As a faculty member in the Centre for Teaching and Learning, I am privileged to work with faculty and staff from across Red Deer College and to hear about the incredible initiatives taking place. As a member of the wider Red Deer community and a parent, I have also seen what the college has to offer Central Alberta as a place for the whole community to engage in learning, arts, sports, and more.
RDC offers more than 100 programs to more than 7,500 students in a welcoming and inclusive environment. Student life gives students opportunities to connect with each other outside their classes while faculty bring their expert knowledge and experience into their classes. What I have experienced at RDC is that every member of the college is dedicated to student success and I have heard students say that they appreciate the connections they are able to make with their instructors, their knowledge, their helpfulness, and their professionalism. When a student is at RDC, they are part of the RDC community.
The School of Creative Arts offers live theatre, concert series, film events, and visual arts exhibitions throughout the year that highlight the award-winning work of faculty and students. As a parent, I remember my child’s amazement at experiencing his first live theatre at RDC watching Peter Pan come to life. Five years later, he still remembers this experience. As community members, we also have enjoyed participating in programs offered by the college such as the summer camps. We are excited about the new Makerspace where students and community members can explore, innovate, and create.
When I arrive at the college every morning, I see the Gary W. Harris Canada Games Centre/Centre des Jeux du Canada Gary W. Harris as it nears completion. This has been a beautiful addition to the campus and to Red Deer. The opportunities it will give to students and to the region are exciting.
When I look around the college, I also see the future of our region as students engage in discussions and projects that will impact generations. Often, these conversations and projects are open to the entire Red Deer community. Faculty from across the college are engaged in nationally recognized research. They bring this research into their teaching and often involve students. The Philosopher’s Cafe in the Library on free speech was standing room only. The Perspectives Speaker Series, which focuses on the Canadian perspective to current events, involves students grappling with issues that impact our city, region, country, and world. The School of Education’s Showcase of Learning, the School of Trades and Technologies’ participation in provincial, national and world Skills competitions, and the School of Arts and Sciences’ Agora Conference highlight for me, as both a College and community member, the impact that this institution has on students – and how they take this into the wider world.
For me, RDC offers the community a place to engage, be inspired, learn, and grow – both on our campuses in Red Deer and, through our flexible delivery and partnership in Campus Alberta Central, throughout the region. As I watch the College grow and move toward the goal of degree-granting status to better serve the needs of our community – providing even more educational opportunities to central Albertans in central Alberta – I am inspired.