Red River College has announced new and enhanced programs — and more supports for Indigenous learners than ever before — as part of its strategic plan to grow its student population and chart a bold, new path forward for Indigenous Education.
“Red River College is proud to be a key signatory to the Manitoba Collaborative Indigenous Education Blueprint, and we are fully committed to providing the student-centred and culturally relevant supports necessary to help aspiring students successfully transition from community to classroom to career,” says Rebecca Chartrand, RRC’s Executive Director, Indigenous Strategy.
“Over the last year, we have been working to create better access to programs, new training opportunities, and more pathways to post-secondary education for our Indigenous learners. We have taken important steps forward as a College community to grow and provide our students with the wrap-around supports and services they need to succeed.”
This fall, the College will launch five new programs for Indigenous learners:
- ACCESS Health Pathway Program
- ACCESS Engineering Pathway Program
- Social Enterprise Diploma Program
- Indigenous Languages Certificate Program
- Indigenous Culinary Skills Certificate Program
ACCESS programs provide learners with preparatory, exploratory and transitional experience, while the remaining three programs aim to grow Indigenous representation within their respective sectors. The culinary program, for example, will provide courses aimed at developing fundamental culinary and business skills, and will include a cultural component and land-based curriculum. The social enterprise program will focus on the principles of economic reconciliation and how it relates to the Canadian social economy. It will help students address and solve challenges in urban or rural communities.
The College also worked very closely in consultation with internal and community stakeholders to create an infrastructure that reflects the growth of Indigenous Education at RRC, and is more agile and responsive to the needs of learners. This has resulted in the development of 12 new positions, including two Navigators, Academic and Enrollment Coaches, a Transition to Employment Coach, and a Truth and Reconciliation and Community Engagement Manager.
“Everything we do as a College is ultimately about the success of our students. As Manitoba’s largest institute of applied learning, we are taking the lead to create more pathways to post-secondary education, deliver innovative and relevant programming, and ultimately, increase graduation rates among Indigenous students,” says RRC President Paul Vogt.
These new programs and supports for Indigenous students build on the many positive initiatives and milestones Red River College has celebrated in the last year, including:
- Opening the College’s first Sweat Lodge at the Notre Dame Campus.
- Opening a new Indigenous Student Support Centre at the Roblin Centre to better support those studying at the Exchange District Campus.
- Creating two new Anishinaabemowin language courses to support the growth of Indigenous language revitalization in Manitoba schools and advance reconciliation efforts in our province.
- Taking training outside of the traditional classroom and offering two new community-based skilled trades programs to students in Lake Manitoba and Sagkeeng First Nations.
Redeveloping and expanding our ACCESS programs to better meet the needs of students, and to provide opportunities to enrol in a wider range of offerings including new streams in Health and Engineering.
Like father, like daughter.
Ellowyn Nadeau, an instructor of Red River College’s Construction Management degree program, has engineering in her blood. Her dad, the late Dr. Alexander Thornton-Trump, was a long-time professor in the mechanical engineering department at University of Manitoba.
“My guidance counsellor in high school said ‘Oh, you’re good at math and science. You have to go into engineering.’ So, you know, 17, 18 years old, go with the flow, right?” Nadeau says with a laugh.
“I ended up taking civil engineering versus mechanical because I didn’t want to be taught by my dad. That’s just not right!”
Despite her initial aversion, Nadeau remains well-versed in the family vocation.
After obtaining a B.Sc. in Civil Engineering from U of M in 1994, she started her professional engineering career a year later at Wardrop Engineering. Since then, she’s gained a wealth of experience in engineering and construction, having held such titles as preventative maintenance inspector at Winnipeg School Division, assistant manager of purchasing services at U of M, and project director at Stuart Olson.
Nadeau also earned her Supply Chain Management Professional designation in 2010.
“I really like being able to pass on my industry knowledge to the students, giving them a very practical look at what the expectations will be of them once they start working full-time,” says Nadeau, who began teaching at RRC in October 2015.
“I’m giving them tricks of the trade in a lot of cases. I tell them, ‘You know what? I’m passing on information to you that took me five to seven years in the industry to figure out. So you guys are going to get a leg up.’
“I just love that (my students) seem to have a passion for the same industry that I do.” Read More →
An expanded urban beekeeping program, a renewed focus on active transportation, and two LEED Gold-designated buildings are just three of the initiatives that landed Red River College on Canada’s Greenest Employer list for the eighth straight year.
The annual award recognizes RRC’s environmentally friendly policies and programs, which continue to engage staff in sustainability efforts — on campus and at home. In surveys conducted over the past two years, 90 per cent of RRC staff and faculty said they believe sustainability needs to be a priority in all College operations. The topic continues to be a key strategic priority for RRC, and is a fundamental part of the College’s Strategic Plan.
“Through the efforts of our Sustainability Office, and the commitment of our entire College community, RRC continues to be a champion of sustainability in Manitoba,” says RRC President Paul Vogt.
“Every day on campus there are innovating and engaging activities that create a sustainable culture and educate our staff and students about the roles they can play. Everything from pledging to power down over Earth Day, to learning about the energy reduction methods we use in our state-of-the-art buildings, to engaging in active transportation strengthens our overall commitment to sustainability.”
Last summer, RRC expanded its urban beekeeping initiative in partnership with Beeproject Apiaries. Three hives were installed on the rooftop of the Notre Dame Campus, complementing the three hives put in place on the fourth-floor patio of the Paterson GlobalFoods Institute the prior year.
The new hives doubled RRC’s seasonal yield to more than 150 kilograms of honey, which is used as an ingredient in Culinary Arts and Professional Baking programs, and is sold at the College-run farmers markets held throughout the year. Read More →
The Province of Manitoba is helping Red River College reach new heights in aviation and aeronautics training by supporting the acquisition of its successful Stevenson Campus, Education and Training Minister Ian Wishart announced today.
“Our government recognizes the leadership shown by Red River College in the purchase of their campus property, where they provide essential training for Manitobans in a skilled and high-demand industry,” says Wishart.
“This is a fiscally responsible plan that will help ensure many more people can pursue a career in aeronautics and learn in an exceptional environment with industry leaders and experts.”
The provincial government enabled the purchase of the Stevenson Campus by approving RRC’s plan to borrow up to $8 million to acquire the previously leased facility. (The College requires government approval to borrow, as set out by The Red River College Act.)
By purchasing the campus from its landlord, Hubert Kleysen, RRC will save nearly $1 million over the term of the mortgage and will have greater flexibility to grow and adapt its renowned aviation and aeronautics programs.
“Red River College works shoulder-to-shoulder with industry to deliver cutting-edge training at our Stevenson Campus, and to provide students with the job-ready skills they need to compete here at home, and on a national and global stage,” says RRC President Paul.
“By acquiring our campus – with the support of the provincial government – we will continue to provide strong workforce training for Manitoba’s aerospace and aviation sector, which is one of the largest in Canada. This move will make us more agile and ensure that we are successful for generations to come.” Read More →
Creative Communications student Tamika Reid has been named the inaugural recipient of Red River College’s new Richard Asher Webb Social Justice Activist Memorial Award — a distinction that recognizes her work writing, designing and marketing a children’s book that raises awareness of disabilities and inclusion rights.
Established in memory of Webb, an RRC alum and longtime community activist, the award is given annually to a student who demonstrates exceptional effort and/or the ability to lead, organize and engage students or members of the community in embodying the values of equity, diversity, inclusion, multiculturalism and social justice.
It was a unanimous decision from the judging panel that Reid’s project — and her enthusiasm for creating solutions to social justice issues — made her the most deserving candidate.
“Winning this award means that my efforts in addressing the inclusion gap in children's literature area worthy cause,” says Reid (shown above, with book). “It acknowledges the stories of diverse people that need to be told.”
Reid’s book, Sweet without Sugar, is about a young girl who has autism and relies on a stuffed animal to feel comfortable. When her toy is damaged, the girl spends the day trying new things and discovers she can comfortably have fun without it. Reid’s book is part of the Literary Inclusion Project, which she founded as an initiative that responds to the intellectual disability topic gap in children’s literature.
The book also incorporates artwork of students that attend an after-school program run by the YMCA-YWCA of Winnipeg. Reid’s experience working with that program, and taking CreComm at RRC, helped her carve out a clear path for her professional career, where she works in communications for local non-profit organizations. Read More →
A team of Business Administration students from Red River College proved they have the know-how to assess a person’s situation and deliver successful financial planning advice, by winning first place at the 2018 Canadian Institute of Financial Planning Case Challenge in Calgary, Alberta.
This was RRC’s first time participating in the challenge, which saw four students — all specializing in Financial Services — competing against teams from three other Colleges in Western Canada.
“Competitions like this are as close to real life as the students are going to get,” says Maria Vincenten, a Financial Services instructor at RRC. “The feedback and experience is unbelievable for the students, and it helps the industry to recognize our program as having strong learning outcomes. We are applied learning — so any time we can showcase what we’re doing here (at RRC) helps us evolve the program further.”
Beginning in January, students Shelby Joss, Vitor Machado e Melo, Virginia Giesbrecht, and Shannon Krahn spent time practicing: In the morning, they’d receive the details of a case and spend two hours discussing and strategizing the best way to help their ‘client.’ In the afternoon, they’d briefly review their notes before giving a 20-minute presentation, followed by notes and discussion.
“Looking at cases and making recommendations for different clients was a fantastic way to pull together everything we were learning in class and apply it to real life situations,” says Krahn, the team’s alternate. “Aside from honing my teamwork skills, the experience also helped me grow in my understanding of financial products and how to deal with clients.” Read More →
An online divorce agency, an alternator-driven electric bicycle, a study on lullaby therapy for infants, and a social media assessment for the Winnipeg Police Service — just a small sample of the student-led research projects that’ll be on display today at Red River College’s Applied Research & Innovation Day.
Now in its second year, the event welcomes close to 200 participants from the College — as well as partners from business and industry — to learn about RRC’s many ongoing research initiatives, as well as students’ experiences and successes in applying their work in a real-world environment.
“We started our applied research initiatives a little more than a decade ago, and today we’re leading the way in applied research here in Manitoba, and across Western Canada,” says RRC President Paul Vogt.
“More and more, the idea of teaching and learning is moving away from students sitting in desks and taking notes, and towards hands-on, collaborative projects. Applied Research & Innovation Day strongly showcases the success of that approach to learning.”
Today’s event will feature an industry luncheon with a keynote from Paul Soubry, President and CEO of New Flyer Industries, who was recently named Canada’s top CEO of the year by the Financial Post. The event will also feature a quick-pitch student competition — similar to TV’s Dragon’s Den — where the top four teams from the morning’s student showcase will explain how their research created a sustainable solution to a real problem.
While today marks an important milestone for student-led research at RRC, it’s also an important day for the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada — one of the many federal partners who support RRC’s applied research initiatives — as they announce their 10,000th Engage Grant in support of colleges and universities across Canada. Read More →
More than 200 Indigenous high school students from across the country will visit Red River College today to tour classrooms, meet instructors and explore the many career opportunities and supports available to them, as part of this year’s Soaring: Indigenous Youth Empowerment Gathering.
“Engaging more Indigenous students and providing more pathways to post-secondary education and training is a key priority,” says Rebecca Chartrand, RRC’s Executive Director, Indigenous Strategy.
“The College is charting a new path forward focused on elevating Indigenous student success, and we are creating new and enhanced programs and supports in order to recruit and retain more Indigenous students, and ensure they have the tools and wraparound supports they need in succeed and thrive.”
While at RRC (the Host College Sponsor for this year’s event), students will explore 11 program areas currently offered or in development, including Indigenous Social Enterprise, Construction Trades, Allied Health Sciences, and Civil Engineering Technology.
“We are excited to welcome high school students from coast-to-coast to our province and our school, and provide an opportunity for them to visit our campus, meet our industry-leading instructors, and interact with the many rewarding career paths and supports available to them,” says Chartrand.
Organized by Indspire, a national charity that invests in Indigenous education, the Soaring gathering provides First Nation, Inuit and Métis students with opportunities to learn about career and post-secondary education options. Gatherings are held across Canada, giving students the chance to take part in motivational career workshops, learn about financial supports, and meet some of Canada’s top employers.
Red River College has been honoured with a Partner Award from the Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters Manitoba — for its role as a leader in training, programming and applied research within the province’s robust aerospace and manufacturing industries.
“As Manitoba’s largest institute of applied learning, we are proud to play a critical role in driving Manitoba’s economy,” says RRC President Paul Vogt.
“Since we first opened our doors, the College has been central to the growth and success of our province, and has continually responded to the ever-increasing demand for highly trained and highly skilled graduates to meet the needs of businesses and industry. We are honoured to be recognized by CME Manitoba for our efforts.”
Each year, CME Manitoba’s Partner Award is presented to an organization that makes a notable contribution to the province’s manufacturing and exporting community.
It recognizes partners and service providers who demonstrate a measureable impact on the growth, sustainability or mission of manufacturing companies. Recipients are widely recognized for their integrity, dedication and collaboration in service to manufacturing.
“One of our key priorities at the College is to foster strategic partnerships that allow us to drive research and innovation by matching industry problems and needs with College expertise, resources, capabilities and facilities,” says Vogt (shown above, third from left, with other recipients).
“These partnerships are the backbone of the advancements we are seeing in the aerospace and manufacturing industries here in Manitoba. We must continue to grow and compete here at home, and on the global stage, with the latest research, state-of-the-art technology, and a highly trained workforce that has the knowledge and skills needed to meet the needs of industry today, and the future.”
Vogt will accept the award this evening at the 2018 CME Gala Awards Dinner, held at the RBC Convention Centre as part of Manitoba Manufacturing Week.
The soup’s on at Manitoba Hydro Place this Wednesday, when Red River College Culinary Arts students will join 11 other local chefs and restaurant staff for the sixth annual Stone Soup Fundraiser supporting the Child Nutrition Council of Manitoba.
Chef and instructor Karl Oman, together with Culinary Arts students Sophie Thibodeau and Colin Stone, will serve up a newly created ‘Holiday Sweet Potato Turkey’ soup, a cream-based concoction packed with turkey and cranberry flavours that was prepared by 17 first-year students who are currently learning short-order cooking.
The soup will be paired with a stuffing-flavoured focaccia bread created by students from RRC’s Professional Baking and Patisserie program.
“The Stone Soup Fundraiser is a great opportunity for our students to work together and to apply their learning and culinary skills to make a difference for those in need,” says Oman.
“This is just one of the many ways we work to give back to the community. Whether it’s through our work with Siloam Mission, or delivering the After-School Leaders Program for at-risk youth, we’re a community partner and we’re very proud to help encourage people to come down, try some delicious student-made soup and support such an important cause.”
The event will run from 11:15am – 1:15pm in the Hydro building’s main gallery. Judges will be present to sample all the soups and select a winner, and the public is also invited to select a favourite for the People’s Award. The cost is $10 per person, which includes samples of soup from three participating chefs or restaurants.