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RDC keeps tuition and fee increase for next academic year in line with post-secondary sector standards

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Red Deer College

College is committed to enhancing financial supports for its students

After considerable consultation with student representatives, RDC has made the difficult decision to increase tuition and fees to the allowable maximum for the 2021/2022 academic year. This will ensure that RDC can effectively continue our commitment to providing students with the educational experience that they have come to expect.

The College’s tuition rates and the Facility, Service & Technology fee will increase for 2021/2022, while the Activity & Wellness Fee will remain unchanged. This means RDC students will pay up to $298 more per term for tuition, depending on an individual’s course load. Regarding mandatory non- instructional fees, students will pay $135 total per course (based on a three-credit course).

From 2015-2019, RDC was subject to tuition and fee freezes. This has now come to an end under new provincial government regulations that allows for modest increases across Alberta. Because this situation affects most post-secondary institutions in Alberta, RDC learners will continue to access quality academic programs and services at comparable rates to other post-secondary institutions.

This decision was not made lightly, recognizing the challenges that students face in funding their education.

“We understand the challenges that increasing tuition and fees presents to our students and we are pleased to provide a range of supports, as well as a growing amount of scholarships and bursaries, to assist them as they invest in their post-secondary education,” says Dr. Peter Nunoda, RDC President. “We are committed to ensuring that post-secondary education in central Alberta remainsaccessible.”

RDC provides more than $1 million in scholarships and awards to students each year, through the support of generous donors. Additional community, government and other scholarships are also available for students. More than 1,300 students each year will receive funding support through the College’s new Student Bursary Fund that was announced recently. RDC employees assist students in accessing student loans. The College also provides flexible payment options to provide students the opportunity to pay tuition and fees through installments.

It is important that RDC’s tuition and fees reflect the value of the education its students receive. The College is pleased to offer greater flexibility in how students learn by providing more courses online or through hy-flex delivery (meaning students can choose to attend online or in-person for a particular course).

“As we continue to make decisions for RDC’s next academic year, we will continue to seek efficiencies in our operations while ensuring that we continue to provide value for our
students with quality applied learning opportunities and access to a wide range of services as they pursue their educational goals,” says Nunoda.

Red Deer College continues its planning process for the 2021/2022 academic year, including ongoing adaptations to help ensure the health and safety of the College community during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Business

University status “one of, if not the most singular, strategic economic development” initiative – Council on RDC Polytechnic announcement

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Mayor Veer statement on Red Deer College announcement on behalf of Council

Today, Advanced Education Minister Demertios Nicolaides announced Red Deer College will become a polytechnic institution, as a result of a recent post-secondary review process. The people of Central Alberta have waited 25 years for an answer regarding the future of Red Deer College, with the goal of ensuring the people of Red Deer and Central Alberta have equitable access to options in advanced education.

Red Deer College was expected to receive final approval for university status last spring, but the Provincial Government held back on the final decision until the Province’s system review of post-secondary institutions was complete. According to the Government of Alberta, the study was intended to assess how the post-secondary system was meeting current and future needs, review the governance structure, provide comparisons to other post-secondary systems and develop a vision for the future.

While there are some expressed concerns within our community about the change in direction from RDC becoming a university to RDC as a polytechnic institution, including Council’s own questions on behalf of Red Deerians expressed to the Government, ultimately I support a path forward that will protect RDC’s ability to stay true to its roots in trades, technology and the arts, with the ability to confer degrees for other academic pursuits and fields of study. RDC assures City Council that the polytechnic accomplishes these objectives.

Degree conferring status for RDC is one of, if not the most singular, strategic economic development and community building initiatives we can undertake. For our city and region to fulfill our potential, we need to not only retain our existing population, we need to become a competitive contender in keeping and attracting new population to our city. One of the most promising means of doing so is through the development of a skilled labour force, offering a broader spectrum of career options locally, and attracting population who will stay and strengthen our local economy through their future contributions in various sectors.

Most importantly, building advanced education capacity at RDC ensures students in Red Deer and the region have more equitable access to advanced education services closer to home instead of being forced to relocate to other communities at great financial expense, or even more concerning, not pursue post-secondary education at all as a result of financial or geographic barriers.

I’d like to thank the generations of RDC leadership, faculty, staff, students, Students’ Association representatives and our community for your steadfast resolve and your insistence that the people of Red Deer and Central Alberta have equitable access to options in advanced education.

On behalf of Council and community, congratulations to this year’s graduates – we are proud of your accomplishments and look forward to supporting you in your future endeavors. Today, we welcome the fact that Red Deer College can finally take a significant step towards its future, and we remain committed to supporting the College, and the interests of the students who will always be RDC’s most compelling imperative, during this transition and in the years to come.”

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Alberta

As a Polytechnic RDC looking to offer degree programs in arts, science, business administration and education

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More higher learning opportunities in central Alberta

Red Deer College is poised to become Alberta’s newest polytechnic, ensuring residents have access to a wide variety of learning options close to home now and in the future.

Becoming a polytechnic enables Red Deer College to better align programming with local student, business and industry needs – including high-quality degrees, apprenticeship education and diploma programs.

Alberta’s government worked in partnership with Red Deer College and student leaders to determine the most flexible and best-fit model for central Alberta, with a goal of ensuring students have access to the education they need and employers in the region have access to the talent they need.

“I am thrilled that Red Deer College will become central Alberta’s polytechnic institution, best positioning it to provide residents with the wide range of educational options they need to build rewarding careers – right in their community. Ensuring all Albertans have access to opportunities to build their skills for in-demand local jobs empowers people to achieve success close to home, helps strengthen and grow communities, as well as attracting investment to the province.”

Demetrios Nicolaides, Minister of Advanced Education

Red Deer College and the students, faculty and staff on campus play a key role in the community and local economy. The college began operations in 1964, and since then has expanded its offerings to include more than 100 programs across a range of credentials. With strong connections to business, innovation, health care, non-profits and many other organizations, Red Deer College and its students have an important role in the culture and vibrancy of the central Alberta region. The partnerships, work-integrated learning and collaboration already in place will continue to be enhanced through the polytechnic model.

“We are very supportive of the polytechnic designation because this model will allow us to build on our strengths to become an ever more innovative institution that will best serve our students, partners, industry and community members. Becoming a polytechnic achieves all of the goals we have had for many years, and it allows us to consider exciting new possibilities for the future.”

Guy Pelletier, chair, Red Deer College Board of Governors

“The breadth of programs and credentials we will offer as a polytechnic institution are exactly what this region needs. By offering students applied and work-integrated learning across all programs – from trades to our own degrees – we will assist graduates to achieve their goals and be highly employable within the ever-changing needs of the labour market. This is the ideal future for our institution.”

Peter Nunoda, president, Red Deer College

“Red Deer is ready for a polytechnic. Students of central Alberta want to learn and live close to their support systems. We need to stop the brain drain and focus on what really matters most – making sure our population is well-educated and remains in this region.”

Savannah Snow, president, Students’ Association of Red Deer College

Red Deer is Alberta’s third largest city and a key social and economic hub for central Alberta. By shifting Red Deer College to a polytechnic and supporting expanded programming to include new degree and apprenticeship opportunities, we are ensuring students have the skills they need to build rewarding careers and employers have the talented workforce they need to grow the economy.

“Red Deer city council, our community and our region remain dedicated to supporting Red Deer College, students and staff who work every day to ensure RDC remains a key competitive post-secondary institution. We need to be a competitive contender in keeping and attracting new population to our city, and one of the most promising means of doing so is through the development of a skilled labour force, offering a broader spectrum of career options locally, and attracting a population who will stay and strengthen our local economy through their future contributions in various sectors.”

Tara Veer, mayor, City of Red Deer

These changes also align with the goals of the Alberta 2030: Building Skills for Jobs strategy, and were considered as part of consultations to form the strategy.

An official new name for the institution has not yet been chosen but is expected to be announced in the coming months. Alberta’s government will continue to work with Red Deer College to ensure a successful path to polytechnic status.

Quick facts

  • Polytechnic status in Alberta enables institutions to offer apprenticeship education along with degree, diploma and certificate programs.
  • Red Deer College is currently approved to offer three degree programs, including the recently approved bachelor of science in biological sciences degree.
  • The institution has also put forward four degree program proposals to Advanced Education for program approval review. These include:
    • bachelor of arts (psychology)
    • bachelor of science (psychology)
    • bachelor of business administration
    • bachelor of education
  • The Alberta 2030: Building Skills for Jobs strategy is a transformational vision and direction for Alberta’s higher education system, which will develop a highly skilled and competitive workforce, strengthen innovation and commercialization of research and forge stronger relationships between employers and post-secondary institutions.
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may, 2021

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