Red Deer College has been approved to offer its first bachelor’s degree outside of applied programming.
Starting in September, RDC will offer central Alberta students a new Bachelor of Science in Biological Sciences degree.
This achievement marks a major milestone in the institution’s history as it is the first baccalaureate degree outside of applied programming.
The Red Deer College Students’ Association has been urging the provincial government to approve degree programs at the post-secondary institution since last week.
With the go-ahead for the Bachelor of Science Biology (BSc Biology) degree, four degrees are still pending approval: Bachelor of Education (BEd), Bachelor of Science Psychology (BSc Psych), Bachelor of Arts Psychology (BA Psych) and Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA).
Upon news of the green light from the government, Brittany Lausen, association president, said the student voice is powerful.
“We have one of five (degrees approved) but this was a historic step in the right direction for RDC’s future.”
Last weekend, Lausen had said RDC doesn’t need to be a university or a polytechnic to be able to grant degrees.
Guy Pelletier, chair of RDC’s board of governors, said the college looks forward to continuing work with the government on the remaining degree proposals.
“By expanding our degree offerings, we will be able to better serve central Albertans, now and in the future,” Pelletier said.
Students in the newly approved degree program will study various aspects of biological sciences to prepare them for a diverse set of careers in this field. Areas of study include animal physiology, molecular genetics and heredity, botany and ecology.
“Learners in this BSc. degree will engage in research as well as practical and experiential learning activities to equip them for future careers and educational pursuits,” said Kylie Thomas, RDC’s vice president academic and research.
“We look forward to welcoming our first students to the Bachelor of Science in Biological Sciences degree program.”
Students will also engage in learning activities that will help provide them with project management experience, research skills, presentation skills and critical thinking.
The program also includes an applied study course in which learners will receive credit for discipline-specific education through volunteer or work experiences.
Even as a degree-granting institution, RDC will continue to offer the same variety of programming in diverse subject areas as it does currently.