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Education

Questions people ask about RDC

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6 minute read

by Joel Ward, President, RDC

In my role at Red Deer College, I have the opportunity to connect with people from across central Alberta. Whether this is at events hosted by RDC or at other activities in the community, I always enjoy speaking with students, alumni, parents, partners and interested citizens. A great many people are connected with RDC, and what I’ve found through my conversations is that they truly care about what’s happening here.

Over the years, people have asked me a variety of questions about our College, and today I’m happy to provide you with a sample of the commonly asked questions and my thoughts on each.

How many students attend RDC, and where are they from?

On any given day, we have about 7,500 students on our campuses. When I look back at our information from 2016-17, I see that 65% of our students came from central Alberta, with 15% from northern Alberta, 13% from the southern part and 7% coming from outside of our province. These students come from across Canada and from 16 countries around the world.

What is all the construction about?

We are fortunate to be in a time of growth and development at Red Deer College, and each new facility taking shape across main campus is the result of many years of careful and strategic planning. It’s hard to believe the preliminary site work for the Gary W. Harris Canada Games Centre/Centre des Jeux du Canada Gary W. Harris began back in the fall of 2015. Each day, we are moving closer to its completion and, in September 2018, we will welcome our first group of students to this teaching and learning centre. Not long after, the building will be a huge part of the 2019 Canada Winter Games. Our second construction project, the Alternative Energy Lab, demonstrates our commitment to the exploration and demonstration of new environmental technologies. The lab will provide learning and research opportunities for students and businesses to explore alternative energy solutions. Our third project, a new Residence, is under construction and is visible from 32nd Street. This unique facility incorporates solar panels on three sides and includes apartment-style studio suites, access for those with mobility challenges and short-term accommodation for our Apprenticeship students. All three new buildings support RDC’s goal of reducing our carbon footprint through energy efficient technologies.

What can I take at RDC?

We offer more than 100 programs, and these include everything from collaborative degrees, where students can take all of their courses at RDC, to university transfer programs, where they take their first year or two at RDC and complete at another institution. We also offer skilled trades, diplomas and certificates. This fall, we launched two new programs – the Human Resources Management Graduate Certificate and the Instrumentation Engineering Technology Diploma.

What new programs are on the horizon?

Looking ahead, our senior administrators and faculty are always looking for ways to develop new programs that will offer students the real-world information they need for today’s jobs. One example of this is happening right now in the School of Creative Arts, with two proposed cutting-edge programs – the Bachelor of Applied Arts in Film, Theatre, and Live Entertainment, and the Bachelor of Applied Arts in Animation and Visual Effects. Once we have approval from the government, we intend to launch these programs in the fall of 2018, offering students one-of-a-kind opportunities in the ever-growing film and special effects industries.

When will we be able to complete our degrees at RDC?

We continue to work with our government partners to achieve our goal of RDC becoming a degree- granting institution. If people didn’t have to leave to complete their degrees, as I described above,

Red Deer College | 100 College Boulevard | Box 5005 | Red Deer | AB | Canada | T4N 5H5 | www.rdc.ab.ca

then it would have a huge, positive impact on students, families and even the economy of central Alberta. We will continue to strive to make this goal a reality for our future students.

These questions provide a snapshot of what’s happening here at RDC, and they show how we are always growing and evolving to better serve you, our students and partners and communities. As we continue to grow, I look forward to sharing this information with you – in this column and when we meet in the community.

Joel Ward is President & CEO of Red Deer College

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Alberta

Schools to offer on-site vaccination, August 16 measures extended to September 27

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Health guide, tool kit and on-site vaccination ensure safe school year ahead

New health guidance will ensure students’ safety and help school officials prepare for the new school year.

The Guidance for Respiratory Illness Prevention and Management in Schools document will help schools to reduce respiratory illness and infection in schools. A back-to-school tool kitprovides information for parents and school staff on what to expect when students head to their classrooms.

Consistent with the extended timelines for easing COVID-19 measures, students and school staff should screen daily for symptoms using the Alberta Health Daily Checklist, and must isolate if they test positive or have the core COVID-19 symptoms.  A detailed 2021-22 School Year Plan contains two contingency scenarios for continuing student learning if there is a significant change in the COVID-19 situation in the fall.

To further promote a safe school year, all eligible Albertans, including students, teaching staff, parents and guardians, are strongly encouraged to get vaccinated with both doses before the school year begins.

With these measures in place and climbing vaccination rates, students and parents can look forward to in-person classes, with no restrictions on in-person learning or extracurricular activities. However, masking will be required on school buses.

“Thanks to the power of vaccines, I’m pleased that students can return to a normal school year in September. The safety of students and staff remains our number one priority, and we have a detailed plan that includes contingency scenarios for continuing student learning if there is a significant change in the COVID-19 situation. We will continue to follow the expert advice of Alberta’s chief medical officer of health and are ready to make changes if needed.”

Adriana LaGrange, Minister of Education

“Making sure Alberta’s schools are safe is one of our government’s top priorities. I am confident that this guidance will help keep students and staff safe, and our province’s children and youth can go on to thrive in the upcoming school year.”

Tyler Shandro, Minister of Health

Vaccines in schools

To increase accessibility to COVID-19 vaccines, immunizations will be available through temporary clinics in schools for students in grades 7 to 12 as well as teachers and staff. Starting on September 7 students, teachers and staff can receive whichever dose they are eligible for in school.

Parent or guardian consent for students will be required through consent forms.

Students in grades 7 to 12 do not need to wait for an in-school clinic to be vaccinated. Bookings for first and second doses are available provincewide. Albertans can book appointmentsthrough AHS online, by calling 811 or through participating pharmacies. First-dose walk-in clinics are available at multiple locations.

“Vaccines are the most important protective measure for students, teachers, parents and guardians as we prepare for back to school. I encourage parents and guardians to arrange vaccine appointments for themselves and their children as soon as possible. This will help further strengthen protection in schools and benefit all youth, whether or not they can be immunized yet.”

Dr. Deena Hinshaw, chief medical officer of health

AHS will continue to support schools to manage outbreaks of respiratory illnesses.

Alberta’s government has contingency scenarios to continue student learning if there is a significant change in the COVID-19 situation — similar to those implemented in the previous school year.

2021-22 school year plan and health guidance highlights

  • Students, families and school staff should continue to screen daily for symptoms using the Alberta Health Daily Checklist and get tested if they are symptomatic.
  • The Guidance for Respiratory Illness Prevention and Management in Schools builds on public health practices used to reduce the spread of respiratory viruses, such as COVID-19, influenza and other infections in school settings.
  • Best practices to reduce the risk of transmission of COVID-19 and other respiratory illnesses will continue, including:
    • Students and staff who have any new signs of illness should stay home and not attend school until they are feeling well.
      • If a student or staff member has any of the following core COVID-19 symptoms (new, or worsening and not related to other known causes), they are required to isolate for 10 days from onset of symptoms, or until they receive a negative COVID-19 test result, as per provincial guidelines:
        • Fever
        • Cough
        • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
        • Loss of sense of smell or taste
        • Sore throat (adults only)
        • Runny nose (adults only)
    • Cleaning and disinfecting high touch surfaces.
    • Promoting frequent hand hygiene and good respiratory etiquette.
    • Schools are encouraged to have a plan for students and staff who develop symptoms to wait in a separate area until they can go home.
  • Masking is not provincially required in school settings for any age group, except on school buses.
    • AHS, through a zone Medical Officer of Health or their designate, may recommend masking to manage an outbreak and prevent more widespread transmission of a respiratory illness.
    • Zone Medical Officers of Health and their designates may also recommend additional measures if a school experiences a respiratory illness outbreak including screening for symptoms and cohorting.
  • School authorities have the ability and the corresponding accountability to put in place local measures, such as physical distancing, cohorting, and masking requirements, that may exceed provincial guidance.

Quick facts

  • As of August 12, 65 per cent of 12 to 14 year olds have received one dose in Alberta and 54 per cent are fully protected with two doses.
  • As of August 12, 67 per cent of 15 to 19 year olds have been partially vaccinated in Alberta with one dose and 56 per cent are fully protected with two doses.
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Education

Red Deer Polytechnic adds Psychology degrees and two diplomas for fall

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Red Deer Polytechnic continues to expand its breadth of programming for learners by offering a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology, a Bachelor of Science in Psychology, a University Arts Diploma and a University Sciences Diploma, all set to begin in Fall 2021 Term.

“We are pleased to expand our offering of credentials at Red Deer Polytechnic to meet the demand of learners. These new programs signal another important benchmark in the evolution of our post- secondary institution,” says Kylie Thomas, Vice President Academic and Research. “As a unique polytechnic, we are committed to offering diverse academic pathways for students. Pathways including apprenticeship, micro-credentials, collaborative degrees, certificates, more of our own degrees, and diplomas.”

The Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and Bachelor of Science in Psychology provide Red Deer Polytechnic students with a strong foundational knowledge in a range of topics including behaviour, biology, environment, cognition, neuroscience, and how these areas intersect. Throughout these programs, learners will also explore themes of wellness as they expand their analytical, creative and problem-solving skills.

“Offering of these psychology degrees at Red Deer Polytechnic provides learners the access to complete all four years of their program right here in central Alberta. The value of these opportunities cannot be understated,” says Dr. Jane MacNeil, Dean of the School of Arts and Culture. “Throughout their academic journey, students will also benefit from the ability to collaborate with regional partners through participation in experiential learning such as community service and applied research opportunities.”

The new two-year diplomas – the University Arts Diploma and the University Sciences Diploma – will provide students with the necessary skills, knowledge, and experiences that will help them prepare for the workforce upon completion of the program or pursue further education in a variety of fields.

Within the University Arts Diploma, learners can focus on several areas of interest in the Humanities and Social Sciences and may choose one of three academic themes: Global Perspectives; Science and Society; or Culture, Societies, and Gender.

Students enrolled in the University Sciences Diploma will explore subject areas that include Chemistry, Calculus, and Physics, with an initial specialization in Biological Sciences. This diploma prepares graduates to work in biology-related fields, to enter a professional school after two years of undergraduate studies, and to transfer into the last two years of Red Deer Polytechnic’s Bachelor of Science Degree in Biological Sciences.

“Using a holistic interdisciplinary approach, learners will have the opportunity to advance their multi- faceted education as they engage in independent and collaborative scholarly inquiry throughout these diplomas,” says Dr. Nancy Brown, Dean of the Donald School of Business, Science, and Technology. “With a host of hands-on learning opportunities, students will also expand their competencies in solving problems and conducting research projects.”

Red Deer Polytechnic has submitted degree proposals to Alberta’s Ministry of Advanced Education for Bachelor Business Administration and Bachelor of Education as it looks to broaden its program offerings in the future. The process of designing Red Deer Polytechnic’s own Bachelor of Arts in Multidisciplinary Studies is also underway.

More information about these programs, including the application process, can be found online at rdc.ab.ca/apply.

 

About Red Deer Polytechnic: Our institution’s story began as Red Deer College, opening in 1964. The institution proudly serves its learners and communities with more than 100 programs, as well as impressive learning spaces and facilities. Now, as a polytechnic institution, the post-secondary institution will continue to offer the same breadth of programs in various subject areas and credentials it offers now, plus more of its own degrees. Programs will continue to include apprenticeship training, certificates, diplomas, micro-credentials, degrees and programs in collaboration with partner post- secondary institutions.

Red Deer Polytechnic estimates that about 6,200 full-and part-time credit and apprenticeships students will enroll for the 2020/2021 academic year. The Polytechnic also provides lifelong learning opportunities to 34,000 youth and adult learners annually in the School of Continuing Education. Red Deer Polytechnic’s main campus is located on Treaty 7, Treaty 6 and Métis ancestral lands. This is where we will strive to honour and transform our relationships with one another.

For more information, please visit: rdc.ab.ca

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