Starting next fall, Red Deer College will offer programs for university and college graduates looking for some specialization or more skills to add to their repertoires.
Popular in Ontario, college graduate certificate programs offer another year of study to grads in areas ranging from victimology to the creation of web applications for mobile computing.
About 20 per cent of all enrolment in Ontario colleges is in graduate certificate programs, which typically run between eight and 12 months of study and include a co-op period of practical work experience.
A certificate program in international business will be the first local offering.
Academic program development manager Nancy Batty said the hope will be to add two more programs in 2015 and more in future years — advanced film and television, autism and behavioural science, and alternative dispute resolution are examples of prospective programs that could be added down the line.
Red Deer College will be the first school in Alberta to offer this type of post-grad certificate programming, according to Batty.
Entrants to the programs will have to hold a diploma or degree already, or have field experience.
“This is intended for, say, somebody who’s got a bachelor of arts degree and they’re finding themselves underemployed, and they can now layer over top of that a business certificate so they can leverage the creative and critical thinking that comes out of the arts programming combined with specific knowledge about international business to become a very powerful combination,” said Brad Donaldson, vice president, academic at RDC.
The business program will consist of 10 courses and likely run on a 10-month schedule, with a two-month practicum that can be added on.
“We hope to work closely with government partners, with local industry and business, with Access Prosperity, which is here on campus, to provide expertise to augment the faculty expertise that we have here currently in the Donald School of Business,” said Batty.
Donaldson said the college would likely be hiring staff for the programs, in the form of course-specific lecturers or full-time faculty. He said course content would be “very targeted and specific” and future offerings would match the needs present in the community or certain sectors.
He said approximately 20 students would be accepted to the program in its first year, with applications likely being accepted starting in February or March of 2014.