Red Deer College enters the final leg of long road towards getting degree-granting status

Administrators hope for good news from the province next month

Visitors are arriving at Red Deer College next week to help decide the future of the institution.

Adjudicators from across Canada will tour the facility, interview staff, students and administrators, and assess proposed curriculums to determine if the college is ready to deliver new applied-degree programs in performing arts and animation.

If the four-year programs are approved by Alberta’s Minister of Advance Education, they could be the first of many that offer degrees at RDC — which has been seeking degree-granting status from the province for about three decades.

RDC president Joel Ward told members of the Board of Governors on Thursday that adjudicators from industry and other educational institutions will be carrying out one of the final stages of the process. “If these programs are approved, it sets us up for degree-granting very nicely,” he added.

College administrators, who received much community support in this latest push for degree-granting, are expecting an answer from the ministry by Jan. 31.

Board members were told at their monthly meeting that RDC is dealing with a significant loss of apprenticeship spots. Because Alberta’s economic downturn and increasing automation, Ward said Alberta Advanced Education cut the number of apprenticeships at the college to about 2,500 from a previous 3,500.

The number is expected to drop even further, affecting college enrolment and revenues more deeply, and leading to more instructor layoffs, said Ward.

About 20 per cent of RDC’s student population are now in trades. But RDC administrators hope to start more in-demand new trades programs over the next three years — such as the installation of solar power and geothermal equipment.

Meanwhile, studies have shown that 53 per cent of students planning to get post-secondary education want a degree, rather than a certificate, apprenticeship or diploma. “Degrees are in greatest demand,” said Board of Governors Chair Morris Flewwelling, who’s hoping for good news in January.

Computer fraud was also discussed. Red Deer College assessed its own cyber security program after a fraudster ripped-off Grant MacEwan University of $11.8 million in August. A staffer failed to call one of its vendors to verify whether emails requesting a change in banking information were legitimate.

Ward assured the board that RDC’s system requires more levels of approval. Keeping on top of the latest cyber scam is a “full-time job, but we’re doing the best we can to mitigate it.”



lmichelin@reddeeradvocate.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Red Deer College

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Central Alberta woman receives North American award for leading Red Deer Regional Health Foundation

Manon Therriault at the Red Deer Regional Health Foundation has always embraced… Continue reading

Families displaced after Red Deer fire Sunday

A structure fire displaced two families in north Red Deer Sunday morning.… Continue reading

End of CERB means uncertainty for some, new system for others

In its place is employment insurance, which the government says the majority of people will go on

The latest numbers on COVID-19 in Canada for Sept. 27

The latest numbers of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Canada as of 4:00… Continue reading

WE Charity controversy prompts examination of group’s overseas footprint

On Sept. 9, WE Charity said it would wind down its Canadian operations

QUIZ: Do you know what’s on TV?

Fall is normally the time when new television shows are released

Nearly 1M who died of COVID-19 also illuminated treatment

The nearly 1 million people around the world who have lost their… Continue reading

Toronto health officer closes 3 restaurants as result of COVID contact tracing

Toronto’s top public health official has ordered the closure of three downtown… Continue reading

Canadian ski resorts wrestle with pandemic-vs.-profit dilemma as COVID-19 persists

CALGARY — Canadian ski resort operators planning for a season that begins… Continue reading

Tenille Townes, Dean Brody and Brett Kissel top nominees at tonight’s CCMA Awards

OTTAWA — Tenille Townes could be lined up for some major wins… Continue reading

Horgan, Wilkinson trade barbs over MSP premiums, health care at campaign stops

TERRACE, B.C. — Health care in the era of COVID-19 took centre… Continue reading

Watchdog to investigate fatal Winnipeg crash that sent two kids to hospital

Winnipeg police say a woman has died and five others — including… Continue reading

The ‘relentless underdog’: Green Leader Sonia Furstenau ready for uphill battle

Green Leader Sonia Furstenau was driving Monday when she turned on the… Continue reading

Mi’kmaq power, inside and beyond Ottawa, stronger than in past fishery battles

HALIFAX — When Jaime Battiste was in his early 20s, cable news… Continue reading

Most Read