Red Deer College’s chair of board of governors says becoming a polytechnic institution is a natural evolution for the post secondary, and a path favoured by the college.
Earlier in the year, the college announced that the province would likely make RDC a polytechnic instead of a university despite efforts to become a university.
Guy Pelletier said the college had been working with the Ministry of Advanced Education in recent months and a polytechnic designation makes sense.
“For us, the name wasn’t a critical part of the story. It was about what we are able to do with the designation. More independent development and delivery of degrees was the key, and we have that ability as a polytechnic,” Pelletier said.
He said maintaining RDC’s range of programs, from trades to degrees to continuing education, is also possible as a polytechnic.
“Pure universities typically don’t do the trades and technology. They don’t at all in Alberta. And that’s a really important part to us as an institution, and that we maintain the full spectrum of course offerings.”
He said a university with trade programs would also be confusing for students. Polytechnic is a much more accurate descriptor of what RDC is and what it will be. But the community may need help understanding what that means.
“Polytechnic is not a term that everyone is familiar with necessarily, whereas university is.”
Pelletier said the next step in Alberta’s post-secondary review is expected in late March, or early April, which will determine how post secondary will be delivered across Alberta. But RDC remains confident that it is still on a polytechnic path.
“Certainly internally, we’re pleased with that designation. We don’t feel like a polytechnic is any less a designation than a university would have been.”