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RDC to offer new Bachelor of Science Degree – First baccalaureate degree outside of applied programming.


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From RDC Communications

RDC celebrates new learning opportunities for central Alberta students with approval of Bachelor of Science in Biological Sciences

RDC is celebrating the approval to offer a new Bachelor of Science in Biological Sciences degree. Alberta’s Minister of Advanced Education, Demitrios Nicolaides, has approved RDC to offer this new degree, providing students with more opportunities to complete their post-secondary education in central Alberta. This achievement marks a major milestone in theinstitution’s history as it is the first baccalaureate degree outside of applied programming.

Starting in September 2021, students can begin their education in this new degree at RDC.

“We are excited to be able to offer more students with degree-completion opportunities through this new Bachelor of Science in Biological Sciences,” says Dr. Peter Nunoda, RDC President.

Students in RDC’s new degree will study various aspects of biological sciences to prepare them for a diverse set of careers in this field. Areas of study include animal physiology, molecular genetics and heredity, botany and ecology.

One area of pride for RDC within all its programs is the hands-on learning experiences in which students participate. Students in the College’s new Bachelor of Science program will engage in learning activities that will help provide them with project management experience, research skills, presentation skills and critical thinking. The program also includes an applied study course in which learners will receive credit for discipline-specific education through volunteer or work experiences.

“This degree has been carefully and thoughtfully developed to provide students with learning opportunities in the sciences discipline. Learners in this BSc. degree will engage in research as well as practical and experiential learning activities to equip them for future careers and educational pursuits,” says Kylie Thomas, RDC’s Vice President Academic and Research. “RDC’s knowledgeable and talented faculty now have further opportunity to share their expertise and position learners for success at RDC and beyond. We look forward to welcoming our first students to the Bachelor of Science in Biological Sciences degree program.”

RDC appreciates the support it has received from the Campus Alberta Quality Council (CAQC) and the Minister of Advanced Education in providing his endorsement of this new high-quality, well- planned degree. Additionally, local and regional MLAs have played a huge role in advocating for RDC’s positive future to grow its programming.

“The support that RDC has received from our students, employees, alumni, stakeholders and community members has been an essential aspect in the success we are realizing now with the ability to grant this new degree,” Nunoda says. “This has truly been a community effort, for the benefit of the community, as more learners will be able to study, graduate and work in the region, thanks tothe enhanced program opportunities at RDC.”

As a degree-granting institution, RDC continues to serve its learners by expanding degree opportunities as well as delivering existing and new programing in apprenticeships, certificates, diplomas, micro-credentials, applied degrees, and collaborative degrees in collaboration with Alberta universities.

The institution will also continue to offer the same variety of programming in diverse subject areas as it does currently, including humanities and social sciences, health sciences, creative and performing arts, business, education, and sciences.

“We are so pleased to now offer a degree developed and granted by RDC in addition to our already strong program mix,” says Guy Pelletier, Chair of RDC’s Board of Governors. “Looking ahead, we look forward to continuing our work with the Ministry on our remaining proposals for a Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science in Psychology, along with a Bachelor of Business Administration and a Bachelor of Education. By expanding our degree offerings, we will be able to better serve central Albertans, now and in the future.”

Students who wish to receive more information about RDC’s new Bachelor of Science in Biological Sciences can email [email protected] or call 403.342.3400 (toll-free: 1.888.732.4630). Students will be able to apply for this program starting in the coming weeks by visiting

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Until Sunday stop by Tim Hortons for Smile Cookies in support of young readers

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Who doesn’t love cookies? They taste even sweeter when you are making a difference in a child’s life!

Helping struggling students become readers of potential is exactly what local Tim Hortons stores want as proceeds for this week’s Smile Cookie campaign will be directed to Reading College, a project of the Foundation for Red Deer Public Schools.

“We set up this amazing and fun summer program for kids in Grade 2 where they learn to love reading, and gain the skills to continue their growth as learners. Reading is the foundation for success in school and life. If we can help further develop their skills and instill a love for reading, it creates a lifetime of difference for that child. It will make a difference for them, make a difference for their families and make a difference in their life experiences. That’s the beauty of Reading College,” said Superintendent of Schools, Chad Erickson. “This year, we had 64 graduates of the Reading College program who were incredibly engaged and able to excel and improve their reading abilities over the month of July, setting them up for further success.”

“The Smile Cookie Campaign is a great opportunity to raise awareness on the importance of literacy, it really does create life chances for students. Reading College is made possible through great support from our community and Tim Hortons – we could not operate it without this support,” said Kristine Plastow, Foundation Board Chair. “I encourage the community to get out there and buy their cookies!”

From September 13 – 19, Tim Hortons restaurant owners in Red Deer will generously donate all proceeds from sales of a special smiling chocolate chunk cookie to support the Reading College program through The Foundation for Red Deer Public Schools. The $1 treat helps community programs across Canada in the cities where they are sold.

“On behalf of all restaurant owners and team members in Red Deer, I would like to thank our loyal guests for their generosity and support of the Smile Cookie campaign,” said Tanya Doucette, Tim Hortons Restaurant Owner in Red Deer. “Tim Hortons is thrilled to support The Foundation for Red Deer Public Schools and Reading College with the funds raised and bring smiles to so many people’s faces. We welcome everyone to come in to buy a delicious freshly-baked Smile Cookie in support of a great cause.”

Help us promote the campaign by ‘liking’ Red Deer Public Schools on Facebook and ‘following’ us on Twitter, both under @rdpschools. You can also find us on Instagram @reddeerpublicschools.

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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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