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Education

Remarkable RDC Student Receives National Honour

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3 minute read

From RDC Communications

RDC Student Receives National Leadership Award

Red Deer College student, Robin Chiles, was recognized on a national level at the College and Institutes Canada (CICan) Conference in Niagara Falls recently.

The award for Leadership Excellence in the Student category is given to a student who has made a remarkable contribution within their institution, as well as in their community.

Robin Chiles is a dedicated wife, mother of two, community volunteer, full-time nursing student, and recognized student leader at Red Deer College and leader in the central Alberta community.

Robin is in her final year of the Bachelor of Science Nursing program and is a student leader on the RDC Board of Governors, the Students’ Association, and a member on the Nursing Society on campus. She has achieved both the Dean’s Honour Roll and the President’s Honour Role for academic excellence while showing passion and commitment for her community.

While excelling on campus, Robin finds time to support her local community through supporting young women in her congregation, participating in the Red Deer River Clean-up and Red Deer’s Point in Time Homeless Count. As a two-time cancer survivor, she is very active in supporting programs that help those affected by cancer such as the fundraiser Relay for Life.

“I am so very honored and to be nominated and receive the CICan Student Leadership award. When I first began my educational journey at Red Deer College being a student leader was not something, I set out to achieve. However, I soon recognized my passion for helping others succeed. My success would not have been possible without the support of many at Red Deer College, my husband and family. The opportunity to develop my leadership skills and be supported to do such has been one of the many highlights during my time at RDC,” says Robin Chiles, Student Member on RDC’s Board of Governors and CICan Award Recipient.

Robin is set to graduate from the Bachelor of Science Nursing program in December 2019. This award is an excellent nod to her leadership at Red Deer College and the involvement that she will carry forward in the community.

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COVID-19

Students decry tuition hikes as COVID-19 pandemic increases financial strain

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post secondary students

TORONTO — Some Canadian universities are raising tuition fees for the new school year much to the consternation of students, who argue their costs should be going down, not up in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.

While schools argue they need an infusion of cash to deal in part with higher costs of remote teaching and learning, students say they already face challenges, such as difficulty in finding summer employment.

“Students are struggling more than ever with skyrocketing tuition increases they have faced over the years,” Sofia Descalzi, national chairwoman the Canadian Federation of Students said on Friday. “It really is disappointing to see that in a time of crisis, universities and colleges are not ensuring affordability and accessibility of their education and reducing tuition fees, but they are going the opposite way.”

For example, the University of Manitoba announced last week it would be raising tuition by an average of 3.75 per cent. Most undergrads will be paying about $250 more a year for a full course load but others will pay $640 more.

The school said provincial grants have been falling while remote teaching and learning in light of the pandemic is adding hundreds of thousands of dollars to its costs. The university said it was setting aside another $600,000 in student aid.

“We know that cost is a barrier to many, even in the best of times,” said Janice Ristock, a vice-president.

Even in Ontario, where tuition was cut and then frozen for two years last year, the University of Guelph is among schools that have raised tuition for international students, who generally pay significantly more than their Canadian counterparts.

Horeen Hassan, with the Central Student Association at the university, said students were shocked at the increases, which the school estimates at between three and 15 per cent. International students already pay on average three times more than domestic students, she said, and COVID has wrecked their employment plans, too.

“Many international students are heartbroken that an institution they love so much is putting such a financial burden on them,” Hassan said in a release.

The university said the increase that took effect this spring was similar to hikes adopted by peer institutions although its overall rates were lower than theirs. At the same time, it said it would bolster supports available to students in need.

“We understand that the increases may represent a hardship for some continuing and returning international students, particularly amid challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic,” the University of Guleph said.

Students, who have long complained about the cost of post-secondary education, said the pandemic has exacerbated the situation. Even with some emergency financial help from the federal government, many will have difficulty getting through the summer let alone being able to deal with more expensive education in the fall, Descalzi said.

A recent survey for the federation and the Canadian Association of University Teachers found a significant number of students were rethinking their plans. Among the reasons were lost income, limited support, and concerns about remote learning. In all, almost one-third of those asked said they might not go to school given the situation.

Descalzi said universities should resort to belt-tightening at the administration and executive levels or dip into reserves before placing a higher financial burden on those furthering their education.

“We are in times of crisis,” she said. “They should not be raising fees.”

Dalhousie University, which is raising tuition three per cent, said it was taking steps to cut costs and limit non-essential spending. The school noted that 41 per cent of its operating money comes directly from students and increases were necessary to maintain academic standards.

“This was true before the COVID-19 pandemic and is even more apparent today,” spokeswoman Janet Bryson said.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published on May 29, 2020

Colin Perkel, The Canadian Press

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Local Education

RDC’s Donald School of Business leaving downtown to return to main campus

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From RDC Communications

RDC announces changes to its downtown campus as it looks to the future

New opportunities will support students and businesses

As RDC plans for the future and grows learning opportunities for all students, the Donald School of Business will move from its current downtown location in the Millennium Centre back to RDC’s main campus. This move will take place in January 2021.

In 2011, Red Deer College’s downtown campus in the Millennium Centre first opened. RDC has achieved great success there, with faculty creating unique learning experiences for our students and valuable connections with our local business community. These same successes will continue to thrive as we move the Donald School of Business back to main campus. RDC’s Donald School of Business is expecting almost 900 students to attend classes in the School’s nine programs during the upcoming 2020/2021 academic year.

“The reputation we’ve grown, and the core principles we’ve created within the Donald School of Business are embedded in our everyday fabric as a post-secondary institution. As we consider our future as Red Deer University, we are excited to provide all our students with increasing opportunities to engage with our local business community and prepare for successful careers. We anticipate this will be one of the areas that we’ll continue to grow in creating a signature RDU student experience,” says Dr. Peter Nunoda, RDC President.

The relationships that the College has built through its downtown campus with business leaders and organizations, and the entrepreneurial spirit at the core of RDC’s Donald School of Business, will open doors to new experiences for all RDC students. The College’s main campus is uniquely situated in our city and region to serve its students, and to allow the ability to grow connections with members of the business community, wherever they are housed, whether it be downtown, industrial parks, or in surrounding communities.

Through practicum and work integrated learning opportunities, guest speakers, seminars and workshops, and other mentorship opportunities, these are meaningful learning experiences that will grow on RDC’s main campus for all students. Synergy between students, instructors and the business community will continue to grow in unique teaching and learning spaces such as RDC’s Centre for Innovation in Manufacturing and Alternative Energy Lab, achieving practical solutions to real-world problems that will positively impact our communities.

Red Deer College’s connection with, and support of, the heart of this city will remain strong. At our downtown campus, the College will leverage and grow the strong relationships we’ve already built as we continue our commitment to meet the needs of our diverse group of learners with an equally diverse range of programs and services.

Examples of serving these varied opportunities include providing customized corporate and executive training solutions and seminars, guest speakers, professional development opportunities, and more, for adult learners and businesses through RDC’s School of Continuing Education. Many of these individuals also provide meaningful mentorship and real-world experiences for students in the College’s other programs.

As another opportunity, RDC’s English as a Second Language (ESL) programs, offered through the School of Continuing Education, will now be centrally located close to organizations such as Central Alberta Refugee Effort (CARE) and Catholic Social Services, to better meet the needs of ESL learners as they access learning and essential community resources.

Housing these types of lifelong learning opportunities at a downtown campus is something that is often seen within the post-secondary sector, and so the College believes this will fit well as the institution continues to serve all central Albertans.

Students in all RDC programs will always be welcome at the downtown campus, using this space for seminars, mentorship engagement and other possibilities yet to be imagined, continuing to create robust connections between students and with community members.

“Through the shifts we are making in where our programming is housed now, we are building for an exciting future as a polytechnic university. We will continue to instill an entrepreneurial spirit within all of our students, create meaningful connections with our business community, and innovate to serve our region with practical solutions in a variety of sectors that contribute to the economic well-being of our region,” says Dr. Nunoda.

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june, 2020

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