ward has stated he could shy away from renaming RDC after a person, since some historical figures have faced criticism in these more politically correct times, but Roberts believes all options are on the table.

It’s not just RDC’s name that’s at stake. Community input is also being sought on what kind of a learning facility area residents would like to see it become: “What are the important elements?” said Roberts, who believes these will help form a vision of a new kind of educational facility.

The answers provided to an external marketing company at upcoming public workshops will be used to determine how the institution will be branded in future information brochures and marketing, he added.

Community members will be asked to share their thoughts and collaborate in small groups in two-hour feedback sessions. Residents will have their choice of four workshops held at RDC’s main campus in November (two in the mornings and two in the evening) and throughout Central Alberta in December.

Roberts is hoping to get up to 75 people a session — a diverse mix of former, present and prospective students, as well as various members of the community. Those interested can register at rdc.ab.ca/communitysession.

This year, the 55-year-old post-secondary institution is adding seven new programs to more than 100 established ones, including degree, certificate, diploma and skilled trades programs. The facility educates 7,500 full- and part-time credit students.

Although RDC attained university status last spring, a name change must be approved by Ward, as well as Alberta Advanced Education. Roberts hopes to present a “whittled down” list of names for Ward’s consideration by the end of January.


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