PRESIDENTIAL ADDRESS - Red Deer College President Joel Ward presented his State of the College Address on Feb. 12th. Todd Colin Vaughan/Red Deer Express

WATCH: Red Deer College degree-granting announcement status ‘imminent’

State of College Address presents successes of previous year

Red Deer College (RDC) President Joel Ward recently gave the keynote address at the annual State of the College Address.

Ward spoke about several highlights of the past year including the growth of three capital projects, the economic impact of RDC on the community and the growing number of programs, however, the looming Government of Alberta decision regarding RDC receiving degree-granting status as a polytechnic university was the main theme of the evening.

The Minister of Advanced Education Marlin Schmidt made his recommendation to cabinet before the New Year and Ward said a decision is imminent.

“I am sure the Government has made their decision and the timing is up to them as it always is,” Ward said. “It is a great story if it is a positive answer and if it is a positive answer, of course they will want to be here to make that announcement.”

Much of Ward’s speech focused on the economic impact RDC has on the Central Alberta community, which is currently $533 million according to a RDC press release.

Ward said degree-granting would only further benefit Central Alberta economically.

“There is an economic argument, there is an argument for keeping kids closer to home and it is about opportunities for people to start businesses in our region and also to attract business,” he said.

Ward said the unique polytechnic university model would allow RDC to build a skilled and educated workforce.

“If you come back in 10 years, you will see a vibrant, new modelled post-secondary institution offering a variety of programs that are making a tremendous difference in students’ lives and the businesses, industries and social agencies in Central Alberta,” he said.

Ward was positive RDC will receive good news very soon.

“Our Minister has done a stellar job of presenting our case to cabinet,” he said. “He is a great supporter of who we are and what we are trying to do. He has met every deadline that we have asked and we are very optimistic that he advocated for us. We anxiously await the answer. It could happen as soon as tomorrow.”

Aside from the potential impending changes, the State of the College Address presented some very positive statistics.

“The State of the College Address provides a special opportunity for us to connect with our community members,” RDC Board Chair Morris Flewwelling said in a press release.

Part of that connection was highlighting the 100,000 people who use the RDC campus every year; the 7,500 full or part-time students in 2016/17; the 1,415 people currently employed by the College and the 100 different programs offered through RDC.

The College is also in the process of seeing three new capital projects which will open in 2018 including the Gary W. Harris Canada Games Centre, the new residence building and the new Alternative Energy Lab.

“Providing the best opportunities and facilities possible for our learners is at the heart of what we do,” Ward said in a release. “We will continue to work with government, business, industry and community partners to build on our solid foundation and to achieve even greater possibilities for the future of our communities.”

todd.vaughan@reddeerexpress.com

Like us on facebook at https://www.facebook.com/RedDeerExpress/ and follow us on twitter at https://twitter.com/RedDeerExpress.

Just Posted

Hard fought win for HJ Cody senior boys Lakers

Lakers took on Camrose Jan. 10 at home and waked away with a 76-65 win

Hope restored: Sylvan Lake resident receives kidney donation from younger sister

Sylvan Lake’s Lexie Libby undergo an operation for a new kidney, donated by her sister Emma.

Anglers reminded to register ice huts on Sylvan Lake

Lacombe County is reminding anglers to register their huts with the “Take it Off” program

WATCH: Pro-pipeline convoy travels through Sylvan Lake

Over 600 vehicles drove the route from Red Deer and back on Jan. 12

Sylvan Lake library hosting fifth annual XOX Valentines Party

The ladies only event will be held at the Sylvan Lake Municipal Library on Feb. 1

UK lawmakers reject Brexit deal in 432-202 vote

House of Commons votes against the deal struck between Britain’s government and the EU

Olivia and Liam top list for Alberta baby names in 2018

Premier Rachel Notley announced the top baby names in Alberta in 2018; Loki didn’t make the cut

Edmonton Police charged 236 people with auto theft in 2018

Police states many of the thefts are crimes of opportunity

Official torchbearers for 2019 Canada Winter Games announced

Canada Games officials open time capsule from Grande Prairie Games in 1995

Sylvan Lake Municipal Library encourages residents to Read for 15

Read for 15 is an annual event held in connection to Family Literacy Day.

Alberta Health Services, United Nurses of Alberta reach agreement to settle union grievance of nursing staffing shortage

Settlement includes the designation of 11.7 full-time-equivalent Registered Nurse relief positions

Woman’s complaint leads to sexual assault charge against Calgary priest

Malcolm Joe D’Souza, who is 62, has been charged with one count of sexual assault

Saudi teen who was granted asylum in Canada says she’s a lucky one

Rahaf Mohammed Alqunun was fleeing abusive family back home

Most Read