Today is a great day for RDC, for Red Deer, and for central Alberta.
There used to be only two polytechnics in Alberta, the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology, (or NAIT), and the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology, (or SAIT). Now, there is a polytechnic for central Alberta.
For families and businesses throughout the region, the increased opportunities produced by a new, local polytechnic for central Alberta are very exciting.
Polytechnics enjoy a unique position in Alberta, getting the best of both worlds, offering both degrees and training in the trades.
It is important that RDC not only progress, but that it does so, in the most effective way. For RDC, that is as a polytechnic, where it is well positioned to compete and excel.
Polytechnic status leverages RDC’s competitive advantages and strengths, including its trades, with a focus on providing students with skills and specialized knowledge, meeting the needs of our local businesses, and its students to provide for themselves and their families.
Polytechnic status increases RDC’s autonomy and freedom to offer applied, practical degrees and training to better meet the needs of its students, providing an intentional education.
An intentional polytechnic education is as much about the deliberate acquisition of skills and knowledge as it is about a certificate, degree or diploma.
RDC is a special place. Like many in central Alberta, I started my post-secondary education at RDC. It was a great education, but there was more, making new friends, getting involved in extracurricular activities, such as cross-country running. Later as an alum and tax lawyer, I loved the opportunity to teach the tax course at our Donald School of Business, sharing technical knowledge, as well as real world experiences and perspectives on this subject.
RDC is a special college, a great college. Building on that foundation, today’s announcement confers RDC with a singular status as central Alberta’s Polytechnic, a polytechnic that will be unique and special.
Jason Stephan is the Red Deer-South MLA.