A downtown satellite campus and an instructional iPad app have helped Red Deer College and Olds College push the entrepreneurial boundaries of post-secondary institutions. And they’ve earned the two Central Alberta college kudos from a national association.
Red Deer College and Olds College were among nine Canadian colleges to receive Entrepreneurship Awards from Colleges and Institutes Canada (CICan) on Monday. The awards, which recognize the promotion of entrepreneurial values that foster innovation and support local economies, were presented in five categories during a CICan symposium in Quebec City.
Red Deer College was honoured in the College and Institute Entrepreneurial Ventures category for its development of the Donald School of Business and the Welikoklad Event Centre in downtown Red Deer. A release issued by CICan said both are supporting the community and encouraging entrepreneurial activities, including performances, conferences and specialized training.
“Both the Donald School of Business and the Welikoklad Event Centre demonstrate what can be achieved with an entrepreneurial vision,” said Joel Ward, RDC’s president and CEO.
He added that the Donald School of Business, which opened downtown in the Millennium Centre in 2011; and the Welikoklad Event Centre, which the college acquired two years later, have created opportunities for RDC students and the broader community.
Olds College received a CICan Entrepreneurship Award for Innovative Instructional Approaches. It “gamified” a portion of its curriculum by creating an iPad app that students use to complete an entrepreneurship course. CICan said in its release that Olds College’s The Spirit of Entrepreneurship app is fostering an entrepreneurial mindset by encouraging students to understand and apply those skills.
The other award categories were Entrepreneurship in the Community, Social Entrepreneurship and Innovation, and Enabling Student Entrepreneurship. In addition to Red Deer College and Olds College, the recipients were Centennial College of Toronto (two awards); Okanagan College of Kelowna, B.C.; Bow Valley College of Calgary; The Humber College Institute of Technology and Advanced Learning of Toronto; Medicine Hat College; Dawson College of Westmount, Que.; and New Brunswick’s Collège communautaire du Nouveau-Brunswick.
“In a country where 78 per cent of businesses are small and medium-sized enterprises, it is absolutely essential for post-secondary institutions to help develop an entrepreneurial mindset,” said Denise Amyot, president and CEO of CICan.
CICan represents colleges, institutes, cégeps and polytechnics across Canada and beyond.