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

Stettler Health Foundation has a lot to smile about

Stettler Tim Hortons donates $2,994 Smile Cookie proceeds to local health foundation

Stettler man found guilty of illegally trafficking wildlife

Hunting license suspended for three years

Our Town Stettler

Main Street in the early 1900s

Stettler hosting Third Annual Old Fashion Christmas Dinner

Freedom Christian Fellowship also having a free Christmas Dinner

High number of Clearview students graduate: Annual report

Clearview boasts 86.4 per cent Grade 12 completion

Trudeau to make it harder for future PM to reverse Senate reforms

Of the 105 current senators, 54 are now independents who have banded together in Independent Senators’ Group

Light at the end of the tunnel for UN climate talks

Meeting in Katowice was meant to finalize how countries report their emissions of greenhouses gases

Supreme Court affirms privacy rights for Canadians who share a computer

Section 8 of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms protects Canadians against unreasonable search and seizure

Janet Jackson, Def Leppard, Nicks join Rock Hall of Fame

Radiohead, the Cure, Roxy Music and the Zombies will also be ushered in at the 34th induction ceremony

‘I practically begged’: B.C. woman with breast cancer denied referral to Calgary

Breast cancer patient left to fight disease alone after being denied referral to Calgary

Stranded B.C. trucker writes final wishes before being rescued 3 days later

‘I was just praying someone would come along’

Facebook reveals bug gave apps unauthorized access to 6.8 million users’ photos

It’s believed up to 1,500 apps built by 876 developers had access to Facebook Stories, private photos

21 detained before Paris protests as police deploy in force

There was a strong police presence outside the central Saint Lazare train station, where police in riot gear checked bags

New home for Calgary Flames estimated to cost up to $600 million

The city and the Flames are not yet talking on who will pay how much for a building to replace the Saddledome

Most Read