Red Deer College has strengthened its ties with Mount Royal University in a move that should enable more business students to earn their degrees in Red Deer.
The two post-secondary institutions announced on Tuesday that they’ve broadened an existing partnership agreement so that local business students in university transfer programs won’t have to leave the college to complete their studies.
“The expansion of our partnership with Mount Royal University improves our ability to provide high-quality business education, delivered entirely in this region,” said Torben Andersen, RDC’s interim vice-president, academic.
Red Deer College and Mount Royal University struck a deal in 2012 that gave students in RDC’s two-year business administration diploma program the option to continue on in Mount Royal’s business administration degree program. And they were able to do this at Red Deer College.
However, RDC students working toward a business degree outside the business administration diploma program still had to transfer to a degree-granting institution like the University of Alberta or the University of Calgary.
“The courses you would take in a two-year diploma are actually quite different from the courses you would take in the first year or two of a commerce degree going to the U of A,” explained Andersen.
Now, degree-track students can also be accommodated in the Mount Royal program and can complete their studies at Red Deer College. Or, they can still transfer to a university elsewhere.
Andersen said this choice can be important to students who work in Central Alberta, have family here or simply enjoy the RDC environment.
Cost savings might also be a consideration.
“Completing a degree while living at home can save a student an average of $28,000 over a four-year degree,” said Andersen.
Enabling students to earn a business degree at Red Deer College is also important to the local business community, he added. That’s because students who are forced to move elsewhere to complete their degree may never return.
“That’s huge,” said Andersen of the opportunity to reduce this loss of talent and training.
For the 2014-15 academic year, 77 students are enrolled at the Donald School of Business in Red Deer College’s bachelor of commerce university transfer program, and 81 in its bachelor of business administration program.
In addition to Mount Royal University business degrees, students at Red Deer College can complete University of Alberta bachelor of science degrees in nursing or education, University of Calgary bachelor of arts degrees in psychology or sociology, and an RDC applied degree in motion picture arts.