Red River College signs MOU with Manitoba Institute of Trades and Technology

June 22, 2016

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Red River College and the Manitoba Institute of Trades and Technology will explore new ways to provide programs and services that benefit learners, employers and communities, having signed a memorandum of understanding today that renews their commitment to partnerships and shared resources.

“This new agreement builds on the strengths of MITT and RRC by growing the relationship between both of our institutions,” says RRC President Paul Vogt. “Not only will today’s commitment support our work in driving our province’s skilled trades agenda, but it will put us in a position to collaborate on initiatives that help all students succeed, including Indigenous, newcomer and international students. This evolving relationship between our institutions will continue to allow us to provide meaningful and rewarding educational opportunities and pathways for students.”

The MOU reaffirms the institutions’ commitment to working cooperatively to provide programs, improve pathways and expand services throughout Manitoba.

The MOU further states that both RRC and MITT will examine ways that each institution can share resources — including but not limited to facilities, equipment, curriculum and faculty expertise — while also supporting economic and social development initiatives to boost opportunities for Manitoba’s Indigenous and international students.

“The signing of the MOU demonstrates the commitment of both colleges to work together to the benefit of our students,” says MITT President Paul Holden. “We have to continue to encourage these forms of agreements across the post-secondary system. Whether that be between universities and colleges, or between a college and another college as is the case here, students need the opportunity to take what they have learned and see it recognized as they pursue advanced studies in other institutions in Manitoba.”

Both RRC and MITT are known for developing quality programs that are responsive to Manitoba’s evolving economic conditions and labour market. Both institutions have agreed to meet regularly to identify opportunities to work collaboratively and identify opportunities for mutual partnerships, with a goal of increasing credential portability in Manitoba’s post-secondary environment, while supporting each institution’s larger goals.

Shown above: Christine Watson, Vice-President, Academic and Research, RRC; Paul Holden, President and CEO, MITT; Paul Vogt, President and CEO, RRC; and Ray Karasevich, Vice-President Academic, MITT.

New SSHRC funding supports social innovation research into the impacts of positive learning environments

June 20, 2016

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New funding for Red River College’s Science of Early Child Development program will help explore the impact of improved language and literacy skills on vulnerable children and their caregivers.

The nearly $234,000 in funding — from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada’s (SSHRC) Community and College Social Innovation Fund — will support new research to understand how changing at-risk children’s education environments can have a positive ripple effect on the adults around them.

The College will use the funds to expand current work studying the Abecedarian Approach, an internationally recognized intervention that creates a play-based, language-focused environment to promote development in at-risk kids from birth to age five.

“We believe an important part of the story is missing where the research focus is solely on child outcomes,” says Janet Jamieson, research chair for RRC’s Health Sciences and Community Services department. “While a child’s world is shaped by their environment and those around them, it should not be ignored that they in turn can have important impacts on those external elements.”

While there are plenty of studies demonstrating the success of the Abecedarian Approach on child development, very little has been documented on the effects had on adult caregivers of children enrolled in the program.

The College’s research is expected to play a meaningful role in informing policy, through insights into how evidence-based interventions with children in impoverished and challenged neighbourhoods could have positive impacts on families and communities. Read More →

RRC students to represent Canada at 2017 World Skills Competition

June 16, 2016

Ashley Weber/Silas Meeches

Two Red River College students will represent Team Canada at next year’s World Skills Competition in Abu Dhabi, having earned gold medals at the recent nationals round in New Brunswick.

Ashley Weber (Car Painting) and Silas Meeches (CNC Machining) are two of three Manitoba students who took top honours in their categories at the Olympic-style Skills Canada National Competition in Moncton from June 5–8.

Meeches, a current RRC student, and Weber, who’ll join the fold this fall, were among 17 RRC students who advanced to the national team after winning gold medals in the provincial competition held at the College’s Notre Dame Campus in April. In Moncton this month, Manitoba students and apprentices earned 19 medals overall — four gold, nine silver and six bronze.

“Competition is intense, and the training and preparation our students put in throughout the year really paid off,” says Maria Pacella, executive director of Skills Canada Manitoba. “It’s this level of excellence that will help to build Manitoba future workforce needs in the area of skilled trades and technology.”

Next year’s Skills Canada National Competition will take place at the RBC Convention Centre in Winnipeg from May 31 to June 3. The event will draw more than 1,800 delegates from across Canada, including more than 500 students from each province and territory, to compete in nearly 50 trades and technology skills areas.

Eyes on the future: College unveils new mission, vision and values statements

June 16, 2016

Open Cafe meeting

Classes may be winding down for the summer, but Red River College sits poised to enter a new era of post-secondary excellence, armed with an updated set of initiatives to guide its strategic direction and future growth for the next five years.

Following months of consultations with internal and external stakeholders — including a series of Open Café meetings (shown above) with staff and faculty from all campuses — the College has adopted newly-revised mission, vision and values statements, casting an aspirational eye towards sustainability, service to community, and global recognition.

Redrafted in tandem with RRC’s new Academic and Research Plan and pending five-year Strategic Plan (due this August), the new statements provide a roadmap for the College to follow, and a set of guidelines for all staff as they put policies into practice — both inside and outside the classroom.

“We don’t expect people to memorize them word for word, but hopefully to get to know them and understand what we are as an institution, and where we’re trying to go, so they can be part of the change,” says Cindee Laverge, vice-president, Student Services and Planning at RRC.

“It’s a way for people to help us achieve our strategic direction: through the mission and vision, to understand on a day-to-day basis what’s important to us, and through our values to understand how we work and play.” Read More →

Business Administration, Child and Youth Care grads earn Lt.-Gov.’s Medals for Proficiency

June 1, 2016

Congratulations to the latest recipients of Red River College’s Lieutenant-Governor’s Medals for Proficiency, which will be awarded next week as part of the Spring 2016 Convocation ceremonies.

Each year, up to four medals (two in winter, two in spring) are awarded to RRC students who best combine good character, academic and technical achievement, and involvement in College and community activities. This year’s winners are:

Kelsey Henderson, Business Administration

Kelsey HendersonPart of RRC’s latest crop of Business Administration grads, Kelsey Henderson was originally considering a career in human resource management, but opted instead to develop a broader understanding of business and how it could help her improve her future.

She describes her time at the College as “stressful, but rewarding,” noting that students who were willing to put in the work and effort were able to reap the benefits of a well-rounded education — in her case, one that included training in not just administration, but also payroll, marketing and human resource.

“It has helped me come out of my shell more — to become more sociable and less nervous to speak in front of an audience,” she says. “And it has helped to train me in time management skills, seeing as how you stay very busy, all of the time.” Read More →

Accounting instructor honoured with teaching excellence award

May 30, 2016

Barry Balanduk cropBarry Balanduk doesn’t just make learning fun for his students — itself no easy feat, especially when the subject matter is accounting.

He also finds a way to make their classroom experiences ‘better,’ by investing everything he does with patience and passion.

Barry is this year’s recipient of the Red River College Students’ Association’s Teaching Award of Excellence, which recognizes outstanding teaching practices and dedication to students.

Having taught in RRC’s Applied Accounting, Business Administration and Business Information Technology programs for the last 15 years, he’s earned a reputation as a positive influence who’s always willing to help out.

“You can always tell he not only enjoys the subjects he teaches, but the opportunity to teach others,” they said in their award submission. “He inspires you to do your best, jokes around with you, and always makes you feel at home in his class. Whatever subject he teaches is made immediately better by having him as an instructor.”

A graduate of RRC’s Business Administration program, Barry continued his education in the Certified General Accountants program and started his accounting career at Colliers Pratt McGarry, a property management and commercial real estate company.

He later moved to a position at Great West Life Reality Advisors, and then at the Lions Club of Winnipeg, before joining the faculty at RRC. He says his favourite aspect of working in post-secondary education is the opportunity to interact with students — giving them a little entertainment with their education, and allowing them to enjoy their time together while learning.

“I find it very rewarding to know that I am having a positive influence on my students,” he says. “And my students should know they have a positive influence on me.”

Barry will receive his award next Wednesday afternoon during RRC’s Spring Convocation Ceremonies, which take place June 7 and 8 at the Centennial Concert Hall.

Transforming Futures pilot program prepares students for new career paths

May 16, 2016

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Amanda Wallace, Claire Oswald and Baldeep Dillon (front row, from left to right) are three Red River College students who take their academic careers very seriously.

All three are punctual, motivated self-starters who know how to prioritize in order to meet the demands of their course loads. They’re also immersed in all aspects of student life, from student council and advisory committees to work experience programs.

Claire and Baldeep want to work in the provincial government, while Amanda has her eyes on a career at City Hall. Like many others in RRC’s Transforming Futures program — a pilot project launched in 2014 — all three have blossomed into exemplary students, thanks to the support of their instructors and peers.

A first of its kind program in Manitoba, Transforming Futures helps students with intellectual disabilities and other significant barriers prepare for and deal with the realities of post-secondary life. The first stage of the program allows students to explore career options based on their interests and strengths. Students are introduced to College-level studies, as well as personal management, job searching, interviewing and essential workplace skills.

“During high school your life was basically structured for you,” says Claire. “When you enter college, it’s a lot more independent, a lot more responsibility’s on your head. You’re responsible for you.” Read More →

Urban Circle co-founder to receive honorary RRC diploma

May 13, 2016

ElanoreThompson_VerticalA longtime community leader will be recognized with the College’s highest academic honour for the lasting impact she’s had on the lives of children and families.

Eleanor Thompson, Director of Development at Urban Circle Training Centre, will receive RRC’s 2016 Honorary Diploma in Community Development/Community Economic Development.

As co-founder of Urban Circle, Eleanor has worked tirelessly for nearly 30 years to provide accessible, culturally appropriate education and training to Indigenous people in Winnipeg.

She’s a strong advocate for programs that are grounded in Indigenous culture, and that lead to employment in stable sectors with potential for growth. As such, Urban Circle partners with RRC on certificate programs in heath care, family support and early childhood education — many of which lead to advanced studies in social work and education.

In recent years, Eleanor served as one of the driving forces behind the development of the Makoonsag Intergenerational Centre on Selkirk Avenue, a 52-space early learning facility for the children of Urban Circle students. She’s also a member of the Premier’s Advisory Council on Education, Poverty and Citizenship.

Read More →

Student residences available for short-term summer stays

May 12, 2016

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Looking for a place to stay this summer that’ll put you in close proximity to the city’s best shops, restaurants and nightclubs?

Or do you know of someone who’s travelling to Winnipeg, and wants to be close to the bustling summer festival scene?

Red River College’s downtown student residence units — located in the Paterson GlobalFoods Institute at 504 Main St. — are available for short-term bookings from May 24 to Aug. 14.

The fully furnished units include a microwave, mini-fridge, bed and linens, desk and chair, wardrobe, and private bathroom with towels and toiletries. The two-bedroom suites have a shared kitchenette with a full-sized fridge and sink, plus a table and chairs.

The building’s common areas feature lounges with couches and an entertainment system, as well as laundry facilities and 24-hour bike storage. Weekly cleaning service is available for both single and double suites, and the building has 24-hour security. Read More →

CreComm students team with MPI on new drunk driving awareness campaign

May 11, 2016

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The creative efforts of two Red River College students are behind Manitoba Public Insurance’s newest campaign, aimed at raising awareness of the dangers of impaired driving.

MPI’s newly launched ‘Bright Future’ campaign graphically depicts how a person’s future can turn dark when the decision is made to drive after drinking. Second-year Creative Communications students Rhianna Saj (above, left) and Shannay Smith conceived the story line.

As part of an assignment for their Advertising class, Saj and Smith submitted a project that was reviewed by their instructor and MPI staff, who’d been invited to evaluate student presentations at RRC. The team’s made-in-Manitoba concept was so impressive, MPI determined it should be developed into the corporation’s next campaign in its fight against impaired driving.

MPI found the dual meaning behind the ‘Bright Future’ theme to be particularly clever, as it intertwined a young person’s bright future with the bright lights of arrest and incarceration. It was this outside-the-box thinking that made the theme so appealing to MPI’s advertising department.

“This campaign is about young people engaging their peers to change attitudes around impaired driving — not the typical approach of talking ‘at’ this group,” says Ward Keith, vice-president, Business Development & Communications and chief product officer at MPI. Read More →